Jeremiah writes Lamentations in Poetic form using alphabetic Acrostic (each chapter using each letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order), and in the Hebrew qinah meter. This Lamentation is more than the prophet bemoaning the destruction of Jerusalem and his own fate. It is a Poem that brings fifty-two chapters and forty-one years of ministry into succulent clarity.

I hope our journey together through Jeremiah has brought more clarity into the heart of our Father and His dealings with His covenant people. As I have listened to the book repeatedly, I have thought, not only about our similarities as Americans to the Israelites but also about the role of the prophets in America and Israel. Now, if I were to write extensively on what I have seen I would title my little dissertation, “The War of the Prophets.”

The prophets of Jeremiah’s time were set on giving good news to encourage the people in their struggle with Babylon. The Lord called them false prophets who prophesied lies because they did not expose the sin of Israel and lead them to repentance.

“Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity to bring back your captives, but have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.” Lamentations 2:14

Prophets help us see our heart condition so that we might return to the Lord and be forgiven. To go on in our rebellion against the Lord is to our destruction. Israel in their heart had forsaken the Lord and gone after idols the works of their own hands.

I have asked the Lord to, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.” Psalm 139:24

The promise that the Lord gave Solomon for the nation of Israel at the dedication of the Temple still stands for all His people. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Israel looked at the wickedness of the nations surrounding them and focused on these injustices, not knowing they were the Lord’s instrument to bring Israel into humble prayer to seek His face and turn from their own wickedness. Personal responsibility for the neglect of God’s mercy in His Son, still moves the heart of God to bring His mercy to us in our afflictions, individually and inside a nation.

Setting aside the war of the prophets and our love for confirmation and not correction, the second and most important truth, I have seen in the fifty-two chapters, and forty-one years of recorded ministry of Jeremiah, is the Lord’s lovingkindness.

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and keep silent because God has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust—there may yet be hope. Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach. For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. Lamentations 3:21-32

It is much harder to rule my heart than others, to see my beam in my eye than the splinters in others, and my wrath would be my motivation to act. My prayer today and every day for myself and all men is the same.

“Father grant me repentance, that I may know the truth, so that I may come to my senses and escape from the captivity of the devil who has placed me under him to do his will.” Paraphrased 2 Timothy 2:25, 26

This I pray for all men and whenever I pray for our president or any ruler, children, and especially those in conflict with me, I pray, “Father grant them repentance as I seek, that they may know the truth as I desire for myself. Let them come to their senses even as I long to come to my senses. Deliver them from the captivity of the devil as I long to be delivered from under his control and will.” It’s not perfect but it does keep me from my self-righteousness and contempt for my brother. It keeps me from speaking evil of dignitaries and of wishing ill upon my enemies, it softens my heart to be convicted and return to the Lord.

To live in what seems to be conflicts with God and submit to Him without thinking He doesn’t love me or isn’t kind, nor fair, or any other unfaithfulness is maturity as a son who is being corrected to partake of His nature.

Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hoses 6:1-3

May the Lord bless us in our repentance to life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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