My people do not know

I’m currently reading through Jeremiah, a book in the old testament, in my (mostly) daily devotions.

It has its challenges: Jeremiah lived in a time when God’s people were turning away from Him, and as a result, they were conquered and exiled to Babylon. Therefore, the book is not the most cheerful one in the Bible.

But it is full of gems. Here’s one I ran across just a couple of days ago, in Jeremiah chapter 8. God is speaking:

When men fall down, do they not get back up? When a man turns away, does he not return?

Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return.

I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No-one repents of his wickedness, saying “What have I done?” Each pursues his own course, like a horse charging into battle.

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migrations. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.

Sad words.