How Did This Happen?

In Lamentations, we find the funeral address for a nation. If we do not remind ourselves that there is hope in the Lord, what we find in this book of the Bible will be so discouraging. As God speaks through the prophet, Jeremiah gives us this eye witness account of what happened to his people. Lamentations reveals the heart of our weeping Saviour mourning the death and destruction of the people He had called His own.

When Judah fell to the nation of Babylon, Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple was torn down, and the remnant of the people were carried away to Babylon. Jerusalem had once been the greatest place on earth. By this small nation of people, mighty nations had been defeated, but now the city lay in a smoldering ruins.

This is the nation whose God had fought for them. This is the nation where after one night, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers had been ready to come in the next day to take the city, but God sent a death angel the night before and killed the entire army. What miraculous things surrounded the history of God’s chosen people! But all that was quickly taken away.

The Bible says in Lamentations 1:1, “How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!” Notice the little word, “how,” each time it occurs in this verse.

How did this happen? If we can discover the answer to that question, it will move us to action and cause us to do something that we have yet to do with the urgency we desperately need.

We are witnessing the unraveling of America’s spiritual life, her patriotism, and her morality. At the heart of our nation and who we truly are as a people lies our strong faith and belief in God. As that erodes and is destroyed, every other kind of destruction will follow.

When Joseph Stalin was ruling in Russia and murdering as many people as he possibly could, he said, “If we want to destroy America, there are three things we must do.”

  1. We must destroy her spiritual life.
  2. We must destroy her patriotism.
  3. We must destroy her morality.

Could it be that the answer is so simple that people refuse it? Could a return to God be a return to greatness in America? I believe it would.

From the most powerful offices in our land to local governments across the United States, many of our leaders seem to have lost the patriotic spirit we once had as we stood on the shoulders of our forefathers rejoicing in all that has been done for our freedom and liberty in this country.

The drifting of moral decency into indecency is something that even people who have no identity at all with the Christian faith are complaining about. What can be done to clean up this country?

We cannot change the future unless we disturb the present. The present will be changed only if we are disturbed. Business as normal and doing things as we always have will not bring revival.

Shortly before John F. Kennedy’s assassination, he published a study on why England slept before World War II. He agreed with England’s prime minister Winston Churchill who said that World War II was an unnecessary war. If England had been prepared, the war would never have taken place.

Kennedy also wrote that England had decided they would put to sleep any idea of building a war machine or a mighty military. We have the weakest military in this country that we have had in decades. That is no disparaging remark against the people who are now serving. But those in responsible positions are not building up the might and strength of our country.

I am not thinking that the answer is simply in military strength, but this carelessness is a reflection of the attitude we have in this nation. In England, they said, “If we built four ships last year and built five this year, that’s good. If we built six airplanes last year and seven this year, that’s good.” But they slept while the German army kept building, and then the invasion came.

We have another kind of sleep going on. Our kind of sleep is the idea that it will always be as good or better as it is now. But the economic forecasters are predicting this generation of Americans coming on will face less opportunity, less advance, and less of a nation for the first time in any generation in American history. This economic loss could bring America to a spiritual turning point, a returning to God, the things of God, and the things that are right.

How does this happen? The Lord gives us this little book of Lamentations to remind us how God’s judgment fell on Jerusalem, and what we can do when our nation is facing His coming judgment. The answer is found in the closing chapter. In Lamentations 5:7, the Bible says, “Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.”

The magnitude of what happened is recorded in Lamentations 4:11, “The Lord hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.” We would be wrong to conclude that all the credit for Jerusalem’s destruction should go to the Babylonian army and the leadership of King Nebuchadnezzar.

God has blessed America beyond anything we could ever imagine. Someone might say, “Well, I don’t think there is any fighting force in the whole wide world that could invade our land. We’ll fight for it.” But now we are imploding as a nation! There are many threats from within and without. I wish that we were trying to defeat them with more force, but the real threat is that our nation has made God the enemy by dishonoring Him and opposing His law.

In Jeremiah 45:5, we have God’s Word to one man in the remnant. “And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.” God’s judgment on the people who had rejected Him would affect, “all flesh,” but He would spare the lives of those who were faithful to Him. For seventy years the land lay empty before God called His remnant to return, rebuild, and restore biblical faith.

The prophet Jeremiah and a handful of others were obedient to God through this suffering, and God spared their lives. When trouble comes, remember, this lost and dying world will stand before God for their sin. His judgment is coming. We are in God’s hand and no man can pluck us out (John 10:28-29). We must do all we can to speak the truth in love to the lost before it is too late for them to come to Christ.

Cover photo of Jerusalem by Robert Bye on Unsplash

One thought on “How Did This Happen?

  1. Phil wasnidge says:

    Praise God for this great awakening. Our leaders have sinned greatly and perverted the White House and all the departments. They have with a purpose been friends with Satan to destroy America. Our nation needs real born again believes to pray. God uses the remnant.

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