Read Lamentations 1
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jeremiah's intense burden for Jerusalem reflects the love and sorrow God has for His wayward children (even us) (Matt. 23:37-39). God sent prophets to plead for obedience; when ignored, He sent an army to defeat them (Lam. 1)! In prosperity there are many places to turn but in adversity only one.
Jerusalem had survived numerous enemy attacks for about 400 years. But now the powerful armies of Nebuchadnezzar had surrounded the walls of Jerusalem for nearly 19 months (II Kin. 24:20 — 25:7). Famine was bringing death. Parents were in anguish as their little ones pitifully begged for food and others were dying of starvation: When they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into (they died in) their mother's bosom (Lam. 2:12). The walls of Jerusalem had physically protected the covenant people of God, His Holy Temple, and the Ark of the Covenant that contained the Ten Commandments given to Moses centuries before. Believing that, since it was the city of the Great King (Ps. 48:2), the false prophets in Jeremiah's day assured the people that Jerusalem could not fall.
But the unthinkable was taking place. All was soon to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the few remaining people would soon sit in shambles and shock. Judah's night had come like a terrifying nightmare. Her people were shocked at the horrible reality that all that they once thought precious was only rubbish.
We miss the meaning of this "tragedy of tragedies" if we fail to recognize that spiritual failings inevitably lead to the loss of spiritual liberty. The king of Babylon was merely the servant God used to repove and remove His people from idol worship.
Strangely, we often need someone to arouse us to seek the Lord. We must arise (Lam. 2:19) from spiritual indifference. There will always be popular prophets who lull listeners with false promises of the love and blessings of God with no mention of repentence and the consequences of their sins. But the true prophet is still crying out the necessity for living in unconditional surrender to the Lord.
We should thank our Lord not only for His blessings but also for the roadblocks which stop us when we are running in the wrong direction. He is looking for Jeremiahs who will pray for a national spiritual awakening. He always gives His best to those who live according to His Word.
Paul admonished: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31).
Thought for Today:
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy (Ps. 103:8).
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 again (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34).
1:3 between the straits = there 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.
Pray for Country: Bhutan (2 million) in the eastern Himalayas of central Asia • Major languages: Tibetan and Nepalese dialects • Public worship, evangelism, and proselytization are illegal • 50-70% Buddhist; 24-45% Hindu; 5% Muslim; <1% Protestant/Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Trust in the Lord: where He guides, He provides (Ps. 16:1-8).
Optional Reading: Revelation 4
Memory Verse for the Week:Matthew 11:28