The Danger of Spiritual Delay

Jeremiah 8.20

Why are we often so resistant to reconciliation with God? This is about our various reactions to the call of Christ, and how we avoid spiritual and eternal issues. Here, also, are some of the real dangers of delay, and the way to respond to God, and find His blessings.

‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

This is about the dangers of spiritual delay. Now this comes from the time of the famous Lachish letters just coming up to 586 BC in Jerusalem. You will have heard of those famous letters that were found in the guard room of an outpost of the city of Jerusalem, written by a commander of that outpost to the authorities in Jerusalem complaining about the lack of fortifications, the people going in and out of the city, the unawareness of the impending invasion by Chaldean forces. And those letters, written in cursive script on pieces of pottery, are all on display in the British Museum. A tale of the tension just before the forces of Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem, a historic event which is in the Bible and it is also elaborated upon in the Chaldean Chronicles.

Well this comes from the time and here is Jeremiah who has been appealing to the people to repent of their sin and their idolatry and to call upon God to save them from this doom, and he’s been doing this appealing to the people with his unique kind of preaching for about 40 years already. He lived to the age of between 85 and 90. He lived to see all these things take place, and he went on ministering for some time afterwards, it’s generally believed, for at least 60-62 years. And if you know the book of the prophet Jeremiah it is full of the most remarkable, powerfully graphic illustrations and appeals to the people to turn to the Lord, to seek him and to find him and to have him as their defender.

Well he was one of the great prophets and priests of Judah in those times, but the people would not repent. It’s strange how ages come and go. There are times, and there have been in this country times, when there has been religious awakening, and the people have become strangely sensitive to the things of God and vast numbers have been converted to God. We had it at the time of the Reformation. We had it in the 16th century, in the 17th century there was a mighty period of religious awakening. In the 18th century, also in the early 19th century, there was regional awakening, but we are one of these ‘in-between’ times when people turned away from God and so it is today and so it was then.

At the time of this event in Jerusalem the people had turned away from God, and so Jeremiah appeals to them constantly. Now this verse is so interesting. The harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved. They tended to measure years by seasons, and when they say this, the harvest is past, the summer is ended, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s late in the year. It means another year has gone by.

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