Reading: Lamentations 1:1-1-2
Have you ever heard of a ghost town? I live in Texas, and there are many legends of old Wild West ghost towns, towns that used to be filled with cowboys and gold miners, but which now stand empty. Imagine buildings with darkened rooms, cobwebs and tumbleweeds everywhere, and no sound but the lonely desert wind. That is what I imagine when I read these verses in Lamentations. The Israelite’s enemies have come and taken God’s people away. Jeremiah the prophet is looking out over his beloved city and all he sees is a ghost town.
Do you think this is what God wanted for His people? What can you remember about the land that God had promised to them? What can you remember about the temple that Solomon had built for them? God had never wanted His people to be taken away. But they had stopped trusting in God. And when they began worshipping idols, God could no longer protect them from their enemies.
Jeremiah will cry and pray all throughout the book of Lamentations. He is lamenting over the loss of the land. This book teaches us how sad it is when we turn away from God. Life becomes difficult and dangerous without our Heavenly Father. We should remember that He only wants good things for us, and that He can wants to help us as we obey Him.
For Further Study:
- In New Testament times, Christ also warned the Jews that God would punish them for not believing in the Son of God. Read Luke 19:41-44 and Matthew 24:37-39. How did Christ feel about Jerusalem and the Jews? Why did He cry over them?
- The Israelites were punished for turning their back on God. God warns Christians against falling away today also. Read Hebrews 10:26-31 and 2 Peter 2:20-22. How seriously does God take it when one of His children leave Him?
- Have you heard about people at your church who have fallen away from the Lord? How do other members react to this? Picture your town or neighborhood as an empty “ghost town.” Are there people in your church and community who are not obeying God? What can you pray about this? What can you do to help?