ALL BECAUSE OF OUR SINS

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” writes Paul to the Roman church.  When we read the whole chapter (Romans 3) this truth is expanded to help all people understand the faithfulness of God to all that is right, holy and good for us who believe Him. Paul writes from the beginning of this letter; “the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all!”  God is faithful no matter what we do.  We have a choice to reflect who God is or not.

Our behavior of faithfulness to God helps others see God faithfulness to all who believe and follow in His ways.  Jeremiah writes in this Lament that through bad, horrible times of suffering because of all sins of all people, God is faithful.  God turns his back on sin but he does not turn His back on people who cry out to Him, seeking Him with all their hearts.  The cry of the prophet to God’s people is to seek Him with all your hearts—And God will find us.

If Jeremiah has taught us anything at all through the trials of exile and destruction, it is this:  Our sin cuts us off from God and all His promises and blessings until we turn back to Him.  God does what He says He will do to bring us back to Him. God, indeed, walked away from the Holy Temple built by human hands but He is still God.  We learn that the sin of trying to put God in a box and bring Him out only on special occasions and feasts with empty, sin-filled hearts caused God’s exit!  What man had built for Him was destroyed by the sins of mankind that had replaced respect, awe, and fear of God. 

God cannot be contained.  God is everywhere and anywhere He wants to be.  God is present and omnipresent.  God is all knowing.  God, however, cannot and will not be where sin resides for God is holy.  God is Truth.  He cannot lie.  Knowing His created like He does, God made a plan to redeem us once and for all eternity.  That plan was Jesus, The Word made flesh, who came to seek and to save all lost humans and pay the debt of all sin once and for all who believe.  Yes, I used “all” more than once for emphasis because God’s desire is for all to be saved from sin.  God wants to come to us and abide in us. God loves us beyond our human thinking!  How can we walk out on a love like this?

Jeremiah tells God’s people how to repent: 

Give out heart-cries to the Master, dear repentant Zion.
    Let the tears roll like a river, day and night,
    and keep at it—no time-outs. Keep those tears flowing!

As each night watch begins, get up and cry out in prayer.
    Pour your heart out face-to-face with the Master.

In today’s words:  Get real, believe in Jesus’ power and authority to forgive, repent and be saved forever.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Our lament is in not believing and following our sin nature for far too long.

Lamentations 2, The Message

God Walked Away from His Holy Temple

Oh, oh, oh . . . 
How the Master has cut down Daughter Zion
    from the skies, dashed Israel’s glorious city to earth,
    in his anger treated his favorite as throwaway junk.

The Master, without a second thought, took Israel in one gulp.
    Raging, he smashed Judah’s defenses,
    ground her king and princes to a pulp.

His anger blazing, he knocked Israel flat,
    broke Israel’s arm and turned his back just as the enemy approached,
    came on Jacob like a wildfire from every direction.

Like an enemy, he aimed his bow, bared his sword,
    and killed our young men, our pride and joy.
    His anger, like fire, burned down the homes in Zion.

The Master became the enemy. He had Israel for supper.
    He chewed up and spit out all the defenses.
    He left Daughter Judah moaning and groaning.

He plowed up his old trysting place, trashed his favorite rendezvous.
    God wiped out Zion’s memories of feast days and Sabbaths,
    angrily sacked king and priest alike.

God abandoned his altar, walked away from his holy Temple
    and turned the fortifications over to the enemy.
    As they cheered in God’s Temple, you’d have thought it was a feast day!

God drew up plans to tear down the walls of Daughter Zion.
    He assembled his crew, set to work and went at it.
    Total demolition! The stones wept!

Her city gates, iron bars and all, disappeared in the rubble:
    her kings and princes off to exile—no one left to instruct or lead;
    her prophets useless—they neither saw nor heard anything from God.

10 The elders of Daughter Zion sit silent on the ground.
    They throw dust on their heads, dress in rough penitential burlap—
    the young virgins of Jerusalem, their faces creased with the dirt.

11 My eyes are blind with tears, my stomach in a knot.
    My insides have turned to jelly over my people’s fate.
    Babies and children are fainting all over the place,

12 Calling to their mothers, “I’m hungry! I’m thirsty!”
    then fainting like dying soldiers in the streets,
    breathing their last in their mothers’ laps.

13 How can I understand your plight, dear Jerusalem?
    What can I say to give you comfort, dear Zion?
    Who can put you together again? This bust-up is past understanding.

14 Your prophets courted you with sweet talk.
    They didn’t face you with your sin so that you could repent.
    Their sermons were all wishful thinking, deceptive illusions.

15 Astonished, passersby can’t believe what they see.
    They rub their eyes, they shake their heads over Jerusalem.
    Is this the city voted “Most Beautiful” and “Best Place to Live”?

16 But now your enemies gape, slack-jawed.
    Then they rub their hands in glee: “We’ve got them!
    We’ve been waiting for this! Here it is!”

17 God did carry out, item by item, exactly what he said he’d do.
    He always said he’d do this. Now he’s done it—torn the place down.
    He’s let your enemies walk all over you, declared them world champions!

18 Give out heart-cries to the Master, dear repentant Zion.
    Let the tears roll like a river, day and night,
    and keep at it—no time-outs. Keep those tears flowing!

19 As each night watch begins, get up and cry out in prayer.
    Pour your heart out face-to-face with the Master.
    Lift high your hands. Beg for the lives of your children
    who are starving to death out on the streets.

20 “Look at us, God. Think it over. Have you ever treated anyone like this?
    Should women eat their own babies, the very children they raised?
    Should priests and prophets be murdered in the Master’s own Sanctuary?

21 “Boys and old men lie in the gutters of the streets,
    my young men and women killed in their prime.
    Angry, you killed them in cold blood, cut them down without mercy.

22 “You invited, like friends to a party, men to swoop down in attack
    so that on the big day of God’s wrath no one would get away.
    The children I loved and reared—gone, gone, gone.”

Lord,

Forgive us our sins. Save us from ourselves.

In Jesus Name, Amen.  I believe.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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