“My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick.
Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” (Jeremiah 8:18 – 19a)
The lament of the people, according to the writer of Jeremiah. They know that God is not with them, but (according to the writer of Jeremiah) are puzzled as to why these have come to pass. The writer of Jeremiah knows why, even if the people don’t. The Lord has said . . .
“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?” (Verse 19b)
Mystified, the people lament,
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Verse 20)
And the writer of Jeremiah mourns,
“For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?” (Verses 21 – 22)
Actually, the lament of the writer of Jeremiah is my lament. I understand and accept that humanity must be the hands and feet of God. But are there not enough people of faith, called by God and answering the call, that there is not healing?
“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!” (Chapter 9, verse 1)