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This is some tough reading. Jerusalem is spoken of as a woman and in the first portion “she” is like a widow….alone….no one to help her….unable to feed her children….poor….hurting….devastated. An entire nation that had once been strong, powerful, wealthy, no lack of food or shelter…..and now….now “she” is destroyed. She could have TURNED BACK to The Lord but she CHOSE NOT to. In 2:3 we read: ” In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. HE HAS WITHDRAWN HIS RIGHT HAND AT THE APPROACH OF THE ENEMY. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.” God REMOVED HIS PROTECTION from HIS CHOSEN people because they REFUSED to LISTEN and OBEY. Jeremiah saw most if not all the prophecies come to pass that he had spoken on behalf of The Lord. No one listened….no one wanted to hear…..they only wanted to hear the good things the false prophets had to say. OH MY!! Jeremiah not only saw the destruction, captivity, and exile…he saw what it was like in Babylon and what it was like to return to his homeland fully devastated. I would have been crying with him….not just for what I saw but for the people I loved who were gone. Jeremiah had experienced the prophesies coming through him, and THEN he saw them happen and YET……….he remained so loyal and devoted to The Lord.
Look at what he said in 3:22-24: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his COMPASSIONS (mercies) NEVER FAIL. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” After ALL Jeremiah has seen and been through, there is STILL HOPE….HOPE that God’s mercies are new every morning…..HOPE in his DECISION….his personal CHOICE to WAIT for HIM!!
Today I was driving home from the doctor and started thinking about Jeremiah. Jeremiah spent 40 years prophesying…40 years….he CHOSE to return to Jerusalem to STILL continue prophesying for The Lord, living among the poor, and the people who hated him. I was wondering where he may have slept….maybe a cave…maybe just out in the open air….no pillow…no new clothes to change into….no new shoes….and no guarantee that he would have food to eat due to the devastation. YET….he says what comes out in verses 22-24. WOW!! It certainly put things into perspective in my day!! HOW ABOUT YOU??
I pray for each of you reading today that you are aware of at least two things—first— that HIS people brought all of this on themselves….ALL of it. Second—I pray you are equally aware of God’s faithfulness, HIS compassion, HIS mercies, HIS love. Our OWN disobedience, always has consequences. As believers, we have a most gracious God who desires to forgive us when we acknowledge our sin, ask forgiveness, and repent. However,forgiveness does not cancel out the consequences. When we step outside of God’s perfect plan for us…we grieve HIM. Judah/Jerusalem’s refusal to TURN BACK to HIM grieved HIM. HE was also grieved as they were taken captive. Discipling those HE loves is what any good parent would do but I believe HE does it with tears in HIS eyes and heart.
If this reading was as hard for you as it was for me….remember that HIS mercies are NEW every morning…HE NEVER fails…He is full of love…..The Lord is my portion.. I WILL wait for HIM.
Sharing HIS love,