I have been struck recently how often I have found incidents in the Bible where people have wept over a particular situation.
Just yesterday Vivien and my Bible reading was from the beginning of the book of Nehemiah showing how Nehemiah, 800 miles away from Jerusalem, wept when he heard of the city’s plight. Here is how Nehemiah records how visitors brought him dark dark news:
Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Jesus also wept over that same city some 400 years later. On the day we call Palm Sunday (29th March this year) Jesus entered into Jerusalem and as he stood looking down upon this great city he wept at the corruption and evil he knew existed there. Luke records Jesus feelings very simply.
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it (Luke.19 v.41)
I can’t help thinking that with all that is going on in the world today we should, like Nehemiah and Jesus, be weeping over the corruption and evil we see all around us. The carnage being caused in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria by evil men and women is so awful it cannot be shown on our television screens. And there are many other places in the world where unspeakable deedsare being perpetrated in the name of religion. How we should weep over the intolerable suffering being caused to our fellow human beings and how we should do all in our power to persuade those who have the power to stop this carnage to do just that.
The God we worship at our church is the God of love. His charge to mankind is that we must love one another. It is interesting that following the passage we are looking at on Sunday mornings at present speaking about the gifts we are to show and use, ends with these significant words “And now I will show you the most excellent way” (1.Corinthians.12 v.31). There follows one of the best known chapters in the Bible, the great exposition on love in chapter 13.
As we approach Easter may we never forget those whose lives are being devastated my evil and remember that the most excellent way of life is LOVE.
With my Christian Love to you all: