8 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored? 91 O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people! 2 O that I had in the desert a traveller’s lodging-place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a band of traitors. 3 They bend their tongues like bows; they have grown strong in the land for falsehood, and not for truth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says the Lord.
Notes on Jeremiah 8:22-9:3.
Jeremiah weeps and God weeps for the people who have become lost. It is not just that people have become bored or tired or wandered away but it is the alternative things with which they have filled their lives which so deeply disturbed. Corruption, prejudice, persecution of the poor and vulnerable, disrespect for the aged, disrespect for commitments and relationships, the pursuit of greed and self-interest in unhealthy ways … all these things filled the lives of those who had wandered away from God. Is this just a word of criticism offered to people ‘back then’? Can we hear this as a word of criticism of people today? BUT before we become self-righteous and point fingers at others … is there any way in which each of us has ‘wandered off’?