The One who look at tearsJeremiah 8:18-9:1Ⅰ O Lord, our cry
In the beginning, it seems I say a difficult thing; but, the reason why the end of this paragraph is until 9:1, it is because 新改訳 pulls a flow of 口語訳 Version and 文語訳 Version (Meiji translation). Its source is unclear, but probably, it may come from King James Version. However, 新共同訳 Version and Iwanami Version treat this as 8:23. Both the Masora text of Hebrew and Septuagint are same, too. But in fact, the text of Hebrew and Septuagint did not have the division of a small Chapter and Verse. Therefore, the text of this morning is the place that is good as 8:18-23.
At this point, sadness of prophet Jeremiah is dealt with. The sadness of Jeremiah came out several times so far (including 3:21-22, 4:19-21), but, here, his sadness is more deeper, and the impression "his wound is incurable" has become strong. Perhaps, in the eyes of Jeremiah, the destruction of Israel would have reflected on the decisive. "My sorrow is beyond healing, my heart is faint within me! Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land: 'Is the Lord not in Zion? Is he King not within her? Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?'" (18-19) As for the sorrow of this Jeremiah, because there is it at Verse 20 in this way, "Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are not saved.", it may depend on the intense famine that attacked Israel. There is its state in Verse 13-14. "There will be no grapes on the vine, and no figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall wither; and what I have given them shall pass away. Why are we sitting still? Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities, and let us perish there, because the Lord our God has doomed us and given us poisoned water to drink, for we have sinned against the Lord."
However, because famine was not uncommon in this district, about the lament which is saying "let us go into the fortified cities, and let us perish there,", we should see it that there was the intervention of the Lord there which is more strong than famine. However, the cry of the people "Is the Lord not in Zion?,", it is not that there is not the Lord; though they must say that the Lord does not mind them, but, such recognition is missing, and it is a problem. Because, the famine was done by the Lord. In that meaning, though 新改訳 Version says "I will make as they want," (13), it is right. 新共同訳 Version translates it, "What I gave, was lost from them.".
Jeremiah is not going to hide that sadness here. Surely, Jeremiah would hope such his sadness reach to the ears of God. Therefore, I think "Behold, listen!" will be "Please, listen". "Is the Lord not in Zion?", it is wrong recognition as I spoke earlier, but, such a sorrowful cry comes to me as a question "Don't you hear?". He watches the pains of people as his own pains, and it came to his grief saying, "For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;" (21). From this Jeremiah, it is taught that it is a person snuggling up to people at the same time as a prophet is a person to pass the words of God. I wish to be so.
Ⅱ To the One who has hidden Himself
However, after all, the Lord is not in Zion. No, the Lord is so close there, but He has hidden Himself from the eyes of the people. And also, to the eyes of Jeremiah, it seems that the Lord stays away from people distantly. "Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land:", it will be such meaning. I repeat it many times, but, there is actually the Lord near. However, they feel that the Lord has left in the distance. It is for the problem of their own, for the problem of that they have sinned to the Lord. Jeremiah was fully aware of it. However, Jeremiah grieves here, "Why has the Lord left them distantly?". Though he understand enough that asking it to the Lord is sprain, he cannot help still asking it. Jeremiah has become the same as the invisible people of eyes with stupidity, here. If we hear it so, "Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are not saved." (20), it sounds like the deep deep lamentation that it harbors in the inside of Jeremiah. Famine was there certainly in the past. However, this might be another crisis to attack the life and death of this country. Because, about the "famine", it has not been touched until now at all, this famine may say a state that they can not harvest, of the time that Babylonian army came.
However, but no longer, this is not such thing as fear of famine. Because, it is caused by the words of God, "Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?" (19). And the prophet noticed that this word did not talk about only that time, and probably it has been always repeated many times. Therefore, these words are words of Jeremiah, are mutters of him, too. When Jeremiah wrote this down, why did he separated this word back and forth? It would have been in thought of Jeremiah saying "This word has not reached the ears of people", I think. Nevertheless from the form of the statement, and even in terms of content, it stands out from this context. The place where this was heard as the word of God, probably, it would have been in the context of Chapter 7 which was treated the "Queen of Heaven", I think.
Ⅲ The One who look at tears
"For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken; I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored? Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, for the slain of the daughter of my people!" (21-9:1) Deep deep grief of prophet Jeremiah does not know that exhausted. He would turn this sadness to God. He has put oneself in the Israeli people who should die out in front of God. Jeremiah complained to God once. He said, "O Lord, do not Thine eyes look for truth?" (5:3) However, he already does not defy God here, and is not going to insist on the extremely dim "truth" of people. It is because people do not have even such a fragment anymore. Jeremiah totally becomes like the shield between God and people and seems to prevent that a disaster attacks people. His deep deep trouble arrived at there.
God called Israel a daughter before. Besides, He said "How I would set you among My sons, and give you a pleasant land," (3:19) and poured love. Now, in the same way as God, Jeremiah call Israel "my daughter". He even says that if a daughter is hurt, it is my wound. Israel was a bride of God once. A daughter is beloved thing, and if it is a bride, it would be more so. Father is so a case in visceral almost without exception. If his daughter is unhappy, he becomes her shield and wants to prevent her misfortune more. Will not the anger of God be flip of that love? The love of Jeremiah is so, too. No, Jeremiah of this time is not angry at a daughter. He does not blame her, too. This is the eleventh from the time I started "genealogy of the prophet, Jeremiah", and I've reread these places so far. I have taken the modern Japanese society in consideration, but, though I only have said "you do not see God", but have noticed I was missing the deep affection of Jeremiah. I want to become a shield of the anger of God like Jeremiah; no, must become so. Because it is thought that the eyes of God are flowing into strictly on us in this modern times.
Frankincense had strong sterilizing property; and when the plague was raging in Europe in the Middle Ages, it is known that people escaped death by frankincense； and the efficacy of frankincense of Gilead seemed to be great. Probably, the one who he lamented "they do not have", including a doctor, it will be God. We ache so much, and we suffer； but God, are You not here? This tears of Jeremiah remind the sorrow of Jesus that He said "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem..." (Matthew 23:37). The One who look at tears of Jeremiah is nothing but that One.