From the rhythm of the seasons, the ending of summer is a reminder of our need to be right with God. When August comes, I often am reminded of this statement found in the prophecy of Jeremiah,
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” ~Jeremiah 8:20
These words were actually spoken by the people in a moment of anguish. It was a proverb expressing that their God-given opportunity to repent was now over. It was a statement of great despair and loss.
Throughout their history, Israel’s greatest enemies were not the Philistines or the Assyrians or the Babylonians. Israel’s greatest enemies were the false prophets who stood in the gates and told the people what they wanted to hear.
However, Jeremiah was not cut from that cloth of duplicity. By contrast, Jeremiah’s preaching was a ‘downer’ for the hard-hearted nation of Judah. When Jeremiah confronted the sins of his people he was persecuted. When he called the nation to repent, he was brought into the cross-hairs of their distain and ridicule.
Jeremiah’s one-tracked message to repent and return to the Lord was grating on the nerves of many. I mean, really, how many times do you need to hear about your sins? How many times do you need to hear that you must repent and turn to the Lord? But faithful prophets don’t custom craft their messages to please the people. (more…)