• William T. Howe Ph.D.

August 23, 2021

Daily Reading: Jeremiah 38-41

Jeremiah 38:28

So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he was there when Jerusalem was taken.

Have you been in the situation wherein you warned someone over and over yet, they would not listen? As a result, harsh consequences fell upon them. If you have, you know that there is a certain feeling attached to the situation. That feeling gives you an insight to your soul.

Is it a feeling of satisfaction? “They got what they deserved” sort of feeling. A feeling of pride or gratification? Or are you heartbroken. Saddened that they did not heed the advice. Hurting for them, suffering with them, distraught or disconsolate? If there is any compassion or mercy about you, you probably identify with the latter of these two conditions. Heartbroken.

Pastors, parents, perhaps some spouses and good friends have experienced this to one degree or another. When those that are warned yet heed not the warnings crash, all that can be done is suffer with them, weep over them, and hope to restore them. Saying “I told you so” never heals the brokenness inside over the sufferings of those loved and cared for. Not to those who have the proper spirit which is the Spirit of Christ.

Jeremiah must have felt this way, for he is often called “the weeping prophet”. He saw the overthrow of Jerusalem. He saw those he spoke God’s Word to die. Indeed, he suffered because of the ill treatment his body received. Perhaps though, his greatest suffering was that associated with a broken heart. For he must have thought over and over “It didn’t have to be this way.” “Oh, only if you listened to the Word of God.” In his situation, it was not just one person, or a few, it was a nation. Ransacked, overthrown, killed, and burned, all because they would not adhere to God’s Word on the matter.

As a pastor, I could give dozens of stories that would break your heart, as they have mine. But, to what avail? Humans never seem to learn how to learn from the mistakes of others. As you read the story of Jeremiah, think of the souls that suffered greatly all because of their unwillingness to listen to the Word of God from the man of God. I wonder if, in heaven, Jeremiah and, let’s say, Caleb have discussed the way they felt on earth. After all, both experienced a similar plight. They had to live through the results of their nation turning away from God’s Word. Every step Caleb took during the wilderness wanderings, every burial they had for all his contemporaries that died, he must have thought. “It didn’t have to be this way.” However, all he could do was hurt and suffer. The same with Jeremiah. All the people of Judah needed to do was to believe the Lord God and keep His Word. He must have thought within himself “It didn’t have to be this way.” It is the same with all who preach and teach God’s Holy Word. We praise the Lord for those who adhere, and yet weep over those who choose otherwise.

It’s not about “I told you so”, it’s about “I’m brokenhearted for you.”

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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