Lamentations 1-2

In tradition, this is where Jeremiah sat when he wrote the Lamentations. As he looked over the smoldering ruins of the once beautiful Jerusalem weeping for the desolation that he sees the judgement that is come, he writes the Lamentations. Jeremiah, a prophet of God whose heart was in tune with God, God never judges willingly but there are times when for the good of his children God must chastise.
I have a fabulous little granddaughter who has just turned three, celebrated her birthday last week. She is like her mother, our daughter, and just a total joy. She got her first full-fledged spanking Friday night. Grandpa wasn’t there to intercede. She is an aggressive little gal. I mean, if you turn her loose she could conquer the world if you asked her. There’s nothing that she can’t discover or do. They try to put things out of her reach but it’s never successful. She’ll pull over a table, put a chair on top of the table and get on top of the refrigerator to get at something she wants.
Her little brother had some medication that they put up on the piano and they told her “Don’t touch that that’s your brothers medication”. Well, she wanted to know what it tasted like, why he made such faces when they gave it to him. So she pulled the piano bench over, climbed up on the piano and got the medication. It’s extremely dangerous for children to take medication that is not prescribed for them. Realizing that this practice could be extremely harmful, you could actually kill yourself in taking wrong medication and because she disobeyed and got up and got the medication readying herself to sample it when they caught her. She’s one of those kinds who say, “You’ve got a childproof bottle, give it to me and I’ll open it for you”. Thus in order to teach her the importance, the severity of what she was doing, she got her first full-fledged spanking.
That’s not easy to do. That is hard because you are deliberately inflicting pain upon your child. That is not easy. Yet there are times when it is a necessity. It isn’t a sign that you don’t love them, it isn’t a sign that you quit loving them, in fact it’s the opposite. It’s a sign that you do love them and that you are wanting to teach them lessons that are so important that their life depends upon it. If they will not learn by just instruction, if they wont obey you when you tell them, then it becomes necessary to go through the painful experience of deliberately inflicting pain upon them in order to protect them from a very dangerous and possibly deadly practice.
When God finds it necessary to inflict his people because of practices that they are engaged in that could possibly be deadly, he never punishes willingly. It breaks the heart of the father to have to bring pain to his child in order to teach them lessons that are important for them to know.
Now that the nation has been judged and now that the city has been destroyed Jeremiah becomes the reflection of the heart of God looking over the rubble and looking over the desolation he weeps until he cannot shed anymore tears. The fountain of tears just dries up. But he weeps over what was necessary in order to preserve the nation itself.
This same little granddaughter is a rascal. She loves to tease her grandpa. Last night because, of course Brian pastors a church, we can’t get together on holidays like Mother’s Day so we called them up and met them half-way for Mother’s Day dinner last night. Little Kelsey was rascally teasing me at the table. She’s a real match. We have a real go around whenever we get together. She likes to get my goat if she possibly can so she was saying, “I hate you” with a twinkle in her eye just to get my reaction. Well tonight just before I came to church I got a call. She was sobbing so hard she could hardly talk. She said, “Grandpa I love you, I need you, I want you grandpa, I want you grandpa”. Just sobbing and she just hung on the phone saying, “Grandpa I want you, I want you”. She happened to be watching Shirley Temple in Heidi. The grandpa looking for the little granddaughter and all got to her and all of a sudden grandpa was looking all over for her calling and calling. Her heart was touched.
O how the heart of God is touched as he sees his children, as he sees them in disobedience, as he realizes that for their own benefit they must learn and he does everything in order to turn them to the right path. He sent the prophets who warned them, who called to them, he sent so many things to turn them back to him but they continued to that dangerous path to death. Finally, as a last resort, God took away their place of beauty, their place of strength, their place of self-reliance where now they have only God to rely upon. As I’ve often said, there are important lessons that we need to learn in life and God will teach us these lessons one way or another. There is an easy way to learn and there is a hard way to learn. It all depends on you and how stubborn you are.
Jonah needed to learn an important lesson, you cannot escape God nor can you run from the call of God upon your life. When you are running from God actually you are running from your own good from what’s best for you. People don’t realize that. God loves and God’s plan for you is the best thing that could ever happen to you. Satan has people deceived into thinking if I surrender to God then thunder and lightning, pain and suffering, jungles and bugs and you think the most horrible things. If you commit your life to God then watch out it’s almost over.
Sort of like an experience my dad had. He came from a very affluent home with servants and the whole nine yards. His father was vice-president of Southern Pacific Railway. He had his own private car and whenever they went across the country the family had their own car. They just attach it to a train and travel. The home that they had in Philadelphia was the largest estate; it’s now a city park along the river. He went to private school but dinner at his house was always a formal occasion. Five-thirty sharp dinner was served. All of the children would have to be at the table and the boys in coats and ties. They had silver service, china, linen napkins and the whole bit. It was always that way, a formal occasion. The meal was served by the servants beginning promptly at five-thirty and there was no excuse for not being at your place at the table when dinner was served.
One day he was at school staying after school to play some sports with the fellows and got busy playing. Suddenly the five o’clock whistle blew and he knew he was in trouble and he didn’t hurry. Between the school and his house there was a mental institution and his mother told him to never come straight home because someone might escape from there and grab you. So always go around the block so that you don’t come past that place. He knew tonight with the time schedule he had if he was going to make it at all he would have to run straight home.
So he started home. As he came past this institution he saw this fellow climbing over the wall leering at him as he jumped down the wall behind him. With the extra adrenaline he really began to pour it on but he heard this fellow right behind him matching him step for step. He finally came to a field that he decided to cut across to get home. As he was running across the field he stepped in a whole and fell flat on his face and he heard these heavy footsteps coming up behind him. He buried his head figuring this is it, it’s all over, I’m dead. He heard the heavy breathing and he felt a slap on his back and the fellow said, “Tag your it” and he heard the footsteps running off the other direction.
Sometimes we bury our heads and say, “O God your will be done. I’ve had it now, it’s all over”. We imagine God to be angry, we imagine God to be upset when all he wants to do is take us in his arms and hug us and love us. They that observe lying vanities, Jonah found out, forsake their own mercy.
Jonah learned it the hard way you might say. He tried to run from God, he tried to run from the call of God. Jonah was determined to not go to Ninevah, he didn’t care, and he wasn’t going to Ninevah. So he went down to Joppa and got a ship heading the opposite direction, the end of the world, Tarsus, that was the end of the world in those days. God sent a storm. Jonah said, “fellows just throw me over, it will be okay”. I won’t go to Ninevah, I’ll drown. I’d rather drown in the Mediterranean than go to Ninevah. They threw him over. Instead of drowning God prepared a great fish that swallowed Jonah. He was in absolute misery. He describes it as being like hell, hot. Probably humid too. If it was a whale, a mammal, ninety-eight point six degrees and high humidity. He speaks of the waves and the whale-sounding going on down into the depths. He speaks of the seaweed wrapped all around him. He speaks of the horrible conditions. He probably was see sick too with all that motion. Sitting there in that thing, in the darkness of that whale for three days. Man, talk about stubborn. God’s going to teach him. After three days Jonah said, “Okay I’ve had it. Okay God I’ll go”. The whale deposited him on the beach.
That’s learning things the hard way and when you’re stubborn that’s the way it happens sometimes. It’s better to learn the easy way. The children of Israel was stubbornly against God, against the call of God, and they learned the hard way the importance of submitting to God.
The Babylonians have come. They have destroyed the city of Jerusalem. They have broken down the walls of the city. They have burned the temple and the palaces, destroying the walls. There’s just a smoldering pile of ruins. Jeremiah sits there looking over that smoldering ruin and he writes concerning the city of Jerusalem.
HOW doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! (1:1).
It’s now empty. The people have been slain by the sword. The Babylonians did not spare the young children or the ancient people. They killed indiscriminately. So now it is empty, that city which was once full of people.
how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princes among the provinces, how is she become tributary! (1:1).
Rather than being the conqueror she has been conquered.
She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: (1:2).
They had turned to Egypt for help. They have turned to other nations for help rather than turning to God. Now these nations that she had flirted with and carried on with, they have left her.
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies (1:2).
When they saw that they were falling to the Babylonians and the neighboring nations came in and joined in the plunder of the land.
Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, (1:3).
In the thirty-forth chapter of Jeremiah he was rebuking them for violating the law of God that declared that when a Hebrew servant had served six years, in the seventh year they were to be set free from their bondage. They could not serve more than six years. They had violated that law and they were keeping their servants perpetually. So at a time when Babylon was threatening Jeremiah was talking to King Zedekiah about this violation of the law of God. Zedekiah called in the rulers and they said, “Okay we’ll all set our servants free”. A period of time they set their servants free and then the reneged and they brought them back into servitude. They afflicted their servants.
and because of the great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits (1:3).
Because they had violated the law of God, especially in the law of servants, now they have become a servant.
The ways of Zion do mourn, (1:4).
These are the roads, the paths that led to Zion. Three times a year these paths would be crowded with pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for the feast. Those were always exciting times, they were holiday times. People would join together in companies along the paths singing songs and praising the Lord as they were on their way to Jerusalem to worship God. They were times of excitement, times of joy, these paths that led to Jerusalem.
because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: (1:4).
Usually a bustle of activity is at each of the gates of Jerusalem, people passing in and out into the walled city but now the gates are silent. No one going in or out.
her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: (1:4-5).
The reason why Jerusalem is in such a sad condition is that they are being afflicted by God because of the multitude of their transgressions.
her children are gone into captivity before the enemy. And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts [deer] that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer (1:5-6).
Like a deer that hasn’t had anything to eat and doesn’t have the strength any longer to run from those who are hunting, pursuing him.
Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths (1:7).
They were called sabbathtarians and people said it was laziness. They just laid around on the Sabbath day and did nothing and thus they mocked at her Sabbaths.
Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward. Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully; she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself (1:8-9)
So Jeremiah sees this and he uses it in a figurative speech. In those days woman who was on her menstruation cycle was considered ceremonially unclean and could not be touched or come into the house of worship during her menstrual and thus was removed from the place of society during that period time. Thus Jerusalem was like a menstruating woman is set aside.
The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: (1:10).
The pleasant things around Jerusalem has been destroyed.
for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation (1:10).
The sanctuary of God, the temple of God, where only Jews could come. They had the outer court for the Gentiles, they had the court of the women and then they had the inner court for just the men then they had the court where only the priests could come and then they had the holy of holies where only the high priests would come. The enemies have entered into the holy of holies and there they have destroyed, there they have wrecked havoc.
All her people sigh, they seek bread; (1:11).
They are hungry. There was a tremendous famine. People were gripped with hunger, dying of starvation.
they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: (1:11).
They sold all of their valuables. All of the family heirlooms were sold in order to just satisfy their hunger.
see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile (1:11).
Then Jeremiah calls,
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? (1:12).
Those that were passing by and mocking at the ruins of the city.
behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger (1:12).
This particular cry of Jeremiah has been looked at prophetically as also that of Jesus Christ. The suffering of the cross; doesn’t it move you, doesn’t it touch you? As he was afflicted for us, as he received the judgement of God for our sins, he is their in your place, is it nothing to you? Can you look at the cross unemotionally with a sense of detachment? Thus the sorrow and pain. Then speaking again of Jerusalem and sort of making it personalized.
From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevailieth against them, he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day. The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the LORD hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up (1:13-14).
Jerusalem has been captured, it’s been trapped, it’s been taken in a snare and they’re not able to rise up.
The LORD hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the LORD hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress (1:15).
The children were crushed in the streets by the Babylonians.
For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eyes runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: (1:16-17).
Reaching out in supplication, pleading, looking for help but there is no one there to comfort her.
the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them (1:17).
To be removed. In the midst of this the prophet said, “The Lord is righteous”. This is true always in judgement. As I brought out a few weeks ago, we resent the doctrine of the anger of God or the judgement of God. We don’t like that. We like to hear the love of God and we like to just express the love of God. That’s true, he is a God of love, of love beyond our capacity to understand or to grasp. There’s the other side of the truth, the other side of the coin. Those who stand in the way of his love, those that hinder the purposes of his love will suffer his vengeance and his wrath. Half-truths could be dangerous. If you only take the half of the truth the God of love could be very dangerous because he’s also the God of judgement.
The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity. I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost [died] in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls (1:19).
They died of starvation, looking for food, dying in the streets of starvation. It was a horrible scene.
Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death (1:20).
No place of escape. This mention of his bowels; when a person is going through an extremely deep emotional experience we have discovered that the body produces damaging chemicals. That many times a person after a very deep emotion experience gets cancer. The immune system of the body that protects against the cancerous cells sort of breaks down. Severe and heavy emotional stress can create ulcers. The prophet is probably suffering from some of this tremendous emotional pressure that he’s been under as he watches the city being destroyed and as he knows what is coming. The emotion that he cries to the people but they will not hearken. Being a prophet wasn’t easy because he was being torn up inside continually because of the people’s foolish rebellion against God. There refusal to turn to the Lord even when the distress began.
They have heard that I sigh: there is none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me (1:21).
That is the enemies that have destroyed they will also be destroyed. The latter portion of Jeremiah you remember his prophecies against Babylon, against Edom and the other nations around a bout.
Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions: for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint (1:22).
I understand why he is known as the weeping prophet.
Second Lamentation.
HOW hath the LORD covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, (2:1).
As a cloud covering so God is just covered with a cloud. No sunshine and no hope.
and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger! (2:1).
Like a resting a place of God. Jerusalem is no longer that place but in the day of his anger he is cast down the beauty of Israel.
The LORD hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds [the walls of the city, the towers] of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and princes thereof (2:2).
By the Gentiles coming in.
He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn [strength] of Israel: (2:3).
The horn is a symbol of strength and power in the Bible.
he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about. He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all the were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire (2:3-4).
So God is chastising his people. He has judged his people after giving them opportunity after opportunity to repent, calling upon them over and over, they still persisted in their evil, their rebellion and their sin until there was no remedy. According to second Chronicles there was no remedy, there was nothing else left. It is possible to exhaust the grace of God. It’s possible to go beyond the limits that God has established. In the days of Noah God said to Noah, “My spirit shall not always strive with man”. God’s spirit does strive with man. Thank God for that, God has been striving with many of you. Don’t take that for granite. Don’t think that you will be able to come to God at your terms and in your time. There is a time that God gives and there is a time in which God pleads. He’s not going to plead forever. There comes a day when a person can cross over the line where God ceases to plead with that person any longer. They face then that inevitable, certain, fearful, looking forward to the fiery indignation of God’s wrath by which his adversaries are devoured.
There is a line we know no where, a time we know not when that marks thee destiny of men to sorrow and despair. There is a line, though by man unseen, once it has been crossed even God and all of his love has sworn that all is lost. People play games with God and they think they’re getting by with it, they’re deceived in thinking that it doesn’t really matter and that God doesn’t really care or that God is unable or that I’m fooling God just like I’m fooling everybody else. You are only deceiving yourself. The day will come, even as it did with Judah, were God will just cut off. The day of his judgement where the lord will become as an enemy to you.
The LORD was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation (2:5).
Those that remain just tears.
And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: (2:6).
Were the people used to come and assemble before the Lord.
the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest (2:6).
God is turned against them because they had turned against God. The prophet said to king Asa, “The Lord is with you as long as you are with him but if you forsake him he will forsake you”. You forsake God you’ll be forsaken of God.
The LORD hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast (2:7).
As they were destroying, there was a whooping and a hollering and a yelling as though there was a feast at the temple when they were praising the Lord, lifting their voices and praise. Now they are lifting their shouts as they are destroying the sanctuary of God.
The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together (2:8).
God stretched out the line and made his judgement.
Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: (2:9).
They were carried away captives.
the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD (2:9).
God is silent. He’s left and the place is desolate, forsaken of God.
The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground (2:10).
Those few feeble folk that remain sitting there in the dirt, throwing dirt over themselves as they sit in sackcloth. The young little girls going around rather than with a smile and a light in their face have their heads down and no hope.
Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings [nursing children] swoon in the streets of the city (2:11).
The little children going around just fainting because of hunger. Sad, sad site. The prophet sits there, unable to do anything, just weeps over what he sees and the desolation that is there.
They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? (2:12).
Can you imagine what it would be like to not have any food? Your children come and say, “Mommy I’m hungry. I want something to eat” but you don’t have anything. Everything is used up. Sad, pitiful.
when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers’ bosom (2:12).
They sought to get some nourishment from their mother’s breasts and they died right there in their mother’s arms. Died of hunger and starvation trying to nurse for there is nothing within her breasts.
What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee? (2:13).
What can I say to comfort? What can I compare you to? What can I say? Nothing is equal it’s like the sea when it comes with all of its strength and force. There is just nothing that can stand against it.
Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: (2:14).
The prophets were saying, “the Babylonians will never cast a fort against this city. We are safe from the Babylonians. They will never shoot an arrow into the city.” The false prophets were giving the people assurance so that they would go on partying. Don’t stop the party, don’t stop the celebration, things are going to get better. The false prophets were encouraging the people and they were making fun of Jeremiah because he was predicting Babylon’s coming and conquering the city.
and they have not discovered your iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment (2:14).
So they prophesied lies to the people. They didn’t rebuke them for their sin. They told them everything is alright.
All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? (2:15).
The enemies looking at it derisively mock, hiss, shake their heads and clap their hands for the joy of seeing the destruction of the city.
All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it (2:16).
The rejoicing of their enemies over their destruction.
The LORD hath done that which he had devised; (2:17).
Or that which he warned him about.
he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: (2:17).
The prophecies of Isaiah, the prophecies of Jeremiah and those other prophets that were warning the people, Habakkuk, have now come to pass. He has done just what he said he would.
he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries. Their heart cried unto the LORD, O wall of the daughter of Zion, (2:17-18).
You mothers, the strength, the true strength of Zion.
let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease (2:18).
Don’t quit praying and let the tears just roll down your cheeks.
Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the night watches (2:19).
In the Hebrew they had three watches of four hours during the night. The beginning watch was from eight to midnight, then midnight to four was the middle watch and four to eight in the morning was called the morning watch.
pour out thine heart like water before the face of the LORD: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, (2:19).
Pray for your children. Pray for the conditions that they are experiencing. Hold them up in prayer.
that faint for hunger in the top of every street (2:19).
O how we need to pray for our children today. They are faced with all kinds of evil and temptations. Our government no longer affords them protection from filthiness, from filthy influences. Children can see and be exposed to pornography at very early ages because it’s so prevalent and so easily available. We’ve made no attempts any longer to protect the children from violence, from pornography and from all kinds of evil. Thus the children become the victims. The prophet is saying, “Pray, lift up your hands for these children”.
Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, (2:20).
That is the fruit of their own bodies or their babies.
and children of a span long? (2:20).
Just eighteen inches, little babies that they carry in their arms.
shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord? The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and young men are fallen by the sword; thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed, and not pitied (2:20-21).
The prophet sees this horrible judgement of God against the people. The children, the young people, indiscriminately slain. The old men are indiscriminately slain in the streets.
Hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD’S anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up (2:22).
The babies that I’ve wrapped in their blankets, carried and brought up. I’ve watched them grow.
hath mine enemy consumed (2:22).
O the awesome fearful consequences of turning your back against God and the things of God. The day of God’s judgement is coming again. If God judged his own people for their wickedness he will not spare. As sure as God’s judgement fell upon them for their transgressions and their iniquity, so shall God’s judgement fall upon us for our transgressions and our iniquities. O people of God, the time has come to get on our faces before the Lord, to weep before the Lord, to intercede for our nation, for our children and for the future.
Father we come tonight in Jesus name, knowing that You are a merciful gracious God, knowing also that You are a righteous and holy God. Lord we intercede because our nation is turned its back upon You. Lord we see already the signs of corruption and its consequence, destruction. Lord we have seen in our streets the mobs as they rose in rebellion against law and authority. We’ve seen the indiscriminate killing of innocent people. We’ve seen the evil Lord that has gripped our nation because it turned its back upon You. It has stretched out its arms to the god’s of pleasure, the god’s of power, the god’s of intellect, the god’s of lust. People have worshiped the false gods and have rejected and treated with disdain the true and living God.
O God, stir our hearts that we might remain unpolluted and undefiled from this world and the things of this world. That we might serve You O Lord with our whole hearts, fervently seeking after You, seeking Your face. That we Lord might be counted worthy to escape the things that will be coming to pass soon upon the earth. We might be standing before You as Your bride, Your children. Help us Lord, in these days, to become very serious before You seeking You with all of our hearts and serving You with all of our strength. In Jesus name we ask You, Amen.
Shall we stand?
In face of the rising tide of evil that is engulfing our world I’d like to encourage you with the words that “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” and “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Thus may you go forth in the name and in the power of Jesus Christ standing strong against those forces of darkness that have engulfed our land. May your life be as your life be as a light shining in the darkness drawing men unto the only hope in these days to Jesus Christ our Lord and to a full and complete commitment to him. May your life be a real witness for Jesus Christ. May he give you opportunity to share your love for him with someone else this week. In Jesus’ name.

Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7310
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