Jeremiah 4:19 (ESV)
19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
The verse above in Jeremiah records how Jeremiah feels about the destruction of his people. It strikes me that as much as it pained Jeremiah, it hurt God more. What sent pain through the walls of the Prophet’s heart, broke the heart of God. I remembered The Lord Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, morning for the loss of His children.
His entire plan for Israel was salvation, and they rejected Him repeatedly. I don’t say that to shame them, how many times have we made mistakes? How many times as He reached out to us to draw us back to Him? When He corrects us, it’s to bring us back to a place of safety.
Our son Nicholas doesn’t always understand that what seems exciting and fun can be dangerous, and many times neither do we. Nick will say, at three year’s old, “Don’t worry Dad, I know what I’m doing.” I know that he knows a lot, but he doesn’t know all the things that could happen.
God reminds me that’s even more true in my life. It also reminds me how much He loves us. The Bible says He is ever mindful of His covenant, and always watching over us. It’s why He endured everything that He suffered on this Earth, beyond the cross.
As a baby, Jesus and His family had to flee for His life from Herod, who was supposed to be the head of the very nation that He came to save. Christ lived and worked in obscurity during the time the Jewish people were oppressed by Rome. The Lord chose to suffer with His people before He ever suffered for His people.
Only a loving God, Whose heart ached to save them would do this. Only a God Who was loving, kind, and patient would endure the attacks of the Pharisees and Sadducees to save the Pharisees, Sadducees, and all of us who were so far from His righteousness. Too many times we associate God on His throne as being a place without pain, yet it’s from His throne He sees all our failures, and loves us still.
As the song goes, “Oh how He loves us”, not because it’s easy, but because He is love. I would clarify love is God’s nature, so He chooses to love us, but the pain we cause Him should not be ignored, but humbling. To know that loving us is His life, and yet we bring Him pain makes me want to live and love more like Him.
I think that’s why we recognize Jeremiah’s compassion, not only because he had such a heart for his people, but that he learned it from being close to God. The Lord would weep tears for His people long before, and long after Jeremiah’s day. Yet one day, just as He wiped Jeremiah’s, He will wipe all tears from our eyes. I believe He will do this, because He first cried for us with a broken and loving heart, of mercy and grace.