Call together

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them.” Jeremiah 9:17


Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
(17) Mourning women . . . cunning women.–Eastern funerals were, and are, attended by mourners, chiefly women, hired for the purpose. Wailing was reduced to an art, and they who practised it were cunning. There are the “mourners” that “go about the streets” (Ecclesiastes 12:5), those that “are skilful of lamentation” (Amos 5:16), those that mourned for Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 22:18), those that “wept and wailed greatly” in the house of Jairus (Mark 5:38). They are summoned as to the funeral, not of a friend or neighbour, but of the nation.

“but, of the nation.” I hope to meditate and think about this.” What do you think about this scripture?

I wonder

11 thoughts on “Call together

  1. Some thoughts I had about the scripture and others in the blog. When I read the chapter of Jeremiah it seemed like the calling of the wailing women may have been a sign of judgment on the nation.

    Reading Ecclesiastes seemed to issue a warning to remember Him before it is too late.

    Jeremiah and Amos also seem to indicate that wailing is a sign of finality, mourners called for a funeral, not as weeping intercessors to possibly move the hand of the Lord and the hearts of people and repent for the sins of a nation.

    Jeremiah 22:9 seems to address the issue of why professional mourners may be called to weep at a funeral or over a nation”…
    “ And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and have worshiped and served other gods.’

    Interesting photo with “I wonder” caption. The trees in the row look “dead”; no leaves, no blooms, no fruit (call the wailing women?) but it is probably winter season and dormancy and the hope of a season of spring and new life is soon to come.

    1. Thank you Debi for reading all the versus and painting a scene to show the skill of the professional women called to weep for the nation.

      At times I listen to a woman doctor, “ Leana Sheryle Wen (Chinese: 温麟衍; born Wen Linyan; January 27, 1983) is an American physician, an op-ed columnist with The Washington Post and a CNN medical analyst. She is a practicing physician, a former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore, and author of the books When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests and Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health.[1] Currently, she is a visiting professor of Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University, where she is a Distinguished Fellow in the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity.[2] She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.[3]” Wikipedia …now this is just a tiny part of this highly skilled physician. She is married and the Mother of two young children.

      I hear and read Dr Wen’s skillful thoughts and words related to medicine. I often think I’m hearing a skillful weeper in our midst. Her love and compassion for all shows me we have the skilled among us that weep from the heart for us, our families, our nation! (Matthew 2:18)paints another word photo, “ “A cry was heard in Ramah— weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.”

      1. Thanks for sharing about Dr. Wen, Sara, by showing and explaining to us a current example and illustration of “a skillful weeper in our midst” . It helps me to understand the scripture you started the blog with and it’s relevance for today. Your insight: “ we have the skilled among us that weep from the heart for us, our families, our nation!” shines light.

  2. The footnotes for Amos 5:16, from the NIV says: “Failure to honor the dead was considered horrible in Israel, so loud weeping was common at funerals. Paid mourners, usually women, cried and mourned loudly with dirges and eulogies. Amos said there would be so many funerals that there would be a shortage of professional mourners, so farmers would be called from the fields to help. (See also Jeremiah 9: 17-20)” Mark 5:38 footnotes says: “Loud weeping and wailing was customary at a person’s death. Lack of it was the ultimate disgrace and disrespect. Some people, usually woman, made mourning a profession and were paid by the dead person’s family to weep over the body. On the day of death, the body was carried through the streets, followed by mourners, family members, and friends.” I did not see footnotes for the above verses from Ecclesiastes & Jeremiah.

    1. Thanks Tammy for the footnotes. They speak loudly once again that God’s desire is to be in relationship with us. We have things to do to honor one another and Him.

      People made calls and requested professionals and paid them. When a shortage in workers they found others to help.

      A reminder to us in crises be willing to help! Care/love one another as He has loved us.

  3. Looking at the picture. It looks like winter grass, not like the lush grass of Spring and Summer The trees in the picture which are bare look like the crepemyrte trees in the season of winter. Here you’d be hard pressed to find one without their flowering crowns. So thinking on this in connection with picture as I see it. We are looking at the season of winter in our lives. In this season we are well aware of how short life is and we know we can see the finish line in sight. We can remember all our sin filled past. We can either grow with lights dimming each day until no light/no life or we can grow with light filling us each day showing all who come near the Way to walk in and the Hope which they can have as we have. Instead of withholding this hope we pick up our Jesus received tea and pour into lives of others. Billy Graham said, “Jesus gives hope for the future as we turn in FAITH to Him- Hope for eternity and HOPE right now. Timothy Keller says in His devotional August 18th reading… if we maintain fellowship with God over the years, there is a kind of ‘ freshness’ that can come with increasing age. It is the spiritual vigor that grows out of trusting God in prayer, coupled with the wisdom that comes from a treasure chest of rich memories, both sorrowful and sweet. “ Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” ( 2 Corinthians 4:16). The prayer this day that went with the devotional reads ( “ Lord, as I age let there be a flourishing of my faith and a liveliness to my worship that I didn’t have in earlier years. Make me stronger in spirit the weaker I become in the flesh. Amen.)

    In Jeremiah it says call for the wailing women. In the above person who is filled with Hope and overflowing into others with a cup of Jesus there is no way there will be a need for fake tears and fake grief. These mourning women watch this natural grief and schooled themselves in it and then offered their mourning skills to students who sold their services of mourning to anyone’s family who had need of them. I knew a wonderful man in Alabama who knew everyone by their name, was a farmer with great advice to plant a fruitful garden, loved the Word and his family, and church. What a man of God. The parking lot ran out of spaces to park the day of his funeral and the church wept and sang his church songs. Mr. Ed didn’t need any paid mourners , he had those whose heart’s were broken at losing him for a little while until one day we could catch up with him again.

    Amos 5: 16-18 is about God’s judgement.
    The Israelites thought they would be exempt from judgment on the day of the Lord. The focus on the farmer and the vineyards in these verses suggest that the lamentation came about because of crop failure. This makes be think of those of us who think we are someone special walking around without Jesus and doing all manner of evil – look at 10 commandments to see what sins we as a people struggle with. We think we have fruit to give but material can be burnt up but love last forever. We think God as Ancient of Days, that he cant see or hear. WAKEUP people, Jesus says in John 14: 6 “ I am the way and the truth and the life: NO ONE cometh unto the Father, but by me. Don’t say I’m going to heaven if the last verse isn’t true for you. God is a just God and judgement by the Son will fall on believers and unbelievers.

    Jeremiah 22:18

    This verse speaks of a humiliating death which awaited the evil King Jehoiakim . No one would mourn his death, but he would be buried like a donkey. This meant no burial at all, which was considered to be a curse. I remember my father who had gone to the funeral of his father. I was young and he came home weeping and weeping. Mom tried to comfort him. He kept repeating over and over again with tears flowing down his cheeks,. “It was like burying a farm animal, it was like burying a farm animal.” My Granddad did not know the Lord, and we were afraid of him. God knows his heart but we didn’t know he had one.

    Mark 5: 38speaks of the mourning women again. Loud weeping and wailing was customary at a person’s death. Lack of it was the ultimate disgrace and disrespect. So that’s why they called in the mourners so they as a family would not be disrespected or disgraced. Even in death there was a show to coverup the ways of a person’s life that ended Loud but not high.

  4. Bruce Catton’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Army of the Potomac Trilogy, Mr. Lincoln’s Army is a riveting history of the early years of the Civil War, he writes; ‘Several women met in Boston’s Park Street Church and resolved that women throughout the country should form ‘circles of prayer’ to pray for “the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the entire nation.”

    Great books and great writer. My Catton has penned words of history that sets off sparks. And, as the hymn writer writes, It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
    “And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing;
    That’s how it is with God’s Love,
    Once you’ve experienced it,
    Your spread the love to everyone
    You want to pass it on.

    What a wonderous time is spring,
    When all the tress are budding
    The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;
    That’s how it is with God’s love,
    Once you’ve experienced it.
    You want to sing, it’s fresh like spring,
    You want to pass it on.

    I wish for you my friend
    This happiness that I’ve found;
    You can depend on God
    It matters not where you’re bound,
    I’ll shout it from the mountain top – PRAISE GOD!
    I want the world to know
    The Lord of love has come to me
    I want to pass it on.

    I’ll shout it from the mountain top – PRAISE GOD!
    I want the world to know
    The Lord of love has come to me
    I want to pass it on. “

    1. Sara, your excerpt from Mr. Catton’s book along with the hymn is another great light, insight and motivation to heed your opening words from God, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them.” Jeremiah 9:17

  5. “God is often being used to display man’s talent rather than man’s talent being used to display God.”

    Very true… God, help me when I get this twisted…Matthew Holt

    I read this from the very talented and skilled pianist of the Gaithers’ vocal band. My mind and heart keep taking me to our scripture, starting point of this blog… “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them.” Jeremiah 9:17

    So often we hear the skillful sounds played by our military for various occasions. When we hear the first note from the instruments we most likely will recognize the occasion. And as Debi posted, “ by showing and explaining to us a current example and illustration of “a skillful weeper in our midst”

    When a nation is in trouble, as was in this scripture, we often call for our skilled paid military to come and play to show respect that our nation grieves our loss.

    And, Rena speaks about local community individual ones such as her friend’s husband, Mr Ed. that shared in grieving family loss.

    God is awesome and as Matthew Holt wrote above in his prayer help him [ help me] when I get twisted. Our talent seems to be fine tuned when we use it to display God. Awee! And, may I never, ever think I understand how many ways He shows His glory through people all around us. And, when The Lord God says, ‘Consider now! Call for…” I would give though to what He said!

  6. If you ever feel that you are at odds with the thinking and or understanding of others even here on this blog pause and sip/nip, imbibe and scratch your head on this question and response!

    “ Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.”
    —Mark 8:27-29 (NRSV)

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