My first year in college, I took Psychology 101. The instructor opened the first class by defining insanity: Insanity, he said, is the degree to which a person is divorced from reality.
We are all insane, he continued,
It is only a matter of degree.
It was very funny at the time. It seems less so these days. For what he said was not a joke. It has turned out to be all too true. It seems like we are all a little bit nuts at times, some worse than others, and if our society is any indicator, it is getting worse.
I have a feeling that Jeremiah would recognize our society. The technology would dazzle him, but the people and their leadership is pretty much the same. He said:
Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and his holy words. The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the desert are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,declares the Lord.Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,declares the Lord.
Bear in mind that in Israel, there was no separation of church and state. Prophets and priests were political figures, as were the princes. It is hard, when reading the Bible to grasp this. And it explains a lot of things in the prophets. And how can a prophet or a priest be godless? What does Jeremiah mean when he says their path will be slippery and dark?