If you’ve read the prophet Jeremiah, you’ve grieved along with him in warning God’s people about the coming captivity. God warned them again and again and again. And they choose to ignore Him again… and again… again. It’s heartbreaking. As I read along, I am angered and bewildered why the people won’t listen! What else can God do to get their attention?
Nothing. There is nothing else He can do. They don’t want to listen. Their hearts are hardened. Their ears are closed. The God that has been so faithful to them as a chosen people for the last 500 years is no longer a priority. They are worshipping idols made of wood and stone (which God points out is sheer ridiculousness). They are sacrificing their children to these man-made idols (a hideous and gross practice). They are content with sin.
And then, the book of Lamentations—a short little 5-chapter book highlighting Israel’s lament after Judah is destroyed and her inhabitants are carried off to Babylon for a 70-year captivity. It is in Lamentations where they finally they cry out and begin to recognize the error of their ways. But this book isn’t so much a book of sorrow, as it is a recognizing that God’s plan for His judgement and their sorrow has been and always will be to return their hearts to Him.
In reading this, I can’t help but ask:
”God, what are you trying to teach us?”
He’s got my attention. We are feeling pain. We have seen destruction. And in a way, COVID-19 is holding us in captivity. So I keep asking God what to do. What is our response? How are we to act? What are the next steps for the church?
Is He trying to get our attention? Have our hearts hardened? Are we worshipping other gods and man-made idols? Are we content with sin?
Watch this short and well-made summary of the book of Lamentations: https://youtu.be/p8GDFPdaQZQ
Director of Worship & Media