Shared August 31st, 2014
Jeremiah 8:20 says, “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.”
As we continue our previous exhortation, I would do so by asking, “Would you agree with me that no one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions?” If he only had good intentions, he wouldn’t have done what he did, right? Today is the last day of August and in many places school is starting. So, with the Summer ending, where are your plans? Or, where are you financially? Do you know that so many financial dreams are thwarted just because of the failure to act upon good intentions? And by the way, let me also be very quick to add as well that the Good Samaritan had money, not only good intentions. That is why he was able to pay to have the victim of that highway robbery taken care of, for a whole year. So again I ask, “Where are you financially?”
Let me now dig out the story behind our chosen scripture verse of Jeremiah 8. Somewhere in the ancient past, around the year 600 BC the people of Judah (Israel had split into 2 kingdoms and Judah and Benjamin were known as the southern kingdom) woke up to a day that they never anticipated, a day that was full of tremendous aggravation. It was not anticipated because they had planned so many wonderful things that they were going to do. As a matter of fact, they were convinced that they were about to gain enormous national pride and prosperity. After all, Josiah their king was good, had successfully rebuilt the Temple and had also galvanized the whole nation so that they had a renewed focus; they believed that they could take on anything, any nation.
And you know how it is, everything’s going real fine and sweet for you when out of nowhere and without warning, unbeknownst to you, something horrible that had been lurking in the invisible shadows jumps out at you and ruins your plans. That was the case with the people of Judah. At Megiddo one terrible day, Judah’s army formed a huge and formidable convoy to intercept Pharaoh Necho of Egypt, who was on his way to fight the Babylonians.
Well, what happened? On that horrid day, all Judah’s dreams were smashed because right there on the plain of Megiddo somehow their fine king, Josiah, lay dying. Not only that but his army was crushed to pulp. Not long after that, at Carchemish came another dashing of whatever was left of their dreams. What on earth occurred? Well, this time with Egypt defeated, the Babylonians nimbly stepped in and victoriously took over. Judah, had great plans, bright hopes and worthy ambitions, but suddenly it found itself a vassal of Babylon. Crushed. Dried up like a California raisin in the hot sun.
That is what led the weeping prophet, Jeremiah, to record our verse, which was Judah’s plaintive cry: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Simply, they were complaining “Jeremiah everything is late! We were on top. We had terrific plans. We had very high hopes. We indeed had formidable intentions. Our dreams were fantastic! But now it’s too late!” “Look, the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
I don’t know about you but don’t you at times feel that way in your own life? Maybe you’re a parent, and suddenly that child(ren) of yours is not a child anymore. You see others influence her/him; other things are competing for his/her mind. Because you were not paying close attention, you feel or you find that it may be too late to do anything to shape that character and guide that heart. “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Or for you, you’ve done part of your education, but you didn’t do all that well; you were supposed to take summer school but somehow you pushed it away, and so if you don’t get into gear right now you will never have the grades for that program. “The harvest is past, the summer is ended.
What about this: that you’re a man/ woman of a good many years, but now it’s suddenly hit you that there just isn’t plenty of time anymore. You think about your age and of the many things you once thought you might do, but now you know you will never do. Do you feel disappointment? Pain? Shame? Rage? Maybe this exhortation that you are reading now reminds you that you are in the August of your life and so now some desperation wants to step in and set in. “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” TBC
Proposed prayer: Jeremiah 8:18 “’You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.’ Lord, as the Summer ends and the Winter chills begin to encircle my life, I pray and humbly ask for help to put you first in all things and also for help to implement my good intentions, whether it is to help others, minister in Your house or take care of my duties. Holy Spirit, I ask for strength to do Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
A wonderful week to you.