A Compassion For Those Who Are Lost

When Handel’s servant used to bring him his chocolate in the morning, “he often stood silent with astonishment to see his master’s tears mixing with the ink as he penned his composition.” And it is related that a friend, calling upon the great musician when in the … More

Compassion

Jeremiah responded to the news of the Babylonian invasion by crying out in anguish. His heart pounded and he could not keep silent as he thought of the approaching battle and the disaster it would bring Judah (vv. 19-21). He concluded that the people of Judah were fools and had no understanding of the way of righteousness which they should have been following (v. 22). A graphic, poetic description is given by the prophet as to the destruction of the land (vv. 23-26). Archaeological excavations have shown that every one of the cities that existed in Jeremiah’s day were completely destroyed. This is more than a simple picture of the invasion. It is also a picture of the devastation man brings upon himself when he rebels against God’s purpose for his life.

Though the whole land would be ruined as God judged the people, He still promised that He would not destroy it completely (v. 27). As the armies approached Judah, the people in every town fled to avoid being killed. They hid in the thickets and among the rocks (vv. 28-29) hoping not to be apprehended by the soldiers. The term “lovers” refers to the foreign powers with whom the Jews maintained diplomatic relations, in particular the Babylonians, who woo Judah and Jerusalem only to destroy them. In contrast the people of Jerusalem made two vain attempts to persuade God to call off His judgment (v. 30). (1) They tried to dress themselves in scarlet and jewels of gold but didn’t have a compassionate heart. (2) They made a pitiful cry for help, but, it came after the day of options had passed. His sermon opened up with the warning: “Flee for safety.” It closed with the cry of death: “Woe is me now for my soul fainteth before murderers” (v. 31).

Application

Jeremiah had a big heart of compassion as he cried out in anguish for those who are away from God and about to face judgment. I want to have more compassion for those who are lost and backslidden.

Jeremiah 4:19-31 (English Standard Version)


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