Today's reading, Jeremiah 48-49, detailed the judgements that are coming for four of Israel's enemies, even as Israel itself is about to be led into exile. It is a reminder that God is just and that even when it seems that the wicked are prospering, God has not forgotten. He is a just and righteous God. Moab, who has been a constant opponent of Israel will finally see its ruin. Jeremiah brings a word concerning them that points to the fact that they have had it relatively easy. In 48:11, he talks about how they have remained unchanged and that they have been at rest since their youth. Life is going well in Moab. But with that 'success' has come a lot of pride. Which is often the case for many of us when we taste a prolonged period of success. It is true of the individual, a small group of people and even a nation. Pride unfortunately is something that erodes a person, group, or nation from the inside out until they reach the point of destruction.
As we read in proverbs earlier this year, pride comes before the fall. the question is not whether or not you will fall it is more a matter of when you will fall.
The Lord later in this passage says in verse 29, "We have heard of Moab's pride - her overwhelming pride and conceit, her pride and arrogance and the haughtiness of her heart. I know her insolence but it is futile." declares the Lord.
When life is easy we begin to think of ourselves as invincible. We allow ourselves to buy the press being written/spoken about us, and pride sets in. The longer it stays rooted in our thinking the harder and longer the fall can be. We begin to put our trust more in more in our own abilities and our own strength instead of the strength and abilities we should be putting our trust in hope in; the Lords. We get into a position where we see our kingdoms that we have worked so hard to construct, our kingdoms that we thought were impenatrible, begin to crumble and so we convince ourselves that it isn't so only to watch them be washed away.
Inspiring stuff isn't it? (a little bit of sarcasm) But lets keep reading.
I don't want to end there though. if we keep reading we read something that probably causes us to scratch our heads a little. The next 10 verses go on to detail the lament and the heartache of God over Moab. It speaks of him weeping over her, wailing over her, crying out over her, moaning over her, in short his heart is broken for the judgement that is coming.
Despite the fact that this nation who has been at odds with His chosen people, have rejected Him, have followed after other gods, and have done so in arrogance, the Lord loves them and weeps over them. It is a tender moment when we see that God takes no pleasure in the judgements that come. He is not a big bully up in the sky looking for new ways to "squash the ants" down here below. God's heart is for his creation and he is patient and long suffering to a point. He has given the nations, just as he has done with Israel, opportunities to come to him, to follow him, to trust in him.
He is doing the same for us. We are given opportunities every day to follow him and trust him. Will we turn toward him, or in arrogance and pride, with faith in our own abilities and our own strength, will we turn toward him?