Text: Jeremiah 8:18-21: “When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.
“Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? Is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”
Many years are gone from when Jeremiah the man of God prophesied to Judah. Many centuries are gone since he made a remarkable prayer and lamentation. He made a strong statement which echoes through many generations of the people, even the Christian Church. And we cannot afford not to understand this lamentation against the people of God.
God sent Jeremiah on a rescue mission to his own people. Israel had already been removed, and destruction was not far from Judah. Because God did not desire that Judah should also perish like Ephraim, He sent Jeremiah to do a Back to God evangelistic outreach.
Jeremiah worked in many tears and in great pain which earned him ‘the weeping prophet’. His calling denied him of many privileges of his youthful years, yet he was full of great distress. Many times, he was threatened and conspired against. At a time, He tried to shut his mouth, but he could not resist God for long. For he was a watchman in Judah; seeing destruction like a tide coming upon Judah, warning the sons of men to turn back to God and be saved was his duty.
Howbeit, after many years of outreaching his people and trying to convince his people of the need to return to God, Jeremiah wept and wrote a lamentation in Chapter 8:18-21. But for the sake of this article, our major concern is verse 20.
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8:20
This is to say, from the first day of his outing was a time set. A time of expectancy and mercy; a time for forgiveness, healing, salvation, and a returning. God was waiting, judgement was coming, and time was ticking fast. The last days, the day of the Lord’s anger were not too far.
But for many years the Jews ignored the call to turn from their wicked ways and return to God. Then at a time, grace and mercy elapsed and judgment became inevitable. God had decided that He would neither relent nor forgive, but utterly destroy Judah.
The appointed times later came to an end; the summer time allocated for Judah to be redeemed from destruction also ended, but Judah did not return, Judah was not saved.
Babylonians invaded Jerusalem in 597 BC. And in about ten more years they totally destroyed Judah, Jerusalem and the temple. The destruction closed the chapter of Israel and Judah just as Jeremiah warned them would happen should they continue to be stiff necked and not turned back to God.
This powerful saying of Jeremiah still echoes strong for the people of the nations and the Church of God.
From the first day we came to Christ was a time also set for us. Some of us grew up in the church. From the first day we were dedicated before God was a time allocated, and the clock started to tick on us.
In that time is an expectation; in that time is a demand. For us to be born again, for us to find God, for us to know Him and have a vital contact with Him. In that time, we are supposed to be formed into the image of God in holiness and righteousness. In that time, God expects us to rack up spiritual might and knowledge to enable us face the challenges of the night and dark days that will come upon the earth and cause many to fall. In that time, we are supposed to experience God beyond the letter and what the pastor is saying. In that time, we are supposed to have our names eternally stamped in the book of life.
Yet! From that first day till now, many of us are still unsaved. For the Holy Spirit has revealed, and still reveals that many of those who belong to the Church are going to hell. For the summer is ended, the harvest is past, time is running out, yet we are not saved.
Having spent years in the Church, many of us do not even understand what it means to be born again. Many do not know God; many have not experienced Him. Many still do not know ‘the tellings’ of the Spirit. The knowledge and power of the Kingdom to come we still lack. The life of Christ is yet to be formed in us, so we are still being defeated by sin and darkness. But darkness should not have conquered us if we pursued after what we were called to pursue.
For we have sought after many things, pursued many frivolities like titles and positions, appointment and role, singing and dancing plus other secondary matters which has little or zero weight in the light of eternity with God. But that which is most important for why we are in the Church, we are yet to have. The summer is passing, the clock is ticking, eternity beckons, judgment approaches, hell rejoices, but many of us are still not saved.
Very many Church goers have died in the condition of not being saved. I cried bitterly when God caused me to know that many of us are perishing. Oh! How I cried deeply that noon.
Our Churchiness and everything we chase after means nothing if we do not find God while we are still in that time frame appointed to us. But how can we find Whom we are yet to seek with all our hearts? How can we know Whom we do not draw close to?
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13
Now, to those who are dead and cannot come back to listen and seek Him, the harvest is past, and the summer is ended.
But for us that live, the summer end also approaches very fast. Time is ticking, many are dying every day, and the question is, ‘Are you are saved?’ Church goer, have you found Jesus Christ or are you just whiling away your time in many religiosities that do not matter? Are you born again? Have you experienced God beyond the letter? Is the nature of Christ formed in you? And is your name in the Book of Life? We must tremble much if we cannot answer a bold yes to all these questions.
For many, the summer has ended. For others, it will take some more time, then comes the end of the time allocated to them. Let us endeavor to be certain of our salvation. We must not delay in doing the things that is required of us, and we cannot afford to pursue what is not vital while we are still in the summer. Lest, we shall cry that the harvest is past, the summer is ended and we were not saved.