Saturday, May 21, 2016

Jeremiah 30:12-17 -- On Curing the Incurable

"For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.
There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.
All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.
Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.
For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after."
Jeremiah 30:12-17

It's hard to pick a selection of verses sometimes because pulling things out of context loses some of the beauty of the whole.  I felt like that with this chapter.  The whole thing is talking to Judah and Israel (spoken to as separate and distinct groups), saying that in the last days they will be restored to their own lands, and ruled by their own people.  Lots of fascinating stuff in here.

This selection seems to be kind of contradictory at first.  God says that our wounds are incurable, then we find out that our wounds are actually chastisement for sins.  Then our sorrow is also incurable, because of sin.  But then it turns around, and goes back to reaffirming messages from earlier in the chapter about saving his people.

My favorite part is that although our wounds are incurable, and they are natural consequences of our own actions... despite all of that, God will restore us and heal us anyway.  As it says several verses later, we will be restored to being his people, and he will be our God.

I think the somewhat contradictory nature of these verses reflects the contradictory nature of our lives to a large degree.  We lose ourselves, and lose our way.  We wound ourselves badly, and we have no way out, or back, or any way to stop the bleeding.  We're doomed.  And yet, despite our obviously fatal mistakes and the death sentence that we've given ourselves, nothing is incurable to God.  And, if we are willing, God gives us that way back... a way back to life, a way home, a way to even be something greater than we are, part of something more.

One of the messages of the gospel is that we're never so lost that God can't find us, and we're never so trapped or doomed or hopeless that God can't save us. As we turn to him, he will heal our self-inflicted fatal injuries, and make us new people... more than we are, and ones that can be worthy of Zion.

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