Wednesday, September 19, 2007

September 19, 2007

In approximately 605 BC, God pronounced judgment on Jerusalem and Judah by allowing Jerusalem to be destroyed and Israel to be taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The prophet, Jeremiah, had been warning the people for some 23 years to repent and turn from their sin. They refused. They ignored his warnings. God sent other prophets who also warned the people to turn from their evil ways and turn back to him. Again, they refused. By the time Babylon was finished the whole region would become a wasteland.
Lamentations is a chilling book to read. Listen to just a portion of it:
Judah has gone into exile
following affliction and harsh slavery;
she lives among the nations
but finds no place to rest.
The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to the appointed festivals.
All her gates are deserted;
her priests groan,
her young women grieve
and she herself is bitter.
Her adversaries have become
her masters;
her enemies are at ease
for the Lord has made her suffer
because of her many transgressions.
Her children have gone away
as captives before the adversary.
All her splendor has vanished
from Daughter Zion
Her leaders are like stags
that find no pasture.
During the days of her affliction
and homelessness
Jerusalem remembers all her
precious belongings
that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell
into the adversary's hands
she had no one to help.
The adversaries looked at her,
laughing at her downfall.
Jerusalem had sinned grievously;
therefore, she has become an object of scorn
All who honored her now despise her.

The Lord has rejected all the
mighty men within me [Jerusalem]
He has summoned an army against me
to crush my young warriors,
The Lord has trampled
Virgin Daughter Judah
like grapes in a winepress.
How the Lord has overshadowed
Daughter Zion with His anger!
He has thrown down Israel's glory
from heaven to earth.
He has abandoned his footstool
in the day of His anger.
Those slain by the sword are
better off than those slain by hunger
who waste away, pierced [with pain]
because the fields lack produce.
The hands of compassionate women
have cooked their own children;
they became their food
during the destruction of my dear people.
The kings of the earth
and all the world's inhabitants
did not believe
that an enemy or adversary
could enter Jerusalem's gates.
[Yet it happened] because of the sins
of her prophets
and the guilt of her priests,
who shed the blood of the
righteous within her.
Jerusalem and Judah, God's chosen people-Israel, had repeatedly rebelled against His laws and refused to obey Him. They had taken up pagan practices. They had defiled the Temple. They had become wicked and immoral, refusing to follow Him. They had become idol worshippers. God warned and He warned and He warned. He pled with them to repent, to turn away from these evil practices, to follow Him and to obey. They refused. So judgment came to Jerusalem and Judah. 70 years of captivity! Jerusalem destroyed.
So.............what will happen to America? Reading these passages in Lamentations, one cannot help but wonder "How long, Lord? How long before you will judge America for her sinfulness?"
Sodom and Gomorrah were "exceedingly wicked". God wiped them off the face of the earth.
Other nations as well have suffered destruction down through history. I once heard it said that Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham, commented that if God did not judge America, He would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!
I have lived long enough to see a HUGE moral decline in our culture. One only has to look at one sit-com on television and compare it to an "oldie but goodie" like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER or I LOVE LUCY to see the difference in a nutshell! Some may laugh and call those old shows "old fashioned". But many also call God's Word out of date and out of sync with today's society. Yet God says His Word never changes. It is the same yesterday, today and forever more. His laws have not changed.
Will America fall like Jerusalem? Will she be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah?

1 comment:

Debi said...

What a wonderful blog today! I too fear that we are on the verge of harsh punishment from the Lord. We mock Him at every turn, ignore Him daily (unless we're in trouble), take Him out of schools, public places, allow people to use His name in un-godly talk, joke about Him with no fear of reprisal and we wonder why would God turn away from us? All that evil needs to prosper is for enough good people to do nothing.

I would love to link you to my blog if that is ok with you. You are inspiring indeed. If not, I understand too.