Has the pain of sorrow ever consumed your soul to the point you believe there can be no more tears left to cry? What experience brought you to that place? The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah experienced such pain of sorrow.
“Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water
for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without intermission,”
The destruction of Jerusalem caused his pain. He had warned the people time and again with no avail. In fact, his people turned against him. They would not listen. Now the destruction had come. But why?
- “for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy…
- Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed.” Lamentations 1:5,8.
Jeremiah was not the only one to weep over Jerusalem. Jesus entered Jerusalem for His final Passover Celebration on a donkey. The people cried out,
“BLESSED BE THE KING THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest…and when he was come near,
he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Saying, If thou hadst known,
even thou, at least in this thy day,
the things which belong unto thy peace!
But now they are hid from thine eyes.
- For the days shall come upon thee,
- that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
- And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee;
- and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another;
- because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Luke 19:38,41-44.
Why did Jesus cry? ; “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
“But though he had done so many miracles before them,
yet they believed not on him:”
Jesus prepared his disciples for the rejection to come.
The Son of man must suffer many things,
and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes,
and be slain and be raised the third day.” Luke 9:22…
“The Jews answered him[Pilate],
We have a law, and by our law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God…
they cried out,
Away with him, away with him,
Pilate saith unto them,
Shall I crucify your King?
The chief priest answered,
We have no king but Caesar.”
Jesus cried because the people chose sin and death instead of righteousness and life. They missed the way of life before them. He knew the wages of their sin.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thou that killest the prophets, and
stonest them which are sent unto thee,
how often would I have gathered thy children together,
even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,
and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
Jeremiah and Jesus shared an agony over the people’s disbelief. Jeremiah reminds us there is another way, a way of faith. Where faith is mixed with the mercy of God, hope lives.
- “This I recall to my mind,
- therefore have I hope.
- It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed,
- because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning:
- great is thy faithfulness.
- The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
- therefore will I hope in him.” Lamentations 3:21-24.
The Lord’s mercy did not leave Israel without hope nor has His mercy left us without hope. For He is faithful to perform all His word.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;
for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
and hath raised up an horn of salvation
for us in the house of his servant David;
As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets,
which have been since the world began:
That we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the had of all that hate us;
to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant:
The oath which he sware to our father Abraham…”
Israel’s hope is our hope. The oath God swore to Abraham includes the Gentiles, us, the non-Jewish world. Their hope is our hope. From before time began God’s plan included all, to give us all His mercy and hope.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end”[hope].
“For I would not brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery…that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
And so all Israel shall be saved…
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
For as ye[Gentiles] in times past have not believed God,
yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Even so have these also now not believed,
that through your mercy
they also may obtain mercy.
For God hath concluded them all in unbelief,
that he might have mercy upon all.”
(Taken from Romans 11:25-32.)
Jesus Christ is God’s mercy in action. His mercy is our hope.
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour
toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
that being justified by his grace,
we should be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life.”
Our Savior cried for those who would live their days without receiving the mercy He brought. They chose to live in false hope rather than receive true hope. He cried for those who would make His sacrifice, His death on the cross worthless. He cried for there is no need for the perishing to perish. His mercy continues to cry.
I wonder, do we have such a love for the lost, the dying? Who are our tears for?