Weekly Devotionals

Broken – Battle Buddy
 
"Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! ... I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone. I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant."  - Jeremiah 9:1, 10-11 ESV
 
When I was growing up, men didn’t show much emotion. My dad’s generation was tough. They endured the Great Depression. They worked hard on the farm. Then they went off to fight in World War II. Very rarely did you see a man weep. I suspect most men viewed showing emotion as a sign of weakness. Our current generation is not much different. For most men, weeping is still viewed as weakness.
 
Yet, the first thing we read in Jeremiah 9 is that the prophet of God is weeping. He wasn’t just shedding a tear; his eyes were a “fountain of tears” day and night. It is in passage and a few others in the book of Jeremiah that he earns his reputation as the “weeping prophet.” Why was Jeremiah weeping? He was weeping over the people’s sins and the destruction their sinfulness had brought upon them. In verses 2b-8, he lists the people’s spiritual adultery with idols, their deception, oppression, and treachery.
 
Jeremiah’s heart was broken over the things that broke the heart of God. Although God states His intention to justly punish them (v 9), when you keep reading, you find that God Himself joins Jeremiah in his weeping over the sins of the people: “I will take up, weeping, wailing, and lamentation” because of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of Judah (v 10-11). God knows everything. He sees “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10). He knew what was coming, and it broke His heart. So both God and His prophet were brokenhearted over the sins of the people and the judgment that was coming upon them.
 
When we look at the life of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament, we see Him display righteous anger when He confronts sin and cleanses the temple (John 2:13-22). The astonished disciples who witnessed it recalled the Scripture from Psalm 69:9: “zeal for your house will consume me.” Yet, we see the same Jesus looking out over Jerusalem and weeping over his wayward people: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).
 
At this point, I have a confession to make. When I see sin and rebellion against God, my immediate emotional response is anger—righteous anger. I guess I’m more like Phineas with a javelin (see Numbers 25:7) and Jesus with a whip than I am like Jeremiah and Jesus in their weeping. So, this whole conversation about weeping over sin is convicting to me. Maybe it is for you as well. But I’ve had to ask myself: Do the things that break the heart of God break my heart? Am I brokenhearted over wayward people who are suffering because of their sin?
 
Again, Jeremiah and God were united in their brokenness, their weeping over sinful Judah. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Paul was brokenhearted over the Jewish race mostly rejecting Jesus (see Rom. 9:1-3). When looking for a Battle Buddy, find a man with a heart like that. A man who is brokenhearted over those who have turned away from the Lord and are suffering because of their sin, and whose end is destruction. While you are at it, become that man.


Reflection
 
1. Allow the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and ask: Do the things that break the heart of God break my heart? Do sin and its consequences in people’s lives cause me to mourn, grieve, even weep?


2. Can you identify a man in your circle of relationships who shows genuine sadness over wayward people who are suffering for their sin—a guy who is brokenhearted over the condition of your community and our nation? Consider developing and deepening that relationship with him as a prayer partner and potential Battle Buddy.


3. Ask God to give you His eyes to see and His heart to feel broken and even weep over the sinful people who are suffering all around you. Ask Him for the compassion not only to pray for them but also to share God’s message of forgiveness, healing, and hope in Jesus Christ.

DEVOTIONAL  ARCHIVE

PROVIDER

CHAPLAIN

BATTLE BUDDY

INSTRUCTOR

DEFENDER