Intense burden for Jerusalem, a reflection of the love and sorrow God has for His children (even us) (see Matt. 23:37-39). God had sent an army of prophets to plead for change. Now He sends an army to obliterate all (chap. 1)! Repentance (1:20)! A Truth: In prosperity there are many places to turn, but in adversity only one (2:19).
Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment (Lamentations 2:14).
We see how the people of Jerusalem recognized the wrath of God in these first two chapters of Lamentations because they had turned from Him. God gave them opportunity after opportunity to turn from their sin, yet they did not listen. Oftentimes, we hear believers presume that God would not bring harm to His children because He is a loving God, but what good father does not correct His child?
In our own lives, we sense the distance of separation when we drift in our relationship with Jesus. Trials and everyday life can become overwhelming. If we turn back to Him, He will renew us and remind us of His promises. Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Walking daily with the Lord is essential to our well being as Christians. We can do this by doing what you are doing right now, reading and studying His word. Along with such study, talking to the Lord through prayer helps us understand what He is saying to us through His Word. This one on one relationship with our Heavenly Father is a powerful experience. God will provide us keen discernment as we live out our everyday lives by listening for His voice and drawing near to Him in all we do. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27).
The Children of Israel had moved away from such a relationship with God. They lacked discernment. Thus, they were easily deceived by false prophets who tickled their ears with what they wanted to hear instead of what they needed to hear.
Satan makes the things of this world appear more desirable than what God has for us. Often, it is not until we are deep in sin that we see the error of our ways and discover that it was not worth it. Satan knows how to shimmer his fool's gold at just the right opportunity for us to stumble. He whispers lies in our ear when we mourn, feel deserted or have been betrayed. He tempts us with what he knows to be a weakness in our lives. Whether it be alcohol, drugs, gossip, pride or lust. In our weakness, he is waiting for us to fall into his trap and move away from our Heavenly Father. But don't despair, because our loving Father is ready to catch us when we fall. And if we look back and analyze the situation, God will show us what He intended for us to learn from it all along. Satan can do nothing without God's permission. If we focus on God, He will pull us from the fire, refined anew as His pure gold.
Satan led the Children of Israel down the broad easy road that led them to their destruction. Know the voice of your Heavenly Father so that you may have discernment and turn away from the path of destruction that Satan has ready and waiting for you.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14).
Thought for Today:
Grief and sorrow over a sinful past cannot restore what has been lost.
By Jeremiah’s sorrow over the destruction of Jerusalem (Lam. 1:12-22). Jesus expressed His sorrow for Jerusalem’s failure to come to Him before it fell (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34).
Word Studies:1:3 between the straits, where there was no way out; 1:4 solemn feasts, appointed assemblies; 1:9 came down wonderfully, had a horrifying fall; 1:14 wreathed, joined, intertwined; 2:12 their soul was poured out into, they died in.
Prayer Needs:Pray for Country: South Africa (42.6 million) on the southern tip of the African continent • Major languages: Afrikaans and English • Religious freedom • 76% Christian; 1% Muslim; 1% Hindu; 15% Traditional; .5% Jewish; 6.5% None/Other (Baha'i, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Confucian) • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your decisions will always be to please the Lord (Ps. 73:24).
Optional Reading: Revelation 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 90:12