Lamentations, Mourning, and Woe
“And there was written therein, lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” (Ezekiel 2:10)
For the past several weeks, I have been facilitating and teaching a Bible study on the book of Ezekiel. Of all the Bible studies I have attended or those I have taught, this one is proving to be quite challenging, revealing, and concerning. I am discovering more and more each day how deeply I am living within an idolatrous nation and how many man-made “idols” we actually have set up for ourselves.
We are truly a nation facing the Biblical judgment process of Lamentations, Mourning, and Woe. Let me explain:
Lamentations are periods of sadness, unhappiness, depressions, discontentment, hopelessness, feelings of gloominess, and spells of crying. Sound familiar? America’s pharmaceutical industry has made a fortune over the past two to three decades selling every drug and narcotic it can produce to give our society relief from symptoms of clinical depression…One out of every three commercials has something to do with symptoms of depression.
A few decades ago, we weren’t all that familiar with the words such as “depression” and “dysfunction.” Today, the word “dysfunction” describes our American lifestyle better than functional, efficient, manageable, and thriving. Everywhere you look people are trying to find “function” in “dysfunction!” With all the “dysfunction” and “depression” revolving around us, I believe it’s clear to say that we are a nation of people experiencing the judgment of Lamentations! I believe this isn’t something that “we” have created or totally brought upon ourselves, but something that GOD has allowed to come upon us as a result of our turning our backs on Him. Just as in the days of Ezekiel, God is sending us His warnings! And, we are experiencing the first stage in full force, Lamentations.
God is a merciful. He is willing to extend mercy and grace to each individual sinner as well as an entire nation. But, the decision lies within our own hearts, mind, and choices. When we do not “awaken” from our idolatrous ways during God’s time frame of “Lamentations,” he carefully guides His judgments to the next level, “mourning.” I believe our nation is now experiencing a time of “mourning.” Let me explain. Mourning is associated with “loss.” Mourning brings about grief and despair; worries and anxieties; confusion and uncertainties. We are seeing the “love of many wax cold.” Countless numbers of people no longer have natural affections one for another or feelings of sympathy and empathy. We have “lost” human compassion on so many levels. We have “lost” our abilities to govern our lives, families, and society effectively. We have “lost” wisdom in high places and how to apply it. And, we are now losing our constitutional “rights” that were once never challenged. We are now a nation in “mourning.”
That only leaves us with one more phase of judgment, Woes. There is something so very fearful and dreadful about this time period…There is no turning back once it begins. God is just and when he sends catastrophic woes upon our lives and that of our nation he does not stop until HE wills it to be so. Our human cries and tears will not stop God’s “woes.” God gives us plenty of time to “repent” and turn back to Him during the periods of Lamentations and Mourning. But, once His “woes” begin they will continue until His judgment is concluded and final.
The Children of Israel did not heed God’s lamentations and time of mourning; not even after they had been exiled to Babylon. For it was in Babylon, to those already in captivity, that God sent Ezekiel. There they were, the Children of Israel, living in exile camps still refusing to “turn” from their idols and wicked ways. I have to wonder, will America be the same way? Will we, as a nation, hold onto our “idols” of money, self-centeredness, pleasure, prosperity, self-reliant military power, allies, and religious practices instead of looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith? God, have mercy.
As we continue to face greater mourning and future “woes,” will our churches continue to be nothing more than community meeting places to make us look good to ourselves and to others? Will we continue to seek the answers to our many complex problems within society in our government officials and representatives; instead of seeking God’s face? Will we continue telling God that He is not wanted or needed in our public schools, public places, and government? Will we continue to offer our children upon the altars of abortion and human trafficking? Will we continue to sell and use illegal drugs, alcohol, and sex as our nations favorite past time? Will our sports arenas and movie theaters continue to bid for our attentions and allegiance as oppose to church worship, Bible study, and family prayer time? Will our society continue to be forced into accepting sinful practices of homosexuality, fornication, prostitution, and man-made self-righteous wickedness? God forbid.
But, this I can answer…God will not allow any nation who turns its back on Him to prosper in its sins. The handwriting is on the wall…The answer can be found in II Chronicles 7:14, 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
While we are yet in the “mourning” stage, it is my prayer that God’s people will humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways…Before the time of “woe” is upon us. As in Ezekiel’s day and time, we, the true Church made up of born-again Christians, are called to be the Watchman sending out God’s warnings unto the people…”Repent, repent, repent!”
In so many ways, we have been warned. Have mercy upon us, O, Lord. Amen.
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed, Author