August 30

Read Lamentations 1 -- 2

In Today's Reading:

Jeremiah's lamentation over Jerusalem's destruction.

Verses for Today:

She that was great among the nations! . . . weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks . . . all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. Judah is gone into captivity . . . she dwelleth among the heathen (1:1-3).

The Holy City of Jerusalem --once so full of happy, peaceful people -- became solitary (Lamentations 1:1). Jeremiah tells us why Jerusalem was reduced to such a deplorable, horrifying situation: The Lord [has] afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions (1:5).

Spiritual neglect eventually leads to loss of spiritual, and even physical, liberty. It is a fact that sin deceives and blinds our eyes to reality; even enemies may be seen as friends. Jerusalem . . . is removed (1:8) -- its people were devastated by famine and dying of starvation. Its few remaining influential inhabitants had been dragged off by enemies to a foreign land. All that once was so precious was now a heap of ruins. Finally the people were forced to accept what the prophet had foretold: The Lord [has] delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise. . . . For these things I weep; [my] eye, [my] eye [runs] down with water (1:14,16). This tragedy could have been avoided. The prophet, on behalf of the Israelites, confessed: The Lord is righteous; for I have rebelled against His Commandment . . . I have grievously rebelled (1:18-20).

To illustrate the Israelites' pitiful suffering and sorrow, the prophet Jeremiah compared the once wealthy, secure, and proud Jerusalem to a widow who had lost her husband. The loving Lord was the generous Provider, the powerful Protector of Israel, whose people had rejected Him. As a widow, she was now alone, weeping in the night, with no one to comfort her: All that honored her despise her (1:8). The houses were burned and the palace demolished; but, far worse, the glorious Dwelling Place of God was destroyed.

The only other nation founded upon God and His Word is the United States of America. It is recognized throughout the world as a Christian nation, and its currency tells the world: "In God We Trust." In the past, our Bible-based heritage has brought great blessings of power and prosperity. However, as with Israel of old, false prophets ignore the Bible, except for a few verses that support their agendas. They mislead their followers with promises of health, wealth, and prosperity and say nothing about obedience and the necessity to "continue in His Word."

Will we realize, before it is too late, that God cannot ignore either the sins of an individual or of a nation? The Covenant of God with Israel required their willing obedience to His Word. To His followers, Jesus said: If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).

Christ Revealed:

By Jeremiah's sorrow over Jerusalem at her fall (Lamentations 1:12-22). Jesus expressed His sorrow for Jerusalem's failure to come to Him before it fell again (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34).

Word Studies:

1:3 straits = where there was no way out; 1:4 solemn = appointed; 1:9 came down wonderfully = had a horrifying fall; 1:14 wreathed = joined together; 2:12 their soul was poured out into = they died in.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (19 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India · Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil · Christianity suppressed · 67% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Roman Catholic; 7% Muslim; .75% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christ will be seen through you (Philippians 1:20-21).

Optional Reading: Revelation 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:13