August 30

 

Read Lamentations 1:1

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Jeremiah's lamentation over Jerusalem's destruction

 

Jeremiah was deeply grieved over the destruction of the holy city of Jerusalem. Immersed in heartfelt sorrow, he confessed that the holy city had become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! She weeps sore (bitterly) in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks . . . she has none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies. Judah is gone into captivity (Lamentations 1:1-3). Jeremiah tells us why Jerusalem was reduced to such a deplorable state: The LORD has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions (1:5).

 

The prophet Jeremiah compared the once wealthy, secure, and proud Israelites to a woman who had lost her husband. The loving Lord was the generous Provider and powerful Protector of Israel, but the people had rejected Him (see Jeremiah 3:20). As a widow, the once-blessed people were now alone, weeping in the night, with no one to comfort them, for Jerusalem has grievously sinned (Lamentations 1:8). The Covenant God made with Israel required willing obedience to His Word, but the Israelites had not kept their part of the Covenant. Spiritual harlotry eventually led the Israelites to lose not only their personal liberty but also the precious privilege of letting the world know the One True God who expects His children to reject their idols and worship Him.

 

We too have one supreme reason for living; and it is not to obtain financial security, popularity, or material success, or to look forward to the next vacation. The question that needs to be addressed is: Will we read His instructions about how we must live to enjoy the protection and abundant blessings of our Creator or suffer the consequences? Pity the person who is wasting the few short years of his life chasing elusive social and financial goals while failing to achieve the eternal purpose for which God created him.

 

Jesus asked a sobering question to a great multitude of people (Luke 6:17) who followed Him, expecting to be healed: Why call. . . . Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (6:46). Obviously, we can't do something we don't know, so He calls upon us to know His Scriptures, His Guide to Life.

 

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror (fear) of the Lord, we persuade men (II Corinthians 5:10-11).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

By Jeremiah's sorrow over Jerusalem at her fall (Lamentations 1:12-22). Jesus expressed His sorrow over Jerusalem's failure to come to Him before it fell again. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! (Matthew 23:37-38; Luke 13:34-35).

 

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 together; 2:12 their soul was poured out into = they died in.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for Staff: Barbara Bivens · Country: Maldives (300,000) 400 miles southwest of Sri Lanka · Major languages: Divehi and English · Christian witnessing is banned · 99.9% Muslim; .1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Wives, pray for a quiet, loving spirit to win your husband to Christ (I Peter 3:1-2).

 

Optional Reading: Revelation 4

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Thessalonians 2:12