In our March 26 blog “What to do when it is the end of the world” we saw how the prophet Habakkuk responded when God told him that Babylon was on the verge of invading and destroying Judah (Hab. 3:16-19). Habakkuk’s response was that even if he were to lose everything in this present life, he would continue to rejoice in the Lord and the goodness that was his in His relationship with Him. Habakkuk knew that a relationship with the living God gave him an overflowing cup even if he were to lose everything in this present life. What a tremendous lesson for you and me to live by.
It was in 605 B.C. that Babylon waged the first of three attacks on Judah (605, 597, 588-586). Jeremiah the prophet lived right in the middle of all of these miserable times. It was in 626 B.C. that God called Jeremiah to prophesy His word to His rebellious people (cf. Jer. 1). The unsaved people of Judah hated Jeremiah for telling them the truth. Certain people were especially vicious in the way they treated him, even trying to kill him. Nevertheless, Jeremiah survived it all (including the entire fall of Jerusalem) and continued his prophetic ministry until after the fall of Jeruslam until about 580 B.C.
Jeremiah’s book called Lamentations gives a summary message to the remaining remnant when there was nothing left but physical ruins and a handful of old and poor people whose lives had been torn to shreds. It was in this context that Jeremiah wrote these words by the Holy Spirit: “21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” 25 The LORD is good to those who await for Him, To the person who seeks Him. 26 It is good that he awaits silently For the salvation of the LORD” (Lam. 3:21-26).
As with Habakkuk, Jeremiah’s joy and hope were in the Lord. Let us see how well we can learn this lesson and apply it to ourselves.