Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 4-6
Today’s Reflection: Jeremiah 4:9
“In that day, declares the LORD, courage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded.”
The day spoken of in Jeremiah 4:9 is the day no one thinks will befall them. Nations, institutions, peoples all believe they are in the right, their cause is just, that when they choose to wage war it is righteous, and that God is on their side.
And yet the day will come when these same nations are struck with tragedies and calamities they cannot explain. Perhaps a financial collapse the leaders should have prevented. Perhaps a terror attack by an unknown enemy who turns out to have been an old ally. The day comes when something happens the kings of the world have no answer for, their advisors can’t spin, their religious figures can’t turn into a tidy sermon, and that silences their pundits and experts.
And the cause will be the sins of that nation—despite warning after warning from God, a people that persist in wickedness, selfishness, indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, and calling their evil acts good things (not that a nation’s sins justify violent actions taken by others against them—God says vengeance is His, and in the Bible when God did allow one nation to overthrow another and their actions became brutal, He turned around and punished that nation for failing to show mercy in their conquest).
The question becomes, what does God have to do to get your nation’s attention? Is pointing out your sins enough? Is pointing out the injustice you allow, the inequity of wealth, the casual neglect of the poor and the needy, the xenophobia and racism, the destruction of the natural world enough? Is showing you all these sins and more enough? Or do your people need a stronger message?
The woman at the well only needed a conversation with Jesus to be convicted of her sin of adultery and repent (John 4:1-30). The woman caught in adultery had to be dragged out into the street naked and screaming, threatened with death by stoning to come to the same repentance (John 8:1-11). Can God talk to your nation’s leaders, or does He have to expose their nakedness and bring them to the brink of destruction to get them to listen?
And even then, will they hear?