If you don't learn from history, you are likely to repeat it. So said some of my early instructors in history as they implored their students to learn their lessons well. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, speaks to the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem and reminds them that what has befallen there brothers and sisters in the Northern Kingdom of Israel will soon be their fate as well as well. Death, destruction, exile, humiliation and loss of sovereignty are just around the corner. God will not allow sin to go unpunished forever. Though his nature is mercy and love, still justice will be done. We ignore the lessons of Jeremiah at our own risk and peril. What are the lessons?
"From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain." (8:15b) Doesn't that remind you of the world around us? We worry about the stock market, the Dow Jones averages, what is happening to our 401k. Have we amassed enough, wouldn't a little more be better? One multi-millionare was asked by another, "how much is enough?" and the response was "always one dollar more." there is no satisfying the lust for wealth when we measure our status by wealth. Greed and avarice are fueled by covetousness and that my friend is sin. How can we repent of such a sin when we refuse to acknowledge it as sin. When is enough enough? If we cannot find the answer, God will.
8:12 "Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush." Don't you see that in our own society as we continue to push the boundaries of decency? Our language grows more coarse, our dress becomes more transparent, our music, movies and other publications grows more adult (?) in its content. Last night I watched on the 10 o'clock news a story about a group of psychologists who were calling for the destigmatization of sexual relations between adults and children. Will there be no end to the perversion of humanity??? Jeremiah says to Judah and to us in 2011, there will be an end to perversion. God will not avert his face forever. One day judgment will come. Who will we save from that judgment? How will you love the fallen back from the precipice that awaits those who cannot or will not acknowledge God as God?
Those who do not learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them.