Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Listen to the Darkness"

Jeremiah 13.16-17 NKJV

“Give glory to the Lord your God before He causes darkness, and before your feet stumble 0n the dark mountains, and while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death and makes it dense darkness.

But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.---

Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. His lament was not a sign of weakness or a personality disorder. Like Jesus who was “deeply moved in spirit” (John 11.33-35), this prophet openly wept over the condition of the people he loved. Jeremiah was called by God “as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1.5) but he most deeply identified with the suffering of his own 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.”
Jeremiah 9.1 NIV

The prophet would “weep in secret” for the plight of Judah. He warned the nation to change its ways or else it would be “taken captive” by a foreign power. Unfortunately, the people did not heed Jeremiah’s warning and spent seventy years in Babylonian exile.

The wrath of God is not sudden. Because His nature is gentle and loving, compassionate and full of mercy, God sends more than a few warnings allowing ample response time. Divine ultimatums do not normally come with immediate deadlines. God is longsuffering, hence His lengthy timetables for repentance. The darkness of a difficult message from heaven is gradual, like the setting of the sun. We’re given notice and more than sufficient time to regard His cautionary message. But we must listen to the darkness before it advances from twilight to nightfall.

As a child, my mother would remind me, “Be home before it gets dark.” It was not hard to comply, if I wanted to. I didn’t need a watch or a sundial. I just kept my eyes open. The day got dim. Dusk reminded me of mom’s expectation and I made my way home before dark. If I waited too long and got lost in the night, I might never come home. I could be hit by a car, lost in the woods, or snatched by a stranger. I was as dense as most boys my age, but one thing I understood… I should not make my mother cry. I could endure My dad’s wrath, but not my mother’s tears. She was the prophet Jeremiah to me:

“Get home before dark because if you are ‘carried away captive’ and I lose you,
‘my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down
with tears’ because my boy ‘has been taken captive.’ Don’t make me suffer like that.

I never did. I listened to the darkness and to my mother. When things get dark, it could be a divine signal. Jesus may be calling you to come back before you lose your way. Listen to the darkness. There’s a message there... Go home, quick!

1 comment:

Adonica said...

I have nothing profound to say today. Just 'Hi Dave!'