The Good Old Days

Lamentations 1:7
“In the days of her affliction and roaming, Jerusalem remembers all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old.”

Lamentations is a book of mourning that has been compared to a funeral durge. Jeremiah is not weeping over the death of a family member, but over the fall of a nation. We know that, although Judah fell, they would be restored. Seventy years after the captivity began, a remnant of believers would return to rebuild the Temple and the city. Within a century, Jerusalem would be bustling again; cured of idolatry and actively worshipping the Lord. In our text, we see the first step that led them back to the Lord.

“In the days of her affliction and roaming, Jerusalem remembers all her pleasant things That she had in the days of old.”

The first step back was to remember; a word that implies the use of our minds. For them to return to Jehovah, they had to think about how much better life was when they were walking with Him. This was true of the prodigal son who “came to his senses” and remembered what life was like in his father’s house (Luke 15:11-31). It was also true of the church of Ephesus, who had left their first love and needed to remember from where they had fallen (Revelation 2:1-6). This is also true of us. Those who will take the time to consider how much better off they were when they were following Christ, will take the necessary steps to return to Him.

Sin has a way of blinding us. We get so caught up in what we are doing, we fail to simply lift our heads, look around, and see if we truly want to be living like this. Most backsliders are not happy. They are guilt ridden because of their failures. The things that allured them away from the Lord no longer provide the pleasures they once did. It is time to take the Psalmist’s advice and look up. Get your eyes off of what you are doing, look around, and determine if you are better off since you wandered from the Lord.

Just as remembering is a thinking word, so is repentance. It means to change your mind. To repent, we simply decide we are no longer going to live in the things that keep us from walking with Christ. We then set those down and begin to follow Him once again.

“In the days of her affliction and roaming, Jerusalem remembers all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old.”

Pastor Jim

 

On Second Thought

Jeremiah 34:10-11
Now when all the princes and all the people, who had entered into the covenant, heard that everyone should set free his male and female slaves, that no one should keep them in bondage anymore, they obeyed and let them go. But afterward they changed their minds and made the male and female slaves return, whom they had set free, and brought them into subjection as male and female slaves.”

As proof of true commitment to the Lord, the people were called upon to obey the Word of God by setting slaves free. Because of the intensity of the situation they were facing, the people quickly obeyed and emancipation began. Sadly, this obedience did not last. We read, after the slaves were freed, the people changed their minds. Perhaps setting the slaves free had intruded upon their lifestyle and they did not like it. Having to make their own beds, cook their own meals, and clean up after themselves, was too great an inconvenience. It caused them to choose instead, to disobey God and turn back to their former lifestyles. It is common for Christians to come to the altar, confess their sin, and leave it behind. Unfortunately, it is also common for Christians to turn back and get involved in the sins they had once left behind. As time takes us farther away from our initial conversion, we can forget how empty life apart from Christ really was. We can have a romanticized view of life before Christ. The devil is a master at making disobedience look like something that brings pleasure, satisfaction, and purpose to life. The reality is, life is really found in obedience to the Lord and His Word. Don’t turn back.

Pastor Jim