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Ugly Scenes of Utter Humiliation, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2020 7:05 am

Ugly Scenes of Utter Humiliation, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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September 4, 2020 7:05 am

Lamentations: Jeremiah’s Journal of Woes

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When you scroll through the newsfeed on your computer.

Turn on your television to listen to the commentators it's really difficult to discern what's true and what's hyperbole, but in either case, it takes deliberate effort to guard yourself from discouragement. These are dark days today on Insight for living.

Chuck Swindoll invites us to follow along as he traces the history of Israel in the book of Lamentations. Jeremiah's Journal of low defines a helpful connection between Israel's plight and our role to title today's message ugly scenes of utter humiliation. Chapter 4 is interesting. Before we begin this series.

It was difficult for some of you to find the book of Lamentations. Now your part will automatically sort of opens there that you're been there for a while. It feels right at home to us. These are the writings of a prophet who is brokenhearted, commonly called the weeping prophet because the very warnings he spent his years declaring came to pass, and he watched his beloved Jerusalem invaded by the Babylonians. The people marched off into exile and the remains were were dreadful to behold. The city lay in ruins. The over four centuries old temple destroyed in rubble and he's walking through the ruins as he writes in his Journal of woe in what is known to us today is the Lamentations and I know that some of you are probably getting a little weary of the of the same message will you be happy no limitations, only has five chapters and they all sound a whole lot alike. Chapter 4 sounds a whole lot like chapter 1 the differences those who were speaking and what they represent. I'm reading from the new living translation. As we read of the destruction of the city and the response of this brokenhearted profit. Lamentations 4 verse one how the gold has lost its luster. Even the finest gold has become dull. The sacred gemstones lies scattered in the street see how the prices children of Jerusalem worth their weight in Feingold are now treated like pots of clay made by a common pot or even the jackals feed their young, but not my people Israel. They ignore their children's cries. Verse five. The people who wants eight richest foods not big in the streets for anything they can get those who once wore the finest clothes now search the garbage dumps for food the guilt of my people is greater than that of Sodom where utter disaster struck in a moment, and no hand offered help verse 12, not a king, and all the earth. No one in all the world would have believed that an enemy could march through the gates of Jerusalem, yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the sins of her priests who defile the city by shedding innocent blood. They wandered blindly through the streets so defile by blood that no one dared touch general way the people shouted at them your defile, don't touch us. Verse 19. Our enemies were swifter than eagles in flight.

If we fled to the mountains. They found us.

If we here in the wilderness. They were waiting for us. There are king, the Lord's anointed. The very life of our nation was caught in their snares, we had thought that his shadow would protect us against any nation on earth. And finally, a brief word of encouragement. Verse 20 20. Beautiful Jerusalem. Your punishment will end you will soon return from exile, serious words, not only for those times, but by analogy for our times as well to search the Scriptures Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.org/study another message titled ugly scenes of utter humiliation.

The role of the prophet was a tough job. No one would ever written on his own, and certainly in the midst of the calling. There must've been times when every prophet wondered my going to make it our am I going to meet in early ending because there were so few ever ever appreciated them. I remember years ago we just have a saying when things were really really tough sure up things could be worse. So I cheered up and things got worse. Accident said to Jeremiah litigation demand. You just sort of caught in a rut. Your words seem to be the same.

Over and over and over again we can to bring us a word of encouragement. The fact is no I can't and I won't because you're so far off the mark. How could I possibly bring a word of encouragement less you take it and think that you're on your way in the right direction. By the way, this is a good time for me to clarify something about the great prophets. They are divided into three groups and ended revolves around the exile.

We talked a lot about the Babylonian exile over the people were taken into country of Babylon where they would live for an extended period of time as punishment for their life and lifestyle prior to the exile. There were some prophets who wrote before the exile there called the preexilic prophets. There were some who wrote during the exile. There called the exilic prophets and then those afterward. Obviously, the postexilic prophets, Jeremiah wrote as a preexilic and also exilic because he lived once the city fell. He lived for a while longer in the city itself, which is how we gotten this book of Lamentations. But I want to have a glance take a glance with you at one of the exilic prophets is the very next book.

The book of Ezekiel. I like you to turn to chapter 33 and not doing this for a reason so that you might understand. Jeremiah was not alone in his calling every prophet experienced similar things as I say it's a it was a tough job and over they would about doing it. They had no question but that they were called to it. It wasn't something that sort of flipped a coin and thought that might make a nice career.

It didn't happen like that. They were definitely called and there were times that the Lord spoke directly to the prophets sometime just to keep them on their feet, or maybe the war live ahead of time what they could expect. As in the case of Ezekiel here in chapter 33 and I'm looking at verse 30 and beyond is a perfect example of what prophets would often hear from the Lord. Ezekiel was called Son of Man. Please notice what the Lord says to this postexilic prophet Ezekiel, Son of Man your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors they say to each other. Let's go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying. So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you, that they listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words in their hearts seek only after Monday. I'll look closely you are very entertaining to them. Interesting word like an entertainer very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love song with a beautiful voice or please find music on an instrument they hear what you say but they don't act on it. When all these terrible things happen to them as they certainly will. Then they will know a prophet has been among I want to pause there just let out the word while while they're going to come.

You may have a gathering pretty full of people and never look so interested and they would tell their fragile unity to come here this amendment.

Maybe they liked his diction.

Maybe they enjoyed the breath of his vocabulary. Maybe the turn of a phrase maybe Ezekiel had a way of saying things that that was unique. Preachers sometimes do. Let's go hear what he has to say today, but don't let the size of the group food you. They have no plans to do what you're saying. You see, the goal of truth is action. The purpose of hearing what God is saying is to do it. I was just reading this morning with Cynthia out of the book of Deuteronomy chapters 6 and seven and she she was such a good listener and and I appreciated.

I like to talk and so I I'm I'm reading and in several times we found in Deuteronomy 67 the importance of doing what the Lord said doing doing good time to give a word for the Nike ad's just do it. Just do it. Submit is nothing to do with athletics. It has everything to do with the hardest thing on earth that's living the truth especially when we are surrounded by those who do want to hear it that no plans doing.

I wonder at times it Jeremiah didn't really lose heart. Your prophet and you are forever carrying out what you're called to do idiots mean it's it's a rough road.

I made a quick list. He was misunderstood by his own family and friends so they wrote them off. He was opposed by other prophets and priests who were false prophets and false priests. He was mistreated and persecuted by the citizens of the city where he lived.

Kings and princes as well.

He was mocked and shunned by those who took time to listen for a while and then turned their back on him and laughed at him. He was tormented by thoughts of being abandoned and forgotten by God. He was haunted by his own warnings and on top of everything. Behold, the Babylonians came in just like Jeremiah said they would in fact we just read about it here in this fourth chapter where verse 12 told us or tells us not a king in all the earth. No one in all the world would have believed that an enemy could march through the gates of Jerusalem right through the gates, chuckles of values to talk about things like this back in the heyday of his ministry, and I would say to him, a fellow Marine that hadn't happened so often. What was it about these. These are great cities that were so well protected is that all you got to realize Chuck that they got in by getting through the gates, they could necessarily scale the wall or tear it down. But when you get a week gatekeeper you get in this part of the way they got into Jerusalem.

By the way, is what we are as people of God were gatekeepers will never be in the majority don't wait for that. The remnant is always in the minority, and will you believe the truth and I don't say that at all out of arrogance. I see it fondly and gratefully, we would been granted an insight into the truth or gatekeepers.

We watch the gates. We declare the truth ideally remodeled it we convince our children and our grandchildren of the importance of it, or at least we tell them about it again and again we let other people know that this is significant. This is powerful and we understand it, even though we do that it may not go well with us. We don't have the promise of a and an easy life or popularity.

I was reading this past week out of the G Frederick Owens marvelous overview of history, which he titles Abraham to the Middle East crisis and I went to that little section that he gives to the days of Jeremiah and I found his words insightful list of the G Frederick Owens.

Jeremiah was conscious of the divine destiny, though he wept as he preached some mocked, others laughed at his warnings and told him he was he was causing undue excitement. Priests derided him patriots denounced him lobs refiled him, he was publicly struck.

Did you know that struck by a typical false priest and later was put into stocks so he could be taunted by the passing crowds. Did you know that Jeremiah was put in stocks for telling the truth, and the crowds past and taunted him nobles were so enraged at him.

They arrested him for sedition and had him mercilessly scourged.

They threw him into prison, and later cast him into a deep dungeon was called in that day, a cistern which is a man-made, large, well-made to hold water. But this one is without water in the bottom of the cistern would stick Meyer mud like sinking sand, he would've drowned in that mud and wire. It hadn't been for the concern of one individual who pulled him out of that which was designed to be a slow and torturous death. Finally he was rewarded with the martyrs.

Did you know that the writer to the Hebrews says what more can I say for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Sampson and Jephthah and David also in Samuel and the prophets who through faith subdued kingdoms and work righteousness and stop the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire out of weakness were made strong, they waxed valiant in fight, they turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life and others were sawn into they wandered about in sheepskins and goat skins living in caves and dens of the earth being destitute, afflicted, tormented, these were people of whom the world was not worth Hebrews 1132 through 37. So what can we expect nothing better. It's easy to be spoiled in this wonderful country of ours until we happened upon the times in which we live, and suddenly realized just how vulnerable we are we coming the day in which many circles in our country for the gold has lost its luster. Verse one and the finest gold has become dull.

What that's describing those that have great bank accounts, but an enemy is stolen at all.

What good is a great bank account. If you are not the owner of it anymore. What good is a great bank if it's been invaded by an enemy. The goal loses its luster. That's what is writing about and there was once a time when the the Temple of Solomon is marked by these beautiful gemstones rare and some of them virtually priceless. Now look at the gemstones in the verse one there are sacred gemstones but they now lie scattered in the street, but it is the gold in the gemstones that concern the profit the most youth. The children see how the precious children of Jerusalem worth their weight in gold are now treated like pots of clay by a common plotter. You can always tell a lot about a nation, by the way it treats its children stops training them well. It stops teaching them virtually allows them to run free and while to make up your own mind about life as even jackals feed their young, but not my people Israel. We don't feed our young. Look at it. They ignore their children's cries like ostriches in the desert ostriches were among the few animals that discreetly exit and even those newborns. The understand treat them with brutality and abuse compares the people of Jerusalem with the Austrian, the parched tongue of their little one stick to the roof of their miles and first the children cry for bread, but no one is any bread to give them the people who once ate there richest foods not big in the streets for anything they can get those who once wore the finest of clothing now search the garbage dumps for food. Listen to this. This is Jerusalem this is Jerusalem, the pride of the Jews, the place of honor the star David flew over the city. Not now. It doesn't even look like Jerusalem is what he saw there he saw the results of people that release controls and there's anarchy right here in the city that was once the jewel of the Jews, and he walks in the midst of it, never doubted without protection. No city is safe without providing for the protection, there is no way to sleep comfortably through the night. This is insight for living Chuck Swindoll's teaching from Lamentations chapter 4. Referring to the condition of Jeremiah's beloved city of Jerusalem. Chuck titled today's message ugly scenes of utter humiliation. To learn more about this ministry sure to visit us online@insightworld.org it's painfully obvious to see the connection between Jeremiah's sadness in our own these days.

Bad news seems to be the only news we hear, but the good news is that God remains in control matter how chaotic the situation appears Paul who was certain of God's sovereignty wrote a letter while under house arrest and today Philippians is recognized by biblical scholars as a model for joy.

What you put a book on Paul's letter is a classic and called laugh again if it's a smile.

You need today.

We highly recommend that you study Philippians with Chuck to purchase a copy of laugh again, go to insight.org/offer workaholics right now listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 and then as you have some extra leisure time. Please take a few moments to reflect on the value of Chuck's Bible in your life as you do remind you that your voluntary donations are critically important, as we navigate what's become a very challenging season for nonprofit ministries like insight for living. Please follow God's prompting and give whatever amount he leads you to give you that right now but collects glistening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 or by going to insight.for Sunday. Remember you can join the online worship service at Stone Breyer Community Church slot on your Facebook account search for pastor Chuck Swindoll. You'll find a link to our live feed their or stream the service directly from our website going to insight.org/Centex join us again. Chuck Swindoll study in the book of Lamentations continues. That's Monday insight for living.

The preceding message ugly scenes of utter humiliation and the sound recording were copyrighted in 2020 by Charles are swindling.

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