Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2003 James Melough
"At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of
Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the
bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of
The Babylonians wouldn't be
content just to capture and plunder the city, and carry the inhabitants away
captive: they would rifle also the tombs in search of valuables buried with
the dead, and as a means of expressing their contempt for these former great
ones. It is to be remembered, however, that none of this would have been
possible apart from God's permission, and His giving that permission declares
that those who desecrated the tombs were unwittingly doing His will, for
clearly this permitted profanation was the expression of His anger, this
visible dishonor of the bodies of those who had dishonored Him while they
lived, being an indication of the far more terrible recompense to be suffered
by them eternally.
Nor should anyone miss the
lesson being taught in that the list of those whose graves were desecrated,
begins with the kings of Judah, the princes, the priests, the prophets. The
leaders, who should have been an example to the people, were they who had been
foremost in leading them away from God. It is no different today. Those in
positions of leadership in government, in business, in education, and in the
church, are in the forefront of the revolt against God. But as it was with
rebellious Judah, so is it also with a rebel world and an equally rebellious
professing but apostate church: the judgment of the God Whose patience they
too have exhausted, is about to break on their guilty heads.
"And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of
heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they
have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshiped: they
shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of
The love, the service, the
obedience, the searching after, the worship, that belonged to God, they in
their folly had given to the sun, moon, and stars, inanimate things called
into existence by His Word, and upheld by that same power. (Ahaz and Manasseh
were the ones guilty of introducing this idolatry).
As they in life had
prostrated themselves to the earth before these heavenly bodies, so now would
their desecrated bones lie on the earth before them in death, the stench of
decay now ascending instead of the worship they had once offered. And their
folly is demonstrated in that these "gods" before whom they had prostrated
themselves, were powerless to raise them again from death, while the God they
had rejected and affronted had that power, and whereas obedience would have
seen Him raise them to eternal life at the resurrection of life, their
idolatry guaranteed that He would raise them instead at the resurrection of
death for consignment to the eternal torment of the lake of fire.
And so is it today. The
world and the professing but apostate church, have devoted themselves to honor
the things represented by the sun, moon and stars, for the sun in a good sense
represents Christ the Light of the world, but as the source of natural light,
it represents the world's wisdom; the moon, in a good sense, is a type of the
Church as a corporate witness for God, but in a bad sense, of the harlot
system masquerading as the church; while the stars, in a good sense portray
the Lord's witnesses leading men to Christ, but in a bad sense, those looked
up to and followed by the giddy masses.
No thinking person will
refuse to admit that men today worship worldly knowledge; follow blindly and
willingly the teaching of Satanic humanism; and in their devotion to equally
Satanic hedonism, make heroes, role models, veritable gods, of those who, for
the most part, are morally the scum of the earth.
The leaving of those bones
to become "dung upon the face of the earth" declares symbolically that the
deeds of those whose bones were thus desecrated, were as filthy as dung in
God's sight. The evil in the world and in the professing church today is no
"And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that
remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have
driven them, saith the Lord of hosts."
Such would be their misery
in the land of their captivity, that they would wish for death, and surely
this recalls the words of John relative to the coming Tribulation, "And in
those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to
die, and death shall flee from them," Re 9:6. No reasonable mind will fail to
see in Israel's past history, the foreshadowing of a more complete fulfillment
in a soon-coming day. The siege of Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah
foreshadows also that which came in AD 70 at the hand of Rome, and points also
to the far more terrible judgments yet to come at the hand of the Beast in the
Above and beyond the literal
is the additional truth that all who chose to disobey God are choosing eternal
death rather than eternal life.
"Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; Shall they fall, and
not rise? shall he turn away, and not return?"
God continues to declare
their folly by having His prophet remind them that when one falls down he
hastens to get up again; when one finds that he has taken a wrong road he
hastens back to the point of departure so that he may find the right way. But
not so Israel and Judah. So dead were they spiritually that they had no
consciousness of having fallen, of having turned aside out of the right way.
Complacent in their ignorance and adherence to an empty religious ritual, they
declared that it was others who had fallen, who had taken the wrong road. And
so is it with today’s apostate Christendom. She looks with supercilious pride
at what she terms “backward countries,” failing to understand that her empty
ritualistic so-called worship is more abominable to God than is the activity
of these other people, for she sins wantonly against greater light.
"Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding?
they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return."
God's referring to them as
"this people of Jerusalem" declares His refusal to acknowledge them any more
as His people. As they had rejected Him, so now does He reject them. It is a
fearful thing when a man, a nation, or a church eventually reaches this point
through continued rebellion. Judah's backsliding wasn't just a temporary
thing from which she would recover herself. It had been continued so long
that the people were deceived into believing that they weren't backslidden and
in need of returning to God. Their sin was of such long standing that they
were no longer conscious of their wretched state, their consciences seared as
with a hot iron so that they mistook evil for good, and good for evil, and
would not return because they were unaware of having departed. So is it with
the professing but apostate Church so accurately portrayed by backslidden
"I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his
wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the
horse rusheth into the battle."
In spite of having listened
long and patiently in the hope of hearing truth from their lips, God had heard
only that which declared their utter wickedness and departure from truth.
Hoping to find some evidence of repentance, to find one of them examining his
life and exclaiming in horror, What have I done? a disappointed God had found
only adamant determination on the part of the bulk of the people to continue
in the path of sin as they rushed down the path to perdition with the reckless
excitement of a horse charging into battle unconscious of his danger.
"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and
the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know
not the judgment of the Lord."
The migratory birds
instinctively return each year in obedience to God's appointed order, but
foolish Israel refused to return to Him, their sin compounded by the fact that
they were of an infinitely higher order, governed, not by instinct, but by
intelligence and reason, so that the remembrance of all God's goodness should
not only have compelled their obedience, but should have hastened their return
from such brief departure as might have resulted from momentary carelessness.
Judgment here is literally the law of the Lord.
Today's apostate church is
even more culpable, for in addition to having the advantage of more worldly
knowledge than was available to the ancients, she has also the recorded
history of Israel's folly and its attendant disastrous results.
"How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo,
certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain."
God asks in indignation how
they could dare to say that they were wise, and that they possessed and obeyed
His law, when their scribes (writers: teachers) in their writings and teaching
had falsified and twisted the meaning out of all resemblance to what He had
commanded, so that His written Word was made to appear to justify their evil
Those who pose as teachers
and guides of today's apostate church are guilty of the same falsification of
"The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected
the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?"
Their so-called wise men
were not yet ashamed and dismayed, but so certain was the coming judgment,
that God could speak of it as already come, their rejection of His Word
proving that their vaunted "wisdom" was in reality utter folly. The same
certain judgment yet to come upon apostate Christendom, will reveal that the
"wisdom" of those who dictate her conduct is also folly.
"Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that
shall inherit them: for everyone from the least even unto the greatest is
given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest everyone dealeth
As God had given them wives
and farms, so would He now in His anger take those things from them, and give
them to their conquerors, the Babylonians, because in addition to their
idolatry, all of them from the least to the greatest, the prophet as well as
the priest, had coveted the possessions of others, seizing them by both fraud
Inasmuch as the wife
represents the expression of a man's spiritual life - godly wives representing
the expression of true spiritual life; the ungodly representing the expression
of what the unbeliever mistakes for spiritual life - the giving of their wives
to others may be the symbolic announcement that the spiritual life
professedly possessed by Israel would be taken from them and offered to the
Gentiles, as it was, in fact, in AD 70.
Today's apostate church will
be seized by the Beast who will ravage her in the soon coming Tribulation.
Since the farms represented
their wealth, the seizure of their farms
by the Babylonian conquerors may well foreshadow the giving of the land of
Canaan to the Gentiles in AD 70, and the Beast's seizure of the wealth of the
apostate church in the Tribulation.
The grasping of prophet and
priest for gain needs little comment. Their counterparts in today's apostate
church are equally avaricious, not one willing to so much as lift his hand
without being paid, as the Lord on another occasion declared of Israel, "Who
is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye
kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the
Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand," Mal 1:10. The
cupidity of today’s clerics is responsible for the attitude expressed in the
language of many, “All the church wants is money.”
"For they have healed the hurt from the daughter of my people slightly,
saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace."
Verses 10 and 11 are a
virtual repetition of 6:12-14, the repetition undoubtedly being intended to
emphasize the warning. The charlatan prophets and priests had treated Israel's
deadly wound as though it were a minor injury. They minimized the enormity of
the offense against God, and assured the people that peace would continue,
when in fact, God's judgment was about to fall upon them.
It is no different today.
Deluded political and religious leaders proclaim that the world is about to
enter the long dreamed of age of peace, little realizing that the present
tenuous peace is just the calm before the storm, when the earth will be
convulsed by war, famine, disease and anarchy worse than anything it has ever
Blind religious leaders are
also busy minimizing the magnitude of man's sin against God, offering healing
through a spurious "gospel" that omits mention of man's ruined state, all
reference to hell, the need of repentance and faith in a crucified and risen
Savior, and that promises man everlasting peace in response to a mere assent
to the historicity of Christ, or the parroted repetition of the so-called
"sinner's prayer," a prayer in regard to which Scripture is ominously silent.
There is no more deadly error than to believe that assent to the historicity
of Christ is the same as believing in Him as Savior. The former will take you
to hell; the latter, to heaven! Faith in the mere repetition of the newly
invented “sinner’s prayer” is equally deadly. Men are saved only when the
Holy Spirit convicts them of sin, impels the penitent cry, “What must I do to
be saved,” and leads them to put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the
One Who has been delivered for their offences, and Who has been raised again
as the evidence of their being justified by that believing faith.
The condition of apostate
Judah in the days of Jeremiah is but the OT picture of the state of apostate
Christendom today, the judgment that overtook the one being but a
foreshadowing of that which is about to engulf the other.
"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at
all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them
that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the
here refers to their idolatry, so long continued that they had neither shame
nor misgiving. It had become an accepted way of life with them. But God
wasn't indifferent. It wasn't acceptable to Him, and His just retribution was
about to overtake them, their “falling” referring to their dying under His
As has been noted already,
an apostate church is equally idolatrous, the only difference between her and
apostate Judah being that the gods she worships are money, education,
pleasure, ease, sport, music, art, etc. This is no less abominable to God,
nor will it escape His judgment, she, as blind and deaf as the Judah of
Jeremiah's day, being equally oblivious of the fact that it is
abominable to God, that He will visit it with judgment, and that that
judgment is imminent.
"I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the
vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I
have given them shall pass away from them."
Certainly multitudes of them
would die in the coming invasion, and most of those of that evil generation
who survived the Babylonian onslaught would eventually die in the land of
their captivity, but the consumption mentioned here appears to relate rather
to their corporate identity. Their national existence would be brought to an
end, and when renewed, it would be as constituted by a new generation. That
old idolatrous generation would never again constitute Israel in the land.
There is a dreadful finality
about this, reminding us that it is a fearful thing to exhaust God's patience
and pass for ever beyond the pale of mercy. The grapes and figs of Canaan,
the evidences of God's bountiful provision for their comfort, would never
again be enjoyed by that rebel generation. The vines and fig trees would die
as the land lay desolate for the seventy years of the coming captivity.
When God first spoke to
Moses relative to the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and His bringing them
into Canaan, He spoke of the land as “flowing with milk and honey,” so it
seems that there may be a special significance to His referring here to its
vines and grapes, fig trees and figs, and their leaves, rather than to its
milk and honey, and the reason becomes clear when we remember what is typified
by the vine and the fig. The vine represents Israel as she was when God
brought her out of Egypt and planted her in Canaan, see Isa 5:1-7; and wine,
the fruit of the vine, is scripturally synonymous with joy and gladness, see
The fig tree is also a type
of Israel, the leafy, but fruitless fig tree of Mk 11:13 being a type of
Israel as she was in the days of Christ: leafy (symbol of mere empty
profession), but fruitless (lacking spiritual life); and withered, Mk 11:20-21
representing her dead state since AD 70 till the restoration of her autonomy
in 1948, her present state since 1948 being portrayed by the fig tree
described in Mk 13:28, her branch tender, and putting forth leaves: the
evidence of her awaking after her long winter sleep of the past two thousand
years. Her restoration to fulness of blessing is very near!
The fruitless and leafless
vine and fig tree of this present verse portrays Israel, not only during the
seventy years of the Babylonian captivity, but also during the long years
between AD 70 and 1948, during which she has produced no fruit for God, nor
born any testimony on His behalf. The day is fast approaching, however, when
there will emerge from the crucible of the Tribulation judgments a repentant
believing remnant, the new Israel that will inherit millennial blessing, and
that will glorify God in that halcyon age, not as the vine or the fig tree,
but as the olive tree, whose oil is the biblical symbol of the fulness of the
Holy Spirit’s blessing.
What remorse will gnaw the
hearts of the impenitent in the torment of the lake of fire when they realize,
eternally too late, what blessings would have been theirs had they obeyed God
and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior!
"Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced
cities, and let us be silent there: for the Lord our God hath put us to
silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against
These words anticipate the
reaction of Judah when the judgment would fall, and the Babylonians would
invade the land. Fleeing into the larger walled cities, they would await
their doom, every mouth stopped, all arrogant claims of righteousness
silenced, as they would discover, too late for remedy, that Jeremiah was
right, and their false prophets and proud leaders, wrong.
Their being compelled to
drink the “water of gall” is the grim reminder that all who refuse to drink
“the water of life,” i.e., trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, will suffer
the fate of the rich man described in Lk 16 who from the torment of hell’s
unquenchable flame pleaded, “send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his
finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame,” Lk
Their silence recalls the
words of Paul, "Now we know that whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them
who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world
may become guilty before God," Ro 3:19. So will it be also at the
judgment of the great white throne, the bitter irony related to unbelief being
that the voluntary confession of guilt, which given in time, would have saved
the soul, will be unreservedly given then, but too late, in eternity. Can any
folly be greater than that which postpones till eternity the confession that
damns the soul, when the same confession made in time and in conjunction with
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, would have brought salvation?
There is no greater tragedy
than that of repentance come too late!
"We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold
Too late they lamented that
instead of the peace they had been wrongly taught to expect, had come instead
evil; and in place of anticipated health, terror.
It is to be noted that the
terror came suddenly, but its sudden coming was the result of their refusal to
ignore warning, while believing the lies of their false prophets. Had they
listened to God's oft repeated warnings, they would have known to expect the
terror; and had they obeyed His warnings, would have saved themselves.
So is it today with a
spiritually blind and deaf world, and an equally blind and deaf apostate
church. The coming judgment will overtake them as suddenly as it did Judah in
the days of Jeremiah, and for the same reason. It will be not because of lack
of warning, but because of warning long repeated, but ignored. Believers are
the tangible evidence that the warning has been, and is still being given, for
it is belief of God's warning that leads men to save themselves from the
coming wrath, by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
The element of fear,
however, is missing from today's false gospel, but no man will be saved who
hasn't first been made to tremble at the thought of meeting a Holy God. It is
the fear of God that impels men to seek a hiding place, there being only one
such refuge, the man Christ Jesus, as it is written in Scripture, "A man
shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as
rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary
land," Isa 32:2.
"The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the
sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured
the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein."
Horses are one of the
biblical symbols of strength, particularly the strength of man in opposition
to God, and here they represent the might of the Babylonians, a strong people
who defied God, but who here were unwittingly doing His will in being the
instrument of chastisement against rebellious Judah. Since Dan means
judging: a judge, spiritual minds will have no difficulty reading the
spiritual message. The invasion that began in Dan, in the north, was the
judgment of God upon His rebellious people, the intrusion of the invader being
impossible apart from God's permission, that permission being given only
because apostate Judah had refused to repent, and must therefore perish.
The north is the biblical
direction that speaks of mere natural intelligence, which invariably works
against God, there being no clearer demonstration of that truth than the
rebellious activity of this twenty-first century world obsessed with its quest
for all knowledge except that of God; and its foolish confidence that that
same knowledge will yet bring the peace which God says is available only to
those who confess their nothingness and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as
The destruction which
overtook the foolish Judeans of Jeremiah’s day was but a foreshadowing of the
far more terrible Tribulation judgments that will leave this present world in
ruins, and that will sweep two-thirds of its population into eternity, only
the tiny believing remnant entering heaven, the vast majority plunging into
torment in hell to await their final consignment to the unquenchable flame of
the lake of fire.
"For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices (vipers), among you, which
will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord."
The word serpent as
used here is derived from a primitive root related to the idea of hissing or
whispering magic spells or enchantments; while cockatrice is related to
the idea of extruding, as in a viper’s thrusting out the tongue and hissing;
and there is no question that the statement is first to be understood
literally; but that doesn’t automatically exclude also a spiritual application
to “that old serpent” Re 12:9; 20:2, Satan and all his viper brood, for in the
final analysis it was he who had first enticed Judah to sin, and those who
will not serve God must serve Satan. Judah and Benjamin, having refused
Jehovah's easy service, must now as the compelled slaves of the Babylonians,
render an arduous service to the old serpent, for the Babylonians were simply
The reference to the
impossibility of charming the serpents, is related to the general belief that
snakes can be charmed or lulled by music. Nothing, however, would charm
Judah's conquerors. As the natural proclivity of the serpent is to bite and
kill, so would the Babylonians, the spiritual seed of the old serpent, bite
and destroy those, who rebels though they were, were still God's earthly
people, having amongst them the small believing remnant who were the true
Israel, the seed of the godly line which would eventually produce the
"When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me."
It is generally accepted
that the speaker here is Jeremiah, Judah's folly having not only brought
sorrow to her own heart, but to his also. Such was his love for the sinful
people that he found no pleasure in having to announce their doom, his genuine
sorrow at what their folly had brought upon them, causing him to weep, and to
be known as "the weeping prophet." The same compassion reigned in the heart
of Christ as He also sorrowfully announced the doom of a later generation of
the same rebellious people; and all who would be true servants of God, must
declare His warnings with the same compassion.
"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
The speaker in the first
part of this verse appears to be the prophet; and those lamenting, they who
would be left in the land, crying on behalf of "them that dwell in a far
country," i.e., the majority who would be carried captive to Babylon.
"Is not the Lord in Zion? is
not her king in her?" The questioner is taken by some to be Jehovah; by
others, Jeremiah; and by others, the remnant left in the desolated land. The
resolution of that question, however, is relatively unimportant compared to
the necessity of learning what a fearful thing it is to so provoke God that He
departs either from a nation or an individual. He is a very great fool who
ignores the warning, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man," Ge 6:3, and
repeated in Pr 29:1, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall
suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
Judah's tragic history is so
only because she ignored Divine warning; and sadly, a rebel world and apostate
church will demonstrate that that sad history is but their own prewritten, and
for the same reason - rejection of Divine warning.
There is no uncertainty as
to the identity of the One Who asks the last question. It is Jehovah Himself,
and well might He ask, "Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven
images, and with strange vanities?" The reader too must stand amazed at the
response of Israel and Judah to such kindnesses as had been shown them by the
God from Whom they had wantonly turned aside, and mocked with their idolatry.
A greater wonder is that a rebel world and apostate church, having this
history to warn them against such folly, should be guilty of the same offense;
nor should it surprise anyone that the impending Tribulation era will see
meted out to them judgments far more terrible than those which overtook the
rebels of Jeremiah's day.
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."
The grain harvest was reaped
in April through June, and the fruit harvest in August through October, and
with the ending of the harvest season the lament of doomed Judah was, "and we
are not saved."
The frequency with which
this verse has been used in the Gospel has resulted in misunderstanding
relative to the meaning of the word saved in the present context. It
is literally delivered or set free, i.e., from the impending
Babylonian invasion. But the Gospel application is very fitting, for it would
be difficult to find a more dramatic picture of the dreadful state of those
whose rejection of the Gospel finally exhausts God's patience, and carries
them over that dread invisible line that separates His mercy from His wrath,
which carries them for ever beyond hope of mercy, and assures them of an
eternity of torment in the lake of fire.
Nor should we miss the
propriety of this reference to the harvest season passed for ever beyond
recall. The grain and fruit (the evidence of God's gracious care) gathered
during those months, wouldn't be eaten by the rebels, for many of them would
be slain by the invader, and the rest would be carried off into captivity.
But the produce of that
harvest now past, is a figure of God's provision in the Gospel. As rebellion
deprived Judah of the enjoyment of those good things, so will continued
rejection of the Gospel result in its blessings being taken away for ever from
the rejecters, leaving them, like rebel Judah, to lament eternally, "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."
This continues to disclose
the tender heart of Jeremiah. Though he must, as God's prophet, pronounce
the doom of rebel Judah, yet such was his pity that their pain was his, his
compassion being a foreshadowing of that which filled the heart of Christ and
led Him, not only to weep over rebellious Jerusalem, see Lk 19:41, but that
led Him out to Calvary to die for her sins. In a far deeper sense than
Jeremiah ever knew, the Lord could say, "For the hurt of the daughter of my
people am I hurt...." The prophet's hurt was empathic: the Lord's was
physical as well, as it is written, "But he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities .... for the transgression
of my people was he stricken," Isa 53:5-8.
The Lord could and did do
what Jeremiah couldn't: He died, not only for Judah's sin, but for the sin of
the whole world.
There is special
significance in its being said it was for the hurt of the daughter of
his people that the prophet was hurt, for the daughter in Scripture speaks of
passivity of the will. The message therefore seems to be that while his
weeping was for all of Judah, it was particularly for the believing remnant -
Daniel and his friends, for example - who must also suffer the consequences of
the folly of their unbelieving fellows.
The Babylonian captivity of
Judah is but the foreshadowing of that which befell Israel in AD 70, the
supreme tragedy of Calvary being that Israel need never have experienced that
captivity and scattering which have lasted for two thousand years, had she but
repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior Messiah. And it
is to be noted, that as it was in connection with the Babylonian captivity, so
was it also in AD 70: believers weren't exempt from the rigors of the
judgment; nor are they today. The spiritual famine gripping an apostate
church affects the obedient believer as well as the carnal, and the false
professor, the great difference, however, being that the believer rests in the
assurance that the worst that can happen humanly speaking simply transports
his soul from earth to heaven.
"Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the
health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Made in Gilead from the
resin of the styrax tree, and widely exported, neither the balm of Gilead nor
of any other place on earth, could heal Judah's sickness for it was of the
soul. Repentance and faith alone could heal such a malady, but sadly neither
was to be found within her borders, nor are they to be found today either in a
godless world or in an apostate church.