On Saturdays I have a secret place I go to spend time with the Lord. Today I had my weekly Saturday meeting and asked the Lord to give me some scriptures he wanted me to go over. I was given Jeremiah 34 and Lamentations. I spiritually groaned because I couldn't topically see the relevance of either of these scriptures for my days perceived problems.
When I returned to the house I grabbed my Bible and dove in. And as predicted it felt like diving into ice water and muddy brown ice water at that. Jeremiah 34 deals with slavery and Lamentations is not a spiritual upper like some of my favorite books of the Bible. It's more like a downer – the name says it all – Lamentations. Skimming over the Jeremiah chapter I got very little to chew on. The book of Lamentations was a whole lot of sadness- split briefly in chapter 3:20-26 with a little bit of positivity – only to return to more sadness and Lamentations….
So I go to google and I look up commentaries or sermons on these given verses. Technology is awesome!
First, let's take Jeremiah 34 and see what I found…
"You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name; but then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves. Therefore, thus says the Lord: "You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine," says the Lord. "I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth."
"The remarkable phrase in this passage is, "you profaned my name." This was a serious charge to any Jew. They had been brought up to revere and respect the name of God. The scribes did not even dare to write the name of God without taking a bath and changing their clothes. And they never pronounced it. The four Hebrew letters used for the name of God they called "The Ineffable Tetragrammaton" — the unpronounceable or unspeakable four letters. They never spoke the name of God. Yet God's charge against this king is, "You have profaned my name." The Hebrew word translated profane, means "wound," "pierce," or "deface." God's charge is, "You have defaced me." How did Zedekiah do it? By failing to respect the human rights of slaves. It is an act of blasphemy against God to treat another person as somewhat less than a person. That is what God holds a nation to account for."
Hmmmm a nation like America that has slaughtered millions of American Indians, held millions of people in a system of slavery, and slaughtered 57 Million + babies on the altar of abortion?
Read more of this article here:
I can definitely start to see some relevance now. Our nation is on the brink of nuclear meltdown with N. Korea. No nation is mightier than God, his wrath, or his righteous judgement – not even the good old U. S. Of A.
Moving onto Lamentations I found this 33 page PDF that is an Exegesis of the complete book. I love finding things like this for free on the Internet…it's opening paragraph gives a great summary on the book of Lamentations.
"Lamentations is one of those Old Testament writings which has yet to receive its full share of recognition and appreciation by the Christian world. The reason for the neglect of this little book is not difficult to discover. In the popular view Lamentations is a somber and gloomy record of unrelieved grief as Jeremiah weeps over the ruins of Jerusalem. When viewed in this manner there is little about Lamentations that would attract the Bible student. However, the book is much more than a cheerless protest of the inequities of life. It is more than “a cloudburst of grief, a river of tears, a sea of sobs” as one writer has called it. This five-fold poem is really an affirmation of faith in the justice and goodness of God. The author has tasted the bitter dregs of pain and sorrow, of cruelty and ignominy, of frustration and loneliness and yet he dares to cling to a faith undaunted, a faith which triumphs over circumstances. The book endeavors to explain history and place calamities in proper perspective. When the true purpose of Lamentations is recognized this amazing little book has a great deal to contribute to a Christian understanding of war and natural catastrophes. "
Get the entire PDF Bible Study & Exegesis of Lamentations
I am calling this a wake-up call. A "don't get to big for your breeches" message. Regardless of whom brings down the hammer of Gods judgement there is plenty that America needs to repent for. God could use anyone, Russia, Iran, and even N. Korea. America does need to REPENT and turn from her human rights abuses. Slavery has long been abolished yet abortion still soaks our country in innocent blood every day. Repent America before we all are relating to Lamentations a little better than we do today!