600 years before Jesus came, Jeremiah wept over his nation for the same things the church faces today. We often compare national Israel to the nation we live in today. But, a better comparison is to compare national Israel with the church that Jesus established.
Jeremiah wrote the book of Jeremiah and the book of Lamentations. His lament over the nation of Israel can be applied to the sin of today. Sin, is a downfall of man. Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. But, what made him weep?
Jeremiah Cried Because Judah was More Patriotic that Pious
God told them He was going to use a sinful nature to destroy His people. This leaves a dilemma. How can God use a wicked nation to punish a chosen nation? How could God use a wicked man like Nebuchadnezzar to punish the nation who was given the promise that through them all the earth would be blessed?
- Genesis 22:18
- Zechariah 13:7-9
God would purify the nation. Only a righteous remnant would return from Babylon.
- Jeremiah 26:1-15
They did not want to hear that God was going to destroy their city. At the time that Jeremiah makes this condemnation it was set in order and would not change. They didn’t want to hear it, they wanted to put him to death.
Like Jonah they were more patriotic than repentant. Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh to preach repentance to his country’s enemies.
- Jeremiah 10:23
Jeremiah urged them to search and try their ways.
- Lamentations 3:40
The way of man is not in himself, we must look within ourselves and turn to the Lord.
- Jeremiah 17:19
There are two verses that proclaim the wickedness of Judah.
- Jeremiah 3:25, we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.
- Jeremiah 7:28
This was a nation that was not pious. They did not love their God, they did not love their word. They were not pious.
Jeremiah Cried Because Judah was More Promise than Performance
The Jews of Jesus’ day were hypocrites. They did not do what they said they would do.
- Matthew 23:3
The false prophets of Judah also were not doing what they said they would do.
Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts….
Jeremiah Cried Because Judah was More Pretense than Purity
- 2 Chronicles 36:15-16
They mocked the messengers of God and despised His word. God’s wrath had risen until there was no remedy, no cure, for the punishment that was to come upon them. They persecuted prophets like Jeremiah and others.
They turned away from the Lord, but, also turned toward idolatry.
- Jeremiah 44:17
They rejected the fountains of living water. They replaced the living water with that which would defile their very souls.
- Jeremiah 2:13
They exchanged fountains of living water for cisterns which holds no water whatsoever. The prophet wept because they were pretense than purity.
Jeremiah Cried Because Judah was More Pride than Power
Arrogance caused the prophet to weep
- Jeremiah 13:1-11
Think of how close a girdle would be to the body. Israel was close to God in His heart. But, they were going to be cast out. It was their pride that led to their fall.
- Proverbs 16:18
Only when we submit to the Lord’s guidance can we know peace.
- James 4:10
"Broken at last I bowed my head
forgetting myself and said:
whate'er come, God’s will be done
and, in that moment peace was won!" - Henry Van Dyke
They were more pride than power and their pride was going to bring them down.
Jeremiah Cried Because Judah was More Pompous than Prayerful
There idea was that they were so high they didn’t need God. Three times God commanded Jeremiah to not even cry or pray for them.
- Jeremiah 7:16
God was so angry that He stated that He wouldn’t even hear prayer concerning them.
- Jeremiah 11:14
- Jeremiah 14:11-12
- Isaiah 59:1,2
It wasn’t that God couldn’t hear, it was that He wouldn’t hear.
- Psalms 66:18
Iniquity is sin, piled upon sin, a lifetime of living in sin.
- Proverbs 28:9
They weren't’ following God, and it was an abomination to them.
No wonder Jeremiah wept. They had shut themselves off from any forgiving source. The weeping prophet of Anathoth lived long enough to see all this destruction fulfilled. Babylon did come and take God's people into captivity for 70 years. In the Septuagint, the book of Lamentations is called “The Tears of Jeremiah.” This is truly a good description. There is no other book so full of sorrow and regret.
We need to sincerely study this little book, as it vividly tells us about the broken heart. It tells us three truths.
- Sin Brings Sorrow
- Bondage Could have Been Prevented
- Divine Chastening is what purifies a people.
May we heed a lesson from the tears of Jeremiah. May we not fall into the trap of having more patriotism than piety. Let us not fall into these traps that were earlier mentioned.
Let us turn our hearts to the Lord as Judah should of done. Let us weep with Jeremiah at the cost of sin. Let us weep that Christ had to die for our sins. Let us weep for those who will be lost if they do not hear the gospel message.
Jeremiah worked by fearlessly preaching God's message.
- Jeremiah 9:1
If we truly love the people of this world we will do everything in our power to help others know God. We will continue on as Jeremiah did, even when we want to give up.
Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. - Jeremiah 20:9 KJV
Jeremiah loved the Lord so much, even though he became frustrated, that he preached God's message. We see his great love for his people and his sorrow in the book of Lamentations.
You don't have to be like the people of Jeremiahs' day. You can get in a right relationship with God. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, be willing to repent of your sins, and confess the name of Christ, you can be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, and walk in a new life with Him.