Monday, July 31, 2006

Devastated

One of the great theologians, Scarlett O’Hara, said in a time of great distress “tomorrow is another day.” If you don’t like receiving your theology from Scarlett how about from the Prophet Jeremiah? “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness,” Lamentations 3: 22-23. Jeremiah, unlike Scarlett, knew to hold on for the next day because he knew intimately God’s character. Jeremiah was a prophet that most did not want to hear. He did not fill large arenas. The popular false prophets told the citizens of Jerusalem what they wanted to hear. Jeremiah told them the uncomfortable truth. He brought God’s indictment against them. Their unrighteousness would bring punishment.
As he stood on a hillside overlooking the devastated war torn city, he wrote the great words “His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning.” He wrote these words after seeing things that no human eyes should have to see. He wrote these words after being treated like no one should be treated. I don’t believe he had great joy in his heart when he wrote about God’s mercies. He was as devastated as the city. His laments are sorrowful and full of pain. “He had besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains.” Lamentations 3: 5-7. Walled me down with chains, besieged and surrounded! Jeremiah is paralleling his life with that of Jerusalem’s. His life has been bitter because he obeyed God, Jerusalem’s because they disobeyed. But then he remembered God! He remembered God and it brought him hope. “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,” Jeremiah 3: 21, 22. Jeremiah knew God, he trusted God, and he had experienced God. The words he wrote about God’s character were fact. God is merciful and that was enough for him to go on to the next day and the next.
We know more of God’s character than even Jeremiah. Jeremiah was looking ahead for the Messiah. We know, that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son..” We know that God gave His son to a world of chaos, devastation, bitterness and chains. Jesus experienced it all and he conquered. He loved us so much he was tortured and slain for us. Devastation is all around us, tsunamis, hurricanes, wars and terrorist have layed waste to many lives. Maybe the devastation is as simple as, being hurt by those we love, or the loss of a job. But then we remember God and there is hope.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 35-39.

3 comments:

Laymond said...

Brother Gary I have been reading through your archives when I have time. I just finished your introduction post. I am so glad you came back yes for your soul first but we would have missed some very good lessons if you had remained estranged. We can't let the dogs of war hiding in our church take away our salvation.

Pastor Josh said...

Very good post. All we do need to do is look at God and know everything is going to be ok. He is our hope and our refuge. HAve a blessed weekend.

J. said...

Excellent post. Scarlet O'Hara as a theologian -- love it!

J.