Scratching the Surface of Jeremiah and Lamentations
Jeremiah's prophecy was specific: get with God before it's too late and things get even more awful than they are.
He said nobody - countries or churches or anybody - can continue to insult God's holiness and not pay the consequences.
After saying that in the book that bears his name, he wrote Lamentations because the people back then didn't do as they were told by God and suffered the consequences.
The parallels to today are sobering.
Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians.
God allowed the bad guys to devastate the good guys because the good guys were acting like the bad guys.
Sacred artifacts were stolen from the Temple.
The Temple itself was burned to the ground.
Citizens were terrified and kidnapped and taken into Babylonian captivity.
Jerusalem, the blessed city of God, was destroyed and no longer held world dominance.
Again, the parallels to today are sobering.
Jeremiah lamented: "The city's streets, once bustling with people are now silent...Once the queen of nations, she is now a slave...Her enemies prosper...Jerusalem remembers her ancient splendor...All she can do is groan."
How did it happen?
Jeremiah lamented: "She defiled herself with immorality with no thought of the punishment that would follow...Your prophets have said so many foolish things, false to the core. They did not try to hold you back from exile by pointing out your sins. Instead, they painted false pictures, filling you with false hope...But it is the Lord who did it just as He warned...Peace has been stripped away...We have forgotten what prosperity is..."
Awfully true back then with parallels to today.
That's the bad news.
Now here's the good news.
There is a way back.
Even while Jeremiah lamented, irrepressible hope remained: "The Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion according to the greatness of His unfailing love. For He does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow...The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness: His mercies begin afresh each day...I will hope in Him!...So let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn again in repentance to the Lord...He will restore us!...He will bring us back the joys we once had!"
He always provides a way back.
That old favorite hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness comes to mind.
The point is the tragic trends can be reversed.
Nations and churches and people can be restored.
But we must turn back to Him to get back to where we want to be!
It's a choice.
As C.S. Lewis said, life is like waiting at a bus stop.
The bus comes.
We choose to get on or not.
Specifically, Jesus has come.
He's willing and eager and able and wanting to forgive and forget and restore us to Himself...if we'll just let Him love us.
Again, I like how C.S. Lewis put it/Him: "It is still 'either-or.' If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth), we shall not see Heaven. If we accept Heaven, we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell."
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!
"If we let Him" speak volumes!
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