Turning Away From God
Let’s go back in time to a prophet and priest named, Jeremiah. His ministry was extremely difficult and lasted for over forty years. During his ministry, he endured rejection, starvation, prison, dungeons and death threats. His divine calling was to warn the people of Judah that judgment was coming, if they did not obey God. They had turned their hearts away from the truth of the Word of God and from the prophet of God.
Jeremiah taught by using many object lessons and in chapter 13, the Lord had Jeremiah take an undergarment 200 miles away, traveling by foot, to the Euphrates River. He was told to bury the garment and return to Jerusalem. After an allotted time, God told Jeremiah to return to the rock and dig up the linen girdle. The garment was filthy and had begun to rot. God likened Judah to the defiled linen girdle; totally worthless in the sight of God.
When the people of Judah did not heed to the words of Jeremiah, he wept for them and became known as the “Weeping Prophet.” Throughout the book of Jeremiah he preaches, begs, pleads and weeps for God’s people to listen. He proclaims that destruction will come upon them and they will be taken into captivity by their enemies. They never take into consideration the words of Jeremiah and consequently, their beloved city is destroyed, the temple left in ruins, and the Babylonian empire takes them captive.
Jeremiah had a heart for the people of Judah–––mourning and weeping for them in their sinful state. We, too, should grieve and weep for those who have turned their hearts against God and who are dead in their trespasses and sins. This story is a reminder of the total sinfulness from which we have been redeemed. We should willingly, prayerfully, and faithfully share the wonderful gospel message of Christ with those who are lost and those who have turned their hearts away from God.
Lord, there is hope for the lost but only through You can this hope be attained.