Prayer Can Save a Nation

One day my family was traveling down the interstate in Indiana pulling a travel trailer. I heard a strange sound so stopped and went to the back of the car and found a loose chain. I hooked it up and got back in the car and traveled to our home in Ohio. The next day I neede … More

Prayer

While the heathen worship gods they had made, the Bible tells us that the Almighty God made us and all things by His power (v. 12). This is quite a contrast from the lifeless idols who can do nothing! At His command, there is a multitude of water in the heavens, which are poured out on the earth, whether for judgment or mercy as He plans them (v. 13). Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for there is no breath in them (v. 14). People who make idols are stupid and they will be disappointed, because their false gods are not alive. Idols are a joke, and when the time is right, they will be destroyed (v. 15). Israel’s God, created all things, and chose Israel to be His very own (v. 16).

After discussing the superiority of God to idols (vv. 1-16), Jeremiah continued his temple address by describing the coming destruction and Exile (vv. 17-22). He identified himself with the pain of the people and prayed for God to be merciful to His people (vv. 18-19). He asked God to remember they were a weak people and didn’t know the right way. He points out that because the political and spiritual leaders didn’t seek the Lord, the people were led astray (vv. 20-21). We see from the result of the sins of the leaders (her prophets and her priests) that disaster and judgment came and a nation went into captivity. The prophet utters a prayer. He prays first that God will not chastise his people with mathematical exactness, but that in wrath he will remember mercy (vv. 23-25). The prayer is a request for retribution to be poured out upon those who have ravaged God’s people and their land.

Application

This reminds me of the leadership in our nation today. God has told me the remedy if I will but heed it! “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14). Lord help me to follow your instruction.

Jeremiah 10:12-25 (English Standard Version)

It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish. Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name. Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who dwell under siege! For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it." Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, "Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it." My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again and to set up my curtains. For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!-- a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals. I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not, and on the peoples that call not on your name, for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.

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