Why Would You Do This? (Lamentations 1:1-3:36)

my soul is bereft of peace;
    I have forgotten what happiness is; Lamentations 3:17

A mother decided to check on her child who had been up in her room for a long time. When she opened the door of the room, she was shocked to see a room that had been trashed. She saw toys everywhere, pictures off the wall, and even the mattress lying in the floor. As she composed herself, she noticed over in one corner was her child ripping paper out of a notebook. The mother asked, why would you do this?

Sit the illustration aside for a few moments and travel back with me to the days of Jeremiah. The prophet of God is describing the devastation in the city of Jerusalem in chapter 1. It would see at first glance that the prophet was blaming God for the devastation. But it does not take long (a look at chapter 2) to realize that this was not what the prophet was saying.

God was not to blame for the mess in Jeremiah’s day and neither is he to blame for the mess in the world today. Just like the mother who knew that her child had trashed her room in rebellion, so to do we know that the mess in the world is our own making.

Here is what Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 2:17

The Lord has done what he purposed;
    he has carried out his word,
which he commanded long ago;
    he has thrown down without pity;
he has made the enemy rejoice over you
    and exalted the might of your foes.

If you noticed, I underlined a portion of the verse. Jeremiah reminds us that God was keeping His word. When the nation was in her formative years, God placed before Israel two paths: The path of blessing and the path of judgment. We see this in Deuteronomy 28:1-66.

The path of blessing was as follows:

  • Faithfully obeying the voice of God.
  • Being careful to do all His commandments.
  • Walking in His ways.
  • Resisting the ways of the world.

These simply tasks were all that God required. However, the people chose to do just the opposite. This is why their city and their lives were devastated. They trashed it themselves.

This very day I am praying for our leaders in America for we are trashing our land spiritually every day. I am praying for the churches in America for we are asleep when we should be cleaning up the trash from our own lives.

The prophet Jeremiah offers hope to all who desire to walk in the way of blessing. Here is how we get back on the blessed path:

2My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

2The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.” 3:20-24

Two closing questions:

  1. Does your life model the life of blessing or the life of judgment?
  2. Are there any areas of your life that need cleansing?

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