In Ecclesiastes 3: 1a & 4, Solomon writes: ‘’There is…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…’’
As Jeremiah considered what he knew was going to happen to his people, he saw that it was a time for tears.
Tom Hale makes these interesting and perceptive comments: ‘’Since the Lord’s judgment on Judah has been determined, there is nothing left for the people to do but lament their fate. The Lord tells Jeremiah to call for the wailing women, professional mourners whose job it was to arouse the bereaved to weep and mourn (verses 17-18). In verse 19, the Lord gives the words the women are to say. In verse 20, Jeremiah tells the ‘’wailing women’’ to teach their daughters how to wail; otherwise there will not be sufficient wailers, given the terrible judgment that is about to fall! In verses 21-22, that judgment is vividly described.’’ He goes on to say, ‘’The people of Judah no doubt wept and mourned when Jerusalem fell and they were carried into exile; but they wept and mourned for their loss and not for their sin. If they had repented of their sin, they would not have had to weep for their loss.’’ ‘The applied Old Testament Commentary’’, pp.1090/1091.
It was a terrible and graphic scenario painted by Jeremiah: ‘’Death has climbed in through the window, broken into our bedrooms. Children on the playgrounds drop dead, and young men and women collapse at their games.’’ The Message.
‘’God called the nation to lament because they would soon be going to their own funeral. Death was coming, and the politicians and false prophets wouldn’t be able to hinder it. Death is pictured as a thief who comes unhindered through the windows to steal precious lives.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT), P.1218.
Just imagine if such things were being said to us: ‘’The dead bodies of men will lie like refuse on the open field, like cut corn behind the reaper, with no-one to gather them.’’ (22).
Yet is our situation in any less serious? Do we not live in a nation that is shaking its fist at God? We have broken His laws. We have passed our own laws that are contrary to His. We reject Christ and the gospel. We do not want this Man to reign over us. Is this a time for frivolity in the church? Is it a day for apathy? Why are our prayer meetings so empty? Why are our eyes so dry? May God have mercy on us.
‘’Never in history has there been more ribald hilarity with less to be funny about.’’ Vance Havner.
‘’Look over the trouble we’re in and call for help.’’ The Message.
Prayer: Lord God, turn the heart of your church back to you. Help us to understand the seriousness of the times and the part you are calling us to play.