In Jeremiah 9, the prophet began his lamentation because he saw the inevitable catastrophe coming to his country and people. God pronounced judgment over Jerusalem, and when God says something, He does it. What they would face wasn’t something fortuitous, not just one of those terrible and inexplicable things that happen from time to time. No, what they would face was going to be the direct judgment of God. And it was this realization that was causing Jeremiah such sorrow. His sorrow, though, was only a small reflection of the pain that God must have felt.
Though the context is different, this quote captures the idea so well: “The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. When there came upon Israel the calamities that were the sure result of separation from God,—subjugation by their enemies, cruelty, and death,—it is said that ‘His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.’ ‘In all their affliction He was afflicted: . . . and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.’ Judges 10:16; Isaiah 63:9.”—Ellen G. White, Education, p. 263.
Read Jeremiah 9, the prophet’s sorrowful lament. Focus especially on verses 23, 24. Why are those words so relevant even to us today?
It has been said that when it comes to death, we are all like an “unwalled city.” Wisdom, might, and riches all have their place, but to rely on these things, especially amid catastrophe, or when death looms, is fruitless, meaningless, and empty. Amid all the warnings about the doom, the people are told what really matters, and that is to know and to understand for oneself, at least to the degree that we can, the loving kindness, the justice, and the righteousness of God. What else is there, what else alone can give us hope and comfort when everything earthly, everything human, including our own flesh, fails us?
What does the Cross tell us about the loving-kindness, the justice, and the righteousness of God?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 7 – The Crisis Continues