Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
Lamentations 1:1-3 NLT
Jerusalem, once so full of people,
is now deserted.
She who was once great among the nations
now sits alone like a widow.
Once the queen of all the earth,
she is now a slave.
2 She sobs through the night;
tears stream down her cheeks.
Among all her lovers,
there is no one left to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her
and become her enemies.
3 Judah has been led away into captivity,
oppressed with cruel slavery.
She lives among foreign nations
and has no place of rest.
Her enemies have chased her down,
and she has nowhere to turn.
I remember during my early childhood (around 5th grade) I struggled with behavioral issues at school. Due to a desire to fit in and be a part, I acted out in class, disrespected teachers, and students all for the sake of a laugh. The disciplinary system back then was that you received a tally for every behavioral issue you exhibited. Four tallies equated to an early morning detention, and a fifth tally led to In School Suspension. Well, I had quite a bit of four tally weeks. I remember vividly whenever I would be at the three-tally mark on a Friday, needing to just keep my mouth shut to keep from getting a detention, yet falling short and receiving that detention.
The laughs were often great to hear, but that feeling of “accomplishment” would soon fade under the fear of what was to come once I got back home. Most of the weeks I received detention, I had a long and lonely walk home. See my parents held to the truth of what that ol’ Proverb says, “Spare the rod, spoil the child”. On those Friday evenings I would wait in my room in isolation for my dad to come back home from work to receive that spanking. What was interesting was that my so-called “friends” who I thought I had by making them laugh were nowhere to be found. At the end of the day, I found myself alone, in my room, awaiting the punishment for my disobedience.
In the same way in the beginning of Lamentations 1, we see the prophet Jeremiah share from his heart the current state of the people of Israel. In the context, the Israel have been captured by the Babylonian people. Jeremiah prophesied about their captivity due to their obstinance and disobedience to the Lord. The wicked kings they appointed led them to worship foreign gods, and though it may have pleased them, it was only for a short time. Now they find themselves in slavery, in a foreign and desolate place. Here is the reality- DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LORD ALWAYS LEADS TO DESOLATION.
What do I mean by desolation? Emptiness, despair, and destruction. The good news is that the Lord never leaves nor forsakes us. However, when we blatantly choose to go our own way, rule our own heart, or worship other gods, we find ourselves broken up. How do I know? We see all throughout the scripture of characters that gave testimony of such things. King David when he decided to go his own way and commit adultery and murder, we see his Psalm of repentance in Psalm 51 when he asks for the Lord to “restore the joy of his salvation” and “create in him a clean heart.” What about Paul? When he describes his life in Philippians 3, he was THE MAN in the world’s eyes, however he mentioned how at the end of the day nothing compared to the greatness of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. When we choose to go our own way, the consequence sadly is finding ourselves in a place of desolation, and sadly this is where we find the people of Israel in the book of Lamentations.
Though the book of Lamentations is bleak, there is some good news: We do not have to live in a desolate place! Hallelujah! The good news is that in Christ, we can choose to live for Him and make Him Lord of our every single day. Let me encourage you today to choose to follow Jesus. He is better than any other god. He is better than any other momentary sinful pleasure. He is better. If you are in a desolate place today because of walking in disobedience, the good news for you is that Jesus is just a call away. You can choose to turn around and run back to Him. So, choose to run back to Him. In Him as the psalm says, “There is Fullness of Joy.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father Lord, help for me to see the seriousness of sin today. Remind me of the fact that You indeed are so much better than what this world can offer. You are so much better. As a result, help me to trust in You and let You lead my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.