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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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”