In reading this chapter what we learn is that Judah has become lost in its sin. They have turned their backs on God so greatly that even the land has responded and not produced food. They are believing false prophets, false truths, false idols and the covenant people of God are hardly keeping to their part of the deal. The condition of Judah is bleak and not many take notice.
Today we must ask ourselves: What is the condition of our country? With all the education and convenient morality, we have imagined we could do life better without God. We have our idols and pleasures that we so readily let into our lives with very little room for faith.
The question really is for the Church (Capital C). Where is our anguish? Jeremiah weeps for God’s people. He has a burden to reach them in order that they would change and turn to the God of their ancestors. This burden carries him to people ignoring their covenant with God .
Jeremiah has anguish and a burden for his people. To be blunt, often the Church doesn’t seem to have a burden for anyone but the saved, but we are called beyond ourselves to have anguish and a burden for those lost without Christ. Listen to Nehemiah’s cry when he hears that Jerusalem is in ruins:
Nehemiah 1:4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.
Where is our weeping? Where is our mourning? Where are our prayers for those hopelessly lost without Jesus? You see, as we become more and more like Christ as we follow Him, we should take on the burdens that He has for mankind.
Having a burden for the lost is when our lives become less lived for our will and we find ourselves living more for His. This burden should be present in us to share the Gospel with those God loves. This is one of many ways that Christianity is no longer about us but about Christ.
We must look within the walls of our church buildings and see if God’s people are carrying God’s burden. I would dare say, we by large overlook this part of our faith.
Let us turn again to anguish, having a heart like Jesus longing greatly for the lost to be found. Let our hearts break for those separated from Christ.