Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9/7/11 Learning from Jeremiah's Lament

1 How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!
How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.

2 Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.

3 After affliction and harsh labor, Judah has gone into exile.
She dwells among the nations; she finds no resting place.
All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress.

4 The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate, her priests groan,
her young women grieve, and she is in bitter anguish.

5 Her foes have become her masters; her enemies are at ease.
The LORD has brought her grief because of her many sins.
Her children have gone into exile, captive before the foe.

(Jeremiah Laments- Rembrandt 1630)

Thoughts: This is the poem written at the end of the nation, the end of the first Temple.  The nation existed again but not in the same sense. The place of worship was sacked, destroyed.  It was the worst of disasters. It is an acrostic poem, a song about the destruction of what was most precious. The queen has become a slave; her friends have become her enemies; those who have chased her have caught her; her foes have become her masters.  It is the worst nightmare.
     Our church is beginning a study of the prophets.  Many of the prophets' prophecies end with Lamentation's fulfillment of them.  For centuries the prophets warned the people that if they left the Lord to pursue other gods, God would leave them.  If they forsook God, He would forsake them. It happened.
     Since 9-11-2001 America has gone through many diasasters: the twin towers, Katrina, three wars, fires, earthquakes, wallstreet disasters, economic recession.  But these do not compare to what happened to Jerusalem when the people who were supposed to be chosen of God forsook their God.  They refused to repent.  They refused to acknowledge God's power, help, and God's ability to change the situation.  Instead they formed idols, and tried to be like all those around them.  Ironically, America (and her western allies) basically defeated marxism with the fall of the iron curtain in 1989.  But instead of turning to God, turned toward the gods they defeated- materialism, work (the Sabbath has been destroyed since 1989, and family has taken a back seek to money).  The Lamentations are a poetic warning to all who forsake God and refuse to repent.  We need to humble ourselves and open ourselves to the Holy Spirit's filling.

Prayer: Lord, give us grace to heed your warnings.  Let us learn the lesson of sadness from previous generations that we might come back to you with our whole heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment