Friday after Populus Sion, The Second Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Jeremiah 30:1-22 (NKJV)
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 “Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you. 3 For behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.'”
4 Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah. 5 “For thus says the Lord: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? 7 Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
8 ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. 9 But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, Whom I will raise up for them.
10 ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’says the Lord, ‘Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. but I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished.’
12 “For thus says the Lord: ‘Your affliction is incurable, your wound is severe. 13 There is no one to plead your cause, that you may be bound up; You have no healing medicines. 14 All your lovers have forgotten you; They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased. 15 Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you.
16 ‘Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; Those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey. 17 For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”‘
18 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; The city shall be built upon its own mound, and the palace shall remain according to its own plan. 19 Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. 20 Their children also shall be as before, and their congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all who oppress them. 21 Their nobles shall be from among them, and their governor shall come from their midst; Then I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach Me; For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the Lord. 22 ‘You shall be My people, and I will be your God.'”
When we sin we should not disdain our guilt. For it is the work of the Holy Ghost upon our conscience calling us back into repentance; calling us back from thinking that living contrary to God’s Law is okay; calling us back into faith in our Lord Jesus Christ as our One and Only Redeemer. We cannot save ourselves by our works, and when we sin, it is one more way that we are putting our works above God’s commands.
Our sin is an incurable disease. It is a severe wound caused by our enemies, the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh. Receiving this wound has only one outcome: death. The Lord God tells the Prophet Jeremiah to tell the people that they should not cry about their affliction. They did this to themselves on account of their sin, therefore, they will not be able to find any medicine or home remedy to cure them of their incurable disease. The only way they are to be cured is by the working of the Lord God.
Therefore, our heavenly Father sends to us His One and Only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to bear our sick flesh, but Himself without sin, so that we might be cured from the curses caused by sin, death, and the devil, and we might take possession, through faith, of the heavenly Kingdom of our Lord. The Lord Jesus’ perfect fulfilling of the Law and His suffering in our place on the tree of the holy Cross wins for us forgiveness, life, and salvation. His Holy Ghost imparts those gifts to us through the means of grace—the medicine for our souls.