Lamentations 4:12-13 The Unexpected

The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the peoples of the world, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous. Lamentation 4:12-13

Jerusalem had been a very powerful city, in a very powerful nation during its time. It was set on a high hill with a great wall surrounding it. Attacking it and overcoming it would have been very difficult. All over the world, other nations knew that taking Jerusalem would have been nearly impossible. Yet, it happened, it was destroyed for a time, the unexpected happened.

The only reason that the enemy was able to take Jerusalem was because of the sins of the prophets, priests and people in the city. God handed Jerusalem over to the enemy because of sin.

Just like Jerusalem was confident that no one could conquer them, many other nations and people feel as though the enemy has no chance of overtaking them. People hide behind their money, power and position believing that those things will protect them from all harm or destruction.

Others hide behind church or a position in church. They feel that because they are a leader in the church or go to church each week, that they are immune to any destruction. As they stand behind these things, some will live in a sinful lifestyle, rebelling against God and His commands. They feel as though they are protected because they go to church and call themselves ‘Christian.’

God sees through their false living. He sees how each person is really living his life. He knows whether a person is really following Him or not.

In the end each person will stand before God to give account for his life. If one believes in Jesus and is following Jesus, God will see it and he will be saved. If one does not really follow Jesus, regardless of what his words say, God will also see it and the person will not be saved.

You have to make the choice to follow God. Do not trust the things of this world or yourself, put all your trust in Jesus. If you are against God, you can be overcome. God will win in the end.

Who are you really following today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God with all of your life; that you will trust God in every area of your life; and that you will be saved by Jesus. 

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Lamentations 3:22-23 New Compassions Daily

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is  your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

As the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, there was a lot of destruction and suffering. At the time, there did not seem to be a lot of hope. The end could not be seen and it appeared as though God had completely abandoned them for all eternity. Yet, Jeremiah notes that God’s love is so great that they would not be completely destroyed. Despite what was going on around them, he could see God’s compassion for them being renewed each day.

When people are going through hard times, they often feel as though they are completely alone and that God has abandoned them. It is common for a person to feel as though God is full of anger and hate, not wanting anything to do with him ever again.

These hard times can be something physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or one of many other difficulties in life. The pain that one is feeling is real.

You may be going through a situation right now in your life, or you may have gone through one, or you will go through one some day. Jesus had said that you will have troubles in this world.

As you are going through a troubling time, keep in mind that God has promised you life and salvation through Jesus. There is a hope that one day Jesus will return and take you away from all the troubles of this world.

Another thing to remember is that no matter how difficult your situation is, it could be worse. The situation could be worse if you had no hope of salvation. If you do not believe in Jesus, then you can only look forward to an eternity of separation from God. As long as you are believing in Jesus and trusting in His work in your life, you have the hope of eternity in heaven.

As you get up each morning, realize God has spared your life on this earth for a purpose. He is showing you great love in keeping you going forward. Do not lose hope or give up. You may be hard-pressed, but you are not crushed or destroyed. Trust God through the tough times because He is faithful and will not abandon you.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s faithfulness; that you will know God’s love and compassion; and that you will have hope in Jesus. 

Lamentations 2:17 God Follows Through On His Plans

The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes. Lamentations 2:17

When God had brought the Israelites out of Egypt and made them into their own nation, He told them to follow only Him. He set down the rules that He expected them to follow. Along with giving the rules He gave them the rewards of following Him and the consequences of choosing not to follow Him. If they chose not to follow Him, the consequence would be destruction.

Over time, the Israelites had chosen not to follow God. After many warnings, God followed though on His plan to destroy them because they disobeyed His laws. It was not done on the spur of the moment or in a fit of anger. Their destruction was planned because of the rules laid out many years before.

Although times have changed and the ways of committing sins has changed, God has not. His laws and expectations are still the same. God expects everyone to follow Him with all of their life. Being a loving merciful God, He has laid out what He expects and how to accomplish those expectations. He has provided for every possible need that a person could have.

Many people choose right now to not live for God. Others claim to live for God, yet, purposefully live in some sinful behavior, with no thought to change. God has laid out His plans that those who choose to follow Him will be saved and live for eternity. Those who reject Him, will be punished and banished from Him for eternity.

Although it may not seem to be happening now, or that it will occur, you can be sure that God’s plans will be fulfilled. Some will be saved, while others will be punished.

You have to choose which will occur to you. If you accept and follow God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, you will be saved. If you choose to reject Him and do your own thing, or choose to accept Him, but still do your own thing, you can expect judgment and destruction in the end.

Choose today to follow God with all of your life.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to obey God with all of your life; that you will know the blessings of God in your life; and that God will not have to bring destruction in your life.

Lamentations 1:14 A Heavy Weight

“My sins have been bound into a yoke; by his hands they were woven together. They have been hung on my neck, and the Lord has sapped my strength. He has given me into the hands of those I cannot withstand.” Lamentations 1:14

During the time of the Babylonian takeover of Jerusalem, the people were under much suffering. The Babylonians did not treat them well, though they did allow them to live. The city had been destroyed and the people were in great misery. As Jeremiah sees this, he is weeping, lamenting, because he feels the weight of all the sin that brought on this destruction.

Sin is something that looks and sounds like fun, but it carries a heavy weight to it. People often think that they can handle their own sin, especially those ‘little’ sins.

It is commonly thought that what does it matter if one tells a little lie? Or if one cheats his neighbor a little bit? Or if one just breaks a little rule once in a while? It really does not affect anyone is what most think. And besides, God will understand.

The truth is that any sin, big or small, has a weight that no one can really bear up under. That weight is the weight of death. It will take away all strength from a person, pulling their head down to the grave as though a millstone was hung on his neck. It is bound tight to the person’s neck as a yoke is placed on an animal, that only the master can remove.

Jeremiah had faithfully followed God, but was feeling the weight of the sins of the people. All those sins took a toll on his body and zapped all of his strength.

Even today, if you live in sin, it will take your strength away from you. You will be constantly looking over your back to see if you will be caught in that sin. Fear will keep you awake through the night because death will be knocking on your door. The weight will be more than you can handle.

The good news is that you do not have to bear that weight any more. You can hand it over to Jesus. Turn from the sin and He will get rid of it. He paid the price of death for your sin.

As you turn from your own sin, weep for the sins of others. Lead others to Jesus to get rid of that enormous weight.

I pray today that God will help you turn from all sin; that you will know the freedom Jesus can give you from your sin; and that you will tell others about Jesus.