"Why are we sitting here? Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities and perish there!
For the Lord our God has doomed us to perish and given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against him.
We hoped for peace, but no good has come, for a time of healing but there was only terror.
The snorting of the enemy's horses is heard from Dan; at the neighing of their stallions the whole land trembles. They have come to devour the land and everything in it, the cry and all who live there.
'See, I will send venomous snakes among you, vipers that cannot be charmed, and they will bite you,' declares the Lord'".
The people of Judea and Jerusalem have come to understand that there are consequences of sin. They confess they believed all those false promises of peace from the leaders of their land; promises from those who were leading them further and further into their sinful activities.
The Babylonians were compared to venomous snakes - something that the Lord actually had sent among his people before, when they had gone back to their sinful ways. I'm sure that they were aware of this, from the passing of the tales of their forefathers that had come out of Egypt. At that time, the Lord told Moses in Numbers 21: 8 - 9 - "The Lord said to Moses, 'Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live. So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived".
Only the people who looked at the bronze snake on the pole and believed God, lived. This is an illustration of Christ's death on the cross, and the necessity of a personal faith for salvation.
Psalm 58, written by David, also speaks of venomous snakes; his comparison being that of how the words of the judges and leaders of his time, had abused their power to mislead the children of God. This seems to be what the people of Jeremiah's time allowed to happen as well, and now they were about to reap the consequences of their blindly following their misguided teachings.
58: 1-4 - "Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly among men? No, in your heart you devise injustice and your hands mete out violence in the earth. Even from birth, the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies. Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skilled the enchanter may be".
The words of the wicked rulers were so convincing to the people, that they were deaf to the appeals of God to turn away from them, and turn back to God with repentant hearts.
Do you see a pattern here?
- The people who followed Moses out of Egypt to the promised land of God, rebelled against God by following false gods and the words of the wicked who wanted to have power over them.
- The people in David's time were also being misled by unjust judges and rulers; deaf to the call of the Lord for them to repent.
- The people in Jeremiah's time were now in the same situation; they too had fallen prey to the false teachings and false promises of those who were in authority over them.
- Are we repeating history here ourselves? God has surely blessed our nation since it's foundation in 1776, but how much longer will he continue to do so, when so many are trusting in any and everything but him; choosing to follow their own desires, and putting their trust in the words and promises of peace and prosperity from those who are now in authority, as well as the ones about to come to the seats of authority in our land. I repeat that it is our duty as Christian believers, to pray for our leaders; pray for them to seek Godly wisdom to lead our country. Pray that they will justly deal with those who have abused their power in the large corporations, which has brought us to this current state of economic disaster.
I urge to you to pray as I do, that my ears, my heart will be open to hear the word and direction from the Lord; that my eyes will seek him out in his word, enabling me to discern truth. We need to pray that our country will wake up from this spiritual stagnation caused by the deceptive ways of the world; to be alert to the words of truth that our Lord Jesus spoke to us, and follow the direction and leading of His Holy Spirit, to a place of repentence, forgiveness, and restoration.
On my playlist, there is a song called, "The Voice of Truth", by Casting Crowns. I hope you will find it on here and take a listen - it will give you encouragement, strength and hope in our Lord.