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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 8

Verses 1-22

  1. INTRO:
    1. A newspaper ad read: Lost--one dog. Brown hair with several bald spots. Right leg broken due to auto accident. Left hip hurt. Right eye missing. Left ear bitten off in a dog fight…Answers to the name "Lucky."
      1. Israel had a good name, but a terrible history!
    2. Last Chapter We heard Jeremiah’s Unpopular Temple Sermon. 8:1-3 ends that Judgment on Jerusalem with Destruction, Desecration,& Death.
    3. We’ll look at 5 questions: [1] Why are they backsliding? [2] How can you say, “We are wise?” [3] Why are they sitting still? [4] Why did they provoke god? [5] Why is there no recovery?
  2. INTRODUCTION! (1-3)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.1 – Sounds Halloweenish?
      1. Nat. Retail Assoc. says, “consumers will spend more than 2.5 BILLION this year on halloween products. [USA Today 10/30/97]
      2. Desecration of graves – Russia example!
    2. vs.2 – Loved, served, walked after, sought, & worshiped.
      1. If only they did this with Jehovah?
    3. Vs.3 – “Just kill me!”
      1. Rev.9:6 “In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.”
  3. WHY ARE THEY BACKSLIDING? (4-7)
    1. Vs.4,5 – The Lord gives simple illustrations from human life & nature.
      1. 4a) If someone falls?…They get up!
      2. 4b) If one finds themselves going the wrong way?…You retrace your steps!
      3. Conclusion? If people are sensible in everyday matters…why not in eternal matters? Esp. because the outcome is so tragic!
    2. Vs.6 – “What have I done?” – This is Biblical Self-Confrontation at its finest!
      1. How do we examine ourselves biblically?
        1. 1st this is NOT self-condemnation!
        2. Our goal is not learning how to save our life, but n how to loose it!
      2. Read - Ps.26:2 “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.
      3. Examine me – Put me to the test! {The confidence you have when your ready for a history exam, you walk in…”Examine me!”}
        1. David was sure all was confessed!
        2. Q: Can we have this confidence after we’ve confessed our sin?
        3. Poem: “Oh God of matchless grace, We sing unto thy name. We stand accepted in the place, That none but Christ could claim.”
      4. Prove me – Test me for reality!
        1. It’s the language of the smelter. The gold has been purified & is ready for the eye of the assayer. It’s ready for the acid test!
      5. Try my – Probe down into my innermost recesses of my being!
    3. Q: Were they tip-toeing into sin?
      1. No! They were charging like swift horses into battle! Horses that don’t have any idea of the dangers involved[old westerns]
      2. Man, made in the image of God, knows more than the horse!
    4. Vs.7 – Here’s the 1st time “Bird Brains” is used in the possitive.
      1. Is.1:3 “The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master's crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider."
      2. Birds know migration, climates, temp. change, …but my people know so much more!
      3. Quote: (7700) Migration quotes.
      4. We ought to be as obedient to Divine Instruction as birds are to Natural instinct.
  4. HOW CAN YOU SAY, WE ARE WISE? (8-12)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.8,9 – Last chapter they boasted in having the Temple, now in the Divine Law!
      1. Possessing the scriptures is not the same as Practicing them!
        1. Australia has the scriptures, yet is dead. China has been robbed of them the last 50 years, but Christianity is ever growing.
      2. The Bible is still the Best-Seller, but it’s sure not helping Western Society from crumbling morally, ethically, & spiritually!
      3. “I read my Bible to know what people ought to do, and my newspaper to know what they are doing”. [Cardinal Newman]
        1. There seems to be no connection between what people say they believe & the way people act!
        2. Tozer “They are, Long on talk & short on conduct!”
    2. Vs.10 – Covetousness in “The Big 10”– Ex.20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."
    3. Vs.11 – They are deceitful physicians!
      1. Like Dr. Claude Light {USA Today 10/30/97] he failed to change syringes for each patient while administering flu shots to 468 people at clinics earlier this month. (used 1 syringe per vile, 10-12 doses)
      2. What happens to the Lord’s people often depends upon the leaders they follow!
  5. WHY ARE THEY SITTING STILL? (13-17)
    1. ​​​​​​​Here 3 voices: God’s voice of judgment(13,17); The Peoples voice of despair (14-16); Jeremiah’s voice of anguish (18-22).
    2. Vs.13,17 – Fields will be ruined(13). Babylon compared to Vipers which couldn’t be charmed.
      1. A Python at the San Diego Zoo eats 20 large rats, 3 chickens, 5 rabbits, & 2 piglets…at 1 feeding.
      2. Oh what destruction is coming their way!
      3. Israel couldn’t get away with anything!
        1. Pager Story – 3 robbers robbed Harold & Belle’s restaurant in L.A. Police arrested on outside. SWAT looked for the other 2 in shops nearby. While searching for them one of the robbers Beeper went off & gave a way there hiding place in a crawl space!
      4. Vs.14-16 – The people respond by fleeing to there fortified cities.
  6. WHY DID THEY PROVOKE GOD? (18-19)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.18 – Jer. the faithful shepherd! – He identified w/the hurts of the people.
      1. His heart was faint(18); he was hurt, mourning, & astonished(21).
      2. Notice he doesn’t say, “I told you so!”
  7. WHY IS THERE NO RECOVERY? (20-22)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.20 – I pray this wouldn’t be our dying lamentation!
      1. Parents w/teens leaving home “Our harvest is past, the summer is ended, our children are moving out, & our children are not saved”
      2. ​​​​​​​S.S. Teachers “Our harvest is past, our class is ended, & our children are not saved!”
      3. Home Study leaders - “Our harvest is past, the summer is ended, & our guests are not saved!”
    2. Vs.22 – “Is there no balm in Gilead?” – Here Jer. desperately searches for a cure! {Is there no Aloe-Vera in Gilead?}
      1. Balm = a resin or gum from an evergreen tree (about 14’ high). Was used for cosmetic & medicinal purposes.
      2. Gilead – region north of Jerusalem. Caravans brought spices/balm from up north, thru Gilead, heading to Egypt. Trees also grew in Gilead.
        1. Jer.46:11 “Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; In vain you will use many medicines; You shall not be cured.”
        2. 1st came from Queen of Sheba(Arabia) – [Josephus Antiq. 8:2]
      3. No Cure? No Doctor? Then No healing!
      4. Read Bible Versions! {Rosin, instead of Resin}
    3. Our world needs the balm for moral & social healing.
      1. In Hinche,Haiti they do not have a doctor, nor very much medicine.
      2. But this anology would be better likened to USA. Where we have doctors in abundance, & medicine everywhere!
      3. So Israel had “The Great Physician with healing in His wings!”
    4. “Why then is there no recovery?” – Good question!
      1. Instead there sin spread like a wild disease!
      2. Story – [USA Today] 20 yr. Old man(Nushawn Williams) possibly infected up to 100 women in N.Y. with HIV virus.
    5. [1] The False prophets provided their Remedy – Snake Oil!(11)
    6. [2] The Earth provided its Remedy – Yet only heals externally/surface.
    7. [3] God has provided His Remedy – Christ remedy goes to the root of the problem
      1. Again the problem isn’t: no Balm, or no Doctor, but that no patient is coming for the cure at the free clinic!
    8. “The false prophets had made a wrong diagnosis & prescribed the wrong remedy, & the wounds of the nation were still open, bleeding, & infected.” (www)
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 8". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-8.html. 2017.