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Bible Pathways 8/30/2001

August 30

Read Lamentations 1 -- 2

The Holy 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 1:1-3). 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 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 (1:8) -- devastated by famine, dying of starvation, and its few remaining inhabitants dragged off by enemies to a foreign land. All that 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, who 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 Temple 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, the result of our Bible-based heritage has brought great blessings of power and prosperity. However, as with Israel of old, false prophets ignore the need to urge Christians to read the Bible and be obedient to God's Word. 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 the sins of an individual or of a nation. The Covenant of God with Israel required willing obedience to His Word. To His followers, Jesus said: 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).

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 (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34).

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

Prayer Needs:
BPM Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Pray for Hands for Christ and Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Bowers · Country: Ukraine (52 million) east-central Europe · Major languages: Ukrainian and Russian · Religious freedom · 55% Ukrainian/Autocephalous/Old Believers/Armenian Orthodox; 15% Catholic; 3% Protestant; 1% Jews; .5% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will enable you to be a generous, cheerful giver to Him (II Corinthians 9:6-7).

Optional Reading: Revelation 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 3:8

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