Read: Lamentations 1:1-22
She defiled herself with immorality and gave no thought to her future. Now she lies in the gutter with no one to lift her out. “LORD, see my misery,” she cries. “The enemy has triumphed.” The enemy has plundered her completely, taking every precious thing she owns. Lamentations 1:9-10
Jerusalem has been destroyed and most of the people carried off into exile. Those who remain are dazed and confused, grief struck over the devastation of this great city and the temple of God. Jeremiah, the prophet and author of Lamentations, was one of those left behind and he captures the hopelessness of the Jews.
Vs. 9 and 10 so well capture the principle of sewing and reaping. You have heard the expression you reap what you sew, and this is it in real time. It is the same thing I see today when people give themselves to drugs, sex outside of marriage, greed, jealousy, and anger. As I sit with people who’s lives have been “plundered” by the consequences of their sin, it always comes back to the fact that they chose to defile themselves with some kind of immorality and didn’t give any thought to the future.
That’s the world we’re now living in. Live for pleasure, live for today, ignore the consequences. The problem with not looking at the longterm consequences of our choices is that we then make really bad choices. There is hell to pay down the road. Drug addictions, busted relationships, lost credibility, and heartache are just some of the devastation that giving no thought to the future will rain down upon a life. If not dealt with sin will, in fact, “take every precious thing you own.”
In the big picture, God longs to redeem those lives, just as in this reading He longs to restore Israel. But there is consequence to walk through. God does forgive us, but He often allows us to walk through the implications of our choices. In that respect He is a good father.
For me, this passage reminds me to stop and consider before I act; to pray and seek God for wisdom, and to do the right thing instead of the expedient thing – because I don’t want to end up like Jerusalem. I’ve seen too many lives wrecked and hearts broken.
If you’re reading this and you find yourself in the firestorm of consequence, be encouraged. Choose God now. Do the right thing now. Do the hard thing now. God will rescue you… He will forgive you… He will bring you through. There is a better life for you!!! That doesn’t necessarily mean that the pain goes away immediately. In fact, there are probably some hard conversations and difficult days ahead. But don’t be discouraged. If you turn to God, He will carry you through, He will be with you the whole way and blessing will come. And know that His forgiveness is complete (1 John 1:9)
Father, give me the foresight to consider the consequences of my choices. Help me do the right thing, and when I do mess up, restore me quickly, carry me through and heal my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.