Bible Pathways 8/30/2000
Lamentations 1 -- 2
The great city of Jerusalem became solitary . . . as a widow! She that was great among the nations . . . weeps pitifully 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 dwells among the heathen (Lamentations 1:1-5). Jeremiah goes on to tell us why Jerusalem was reduced to this pitiful condition: The Lord has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions.
To illustrate the pitiful suffering and sorrow of the Israelites, the prophet Jeremiah compared the once wealthy, secure, and proud Jerusalem to a widow who has lost her husband, who is none other than the Lord Himself. The Lord was the generous Provider, the powerful Protector, and the gentle Lover whose love she had rejected. As a widow, she is now alone, weeping in the night, the tears rushing down her cheeks, with no one to comfort her: All that honored her despise her (1:8). The houses are burned, the palace is demolished. Still worse, even the glorious Temple of God is destroyed. The once proud nation of Judah now lies in ruins.
Spiritual neglect eventually leads to loss of liberty. It is a fact that sin deceives and blinds our eyes to reality. Even enemies are often seen as friends, but they soon destroy true happiness. Jerusalem . . . is removed -- devastated by famine, dying of starvation, and the few remaining inhabitants dragged off by enemies to a foreign land. All that had been so precious is now a heap of ruins, and 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).
The Holy Spirit led Jeremiah the prophet to see that God cannot ignore the sins of an individual or of a nation. The Covenant of God and His protective love require willing obedience to His Word from everyone who responds to His love. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).
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, the result of our Bible-based heritage has brought great blessings of power and prosperity. However, as with Israel of old, popular false prophets ignore the need to urge Christians to read the Bible and mislead their followers with promises of health, wealth, and prosperity.
As a result of our neglect of reading all Gods Word, we now have a popular religious majority whose conduct and faith are shockingly similar to the world. The Princeton Religious Research Center's 1997 Emerging Trends, published by George Gallup, reveals that over half of born-again Christians do not believe that Satan exists and also reject the existence of the Holy Spirit. Born-again, or evangelical Christians, differ little from the world on nonChristian beliefs, such as astrology, reincarnation, witches, ghosts, and channeling.
But God will not protect America from destruction anymore than He did Israel if we continue to ignore, and thus reject, His Word -- the only source of knowing all His will. Perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness. . . . reprobate (counterfeits, hypocrites) concerning the faith (II Timothy 3:1-5,8).
But, he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death (Revelation 2:11).
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 (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34).
1:1 tributary means a slave; 1:3 straits means where there was no way out; 1:4 solemn means appointed; 1:5 the chief means masters; 1:6 harts mean deer; 1:7 sabbaths means downfall, literally cessation of all activity, annihilation; 1:9 came down wonderfully means had a horrifying fall; 1:14 wreathed means joined together; 2:3 horn means strength; 2:10 cast up dust upon their heads is a sign of mourning; 2:11 my bowels . . . liver means my entire being is totally overcome with sorrow; 2:12 their soul was poured out into means they died in; 2:13 equal means compare; 2:20 fruit means offspring; 2:22 those I have swaddled means those whom I have reared and cared for.
BPM Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WEKT-AM, Elkton, KY · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Donald J. McMinimy · Country: Botswana (1 million) in southern Africa · Major languages: English and Setswana · Limited religious freedom because of local chiefs · 49% animist; 21% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Realize that prayer is one of the ways God uses to strengthen you in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:18).
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 2:12
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