Daily D – Lamentations 2:14
Your prophets saw visions for you that were empty and deceptive; they did not reveal your iniquity and so restore your fortunes. They saw pronouncements for you that were empty and misleading.
LAMENTATIONS 2:14 (CSB)
They didn’t face you with your sin so that you could repent.
Their sermons were all wishful thinking, deceptive illusions.
But the kisses of an enemy are excessive.
A friend who is a world-class teacher and trainer says we have to face the brutiful facts. Some realities can only be described as brutal. However, when we clearly see how things are, we can begin working for how those things should be. This leads us away from the painful present into a preferred future.
Our world faces a number of brutal facts. Politicians look at these facts and ask us if we are going to trust them or our lying eyes. Pundits look to blame someone. Preachers too can get caught up in politicking and punditry and push agendas that do not originate with the heart of God.
The Kingdom of Judah and its capital Jerusalem lay in ruins. It did not have to be that way. God wooed his people. God was gracious and generous with them. God extended forgiveness and mercy. God sent his messengers with words of warning and hope.
The people chose trendy gods who affirmed their sins. The people determined God’s way was too hard. The people turned away from grace and goodness. The people stopped up their ears and would not listen. Therefore, they suffered the consequences. Brutal facts did not lead to beautiful alternatives because they chose the path that led to more brutality. How sad. How devastating.
Isaiah and Jeremiah wounded the people with truthful words about a coming disaster. Those were trustworthy words. Those were kind words. Those words were ignored.
Shrink matters down to our individual scales for a moment. How well do we consider the brutal facts? How often do we seek God’s positive alternative? How are we working with others to create beautiful futures aligned with God’s heart?
Our day and time require men and women who will stand up and tell it like it is while also telling it like it can be. Hard realities are unpleasant. Destruction is more unpleasant by far. Let us become trustworthy friends who are unafraid of wounding with our words in preparation for a preferred future.
I will speak the truth in love as we seek to move from brutal facts to beautiful alternatives.
Our Father, empower us to see clearly our current reality. Empower us as well to see your preferred future. Use us to bring about your positive alternatives. Remind us to accompany every word that wounds with acts of healing grace. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.