In the kingdom of Judah, during the reign of King Jehoiakim, the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch, Jeremiah’s servant and scribe. The word Jeremiah spoke has application beyond Baruch to all who live today – that is, all who live in the kingdom of God.
This is the message which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written down these words in a book at Jeremiah’s dictation, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying: “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Ah, woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning and have found no rest.”‘ “Thus you are to say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, what I have built I am about to tear down, and what I have planted I am about to uproot, that is, the whole land.” ‘But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the Lord, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.'”
– Jeremiah 45:1-5
Our sins have made God’s beautiful creation into a place fraught with danger. The garden of Eden has become a jungle. The earth is under a curse. Those who seek to build good things of permanence fail to recognize that sin tempts and corrupts every good thing on earth.
The earth is like the great ship Titanic – glorious but tragic. Titanic appeared majestic and unsinkable but sink it surely would. What sort of activities, therefore, should the passengers undertake? Those through which they could protect, or at least comfort, one another. It would make no sense to give the Titanic an extra coat of glossy paint or think that it could be kept from sinking.
This earth is indeed a vale of tears. This doesn’t mean that every moment is sorrowful; on the contrary, many of God’s joys remain for the taking. However, sorrow is never far away because temptation is ever-present – and too many people yield to it.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, help me always have a realistic attitude about this life. I want to be mindful of its limitations and my limitations. I want to live in the light of eternity….(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)