Today’s reading: Lamentations 1
The prophet Jeremiah wrote 2 books of the Bible on the same subject. The book of Jeremiah predicts the destruction of Jerusalem and the book of Lamentations is a dirge, or a funeral song, to mourn the once great city.
As God’s prophet, Jeremiah’s job was to warn God’s people of the coming judgment if they didn’t leave their sinful ways and turn back to God. For forty years he pleaded with the tribe of Judah to take action, but no one listened. In 586 B.C. Babylon eventually conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and carted God’s people back with them as slaves.
Two key messages I take away from this story:
Unconfessed sin brings God’s judgment. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a). Judah’s destruction and exile at the hands of the Babylonians was a result of their sin/immorality/disobedience. If we do not confess Jesus as Lord and let his sacrifice on the cross pay the price for our sins, we will eventually experience God’s judgment.
God’s promises are true, both good and bad. God sent Jeremiah to warn his people to turn from their sinful ways or suffer the consequences. When they rejected Jeremiah and his message, guess what? God kept his promise and allowed the Babylonians to conquer them, destroy their city, kill many people and take everyone else as slaves.
God isn’t joking around. When we ignore sin and disregard God’s direction, we invite disaster. Trusting our own leadership, resources, intelligence and power instead of surrendering to him will bring God’s full judgment upon us.
Fortunately God loves us enough to show us a way out, and loves us enough to give us time to choose it. The ball is in our court.