Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012 … Grieving for Our World

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 237 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Lamentations 1-2 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Lamentations 1: 1; 9; 19-20; 22 :[NLT] … 1 Jerusalem’s streets, once bustling with people, are now silent. Like a widow broken with grief, she sits alone in her mourning. Once the queen of nations, she is now a slave. are in mourning, no longer filled with crowds on their way to celebrate the Temple festivals. The city gates are silent, her priests groan, her young women are crying—how bitterly Jerusalem weeps! … 
9 She [i.e., Judah] defiled herself with immorality with no thought of the punishment that would follow. Now she lies in the gutter with no one to lift her out. “LORD, see my deep misery,” she cries. “The enemy has triumphed.” … 
19 [Jeremiah identifies with Judah in the first person] … “I [Judah] begged my allies for help, but they betrayed me. My priests and leaders starved to death in the city, even as they searched for food to save their lives. 20 “LORD, see my anguish! My heart is broken and my soul despairs, for I have rebelled against you. In the streets the sword kills, and at home there is only death. … 
22 “Look at all their [Babylon’s] evil deeds, LORD. Punish them, as you have punished me for all my sins. My groans are many, and my heart is faint.” 
Highlight Passage: Lamentations 1: 5-7; 11; 18-19; :[NLT] … 5 Yes, the Lord has vanquished Israel like an enemy. He has destroyed her forts and palaces. He has brought unending sorrow and tears to Jerusalem. 6 He has broken down his Temple as though it were merely a garden shelter. The LORD has blotted out all memory of the holy festivals and Sabbath days. Kings and priests fall together before his anger. 7 The Lord has rejected his own altar; he despises his own sanctuary. He has given Jerusalem’s palaces to her enemies. They shout in the LORD’s Temple as though it were a day of celebration. … 
11 I have cried until the tears no longer come. My heart is broken, my spirit poured out, as I see what has happened to my people. Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets. … 
18 Cry aloud before the Lord, O walls of Jerusalem! Let your tears flow like a river. Give yourselves no rest from weeping day or night. 19 Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer. Plead for your children as they faint with hunger in the streets. 

My Journal for Today: Staying with our author, Jeremiah, but moving on to his poetry of grief in his psalms of death which we know of as the book of Lamentations, we read, in Chapters 1-2, why Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet.” These songs and poetry call attention to the prophetic grief experienced and expressed by Jeremiah after Judah and God’s chosen peoples had been defeated and decimated by the Babylonians. And Jeremiah wailed with grief at what he observed as God’s Temple, the temple of worship David had planned and Solomon had built, was torn asunder; and the people, even the children were killed. It was more than he could take; and Jeremiah wept uncontrollably.

When we see thousands upon thousands of babies being killed by abortion; … when we see millions of children growing up without fathers; … when we see millions of Christian men becoming addicted to pornography; and … when see churches turning away from the Gospel and the truth of God’s word, DO WE WEEP or at least grieve genuinely? Really that’s where I’m going to leave these journal comments today. Examine your attitude about the horrors in our culture. Do we grieve as did Jeremiah in his day?

Personally – this morning – I have come to grieve over my lack of empathy and my insensitivity to the culture of death which spreads the darkness of sin in our times. Truly I have been touched and my grief activated by reading Jeremiah’s journal and poetry. I pray you have too.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, forgive my insensitivity to the sinfulness of our day. Help me to see the anguish and to reach out to be your voice and light in this dark world. Amen

No comments: