Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and you see part of the reason why here. So often, we look at the prophets and all the fire and brimstone they bring to the table, and think that they almost delighted in doing so.
But I believe that most, if not all, were like Jeremiah, weeping for the people they were preaching to. Weeping because the people refused to listen and were headed for judgment.
After railing against the Israelites, Jeremiah said,
O my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away: “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?”…“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. (Jeremiah 8:18-22, Jeremiah 9:1-2)
I’ve mentioned this before, but going through all the prophets in the Old Testament is kind of tough, basically because a lot of times I feel like I’m repeating myself, particularly concerning God’s judgment. I probably am repeating myself, considering the fact that the prophets continually preached judgment on the people for their sin. And it wasn’t as if the people were always making new mistakes. They kept repeating their sins of the past, constantly going in a downward spiral.
It might be easy for someone to look at a lot of what I write and think I’m kind of a fire and brimstone type of guy myself, which I don’t consider myself to be. But one thing I always want to do as a writer and as a teacher is to tell it like it is. And I write these things for the same reasons that the prophets did. I want people to be saved.
To be honest, though, I still need much more of a heart for the lost. A heart that weeps for them as Jeremiah did. To see their needs, having a heart that breaks for them and reaches out to them. If the church were filled with those kinds of people, how much of an impact do you think we could have on this world?
Lord, give me the heart of Jeremiah. A heart that weeps for the lost. Help me to see people as you do. Lord let me not be jaded to the needs of those around me. Give me your compassion and your love. And help me to make a difference in this world. I pray this in Jesus name, amen.