Tears can come as a result of joy; but most often, they flow from a heart of sorrow, grief or pain. Our tears can say a lot about us. What we cry about can reveal what concerns us most.
Jeremiah, known as God’s weeping prophet, had a lot to cry about. In Lamentations and the book that bears his name, Jeremiah’s tears reveal his love for the LORD and His chosen people. Judah, in forsaking the LORD, suffered from the hands of the Babylonians, God’s instrument of discipline. Jeremiah, born from a family of priests, was called by the LORD to preach His message to a wayward people. The LORD encouraged him and confirmed his calling despite his feelings of inadequacy (Jeremiah 1:6-8).
Sadly, Judah rejected God’s message of judgment and call for repentance through Jeremiah. Jeremiah was even threatened as a result of the message he proclaimed, especially when he preached on the destruction of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 26).
The people of Judah preferred to listen to false teachers who proclaimed false peace. They chose to believe the lie that all would be well despite their living in sin. Instead of receiving God’s true prophet, they accused Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23).
I believe that Jeremiah was truly broken hearted. He was ignored, rejected and threatened. Outstandingly, his love for God’s people remained. When the Babylonians came as he had prophesied, he mourned for God’s people. Lamentations is a book memorializing Jeremiah’s lament. In this same book, however, Jeremiah’s trust and hope in the Lord’s faithfulness is explicit (Lamentations 3:22-23).
The book of Jeremiah and the book of Lamentations demonstrate God’s grace and mercy to a people who turned away from God. God used the Babylonians as His instrument of discipline, a demonstration of His holiness, deep care, love and desire for them to return to Him who is the truth (Proverbs 3:11-13; Hebrews 12:4-12).
As believers, we should not grow weary in doing good. Though others may reject God’s message, we should faithfully proclaim the Gospel. May we be like Jeremiah who remained steadfast. Though a whole nation hated him, he faithfully preached God’s message, desiring that the people would come to repentance and return to the Lord. Is your heart broken? Is it mourning for people who are on their way to Hell? Let us continue to faithfully reach the lost for our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember His great commission.