Learning from Fools
Today’s reading: Jeremiah 52:1-Lamentations 2:22
My selection: Jeremiah 52:7
Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, while the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Araba.
My reflections: Humor and pathos. I am not sure whether to laugh or cry. I find the phrase “…the men of war fled … by night…” as funny. An oxymoron. Were they men of war or did they flee? Don’t real men of war fight to the death? So I chuckle.
But the next paragraph wipes the smile off my face as I read of the sad specter of Zedekiah. The last thing he saw before having his eyes put out was the slaughter of his sons. So I weep. Well, OK, maybe I don’t literally weep, but I feel sad.
All of this was, of course, unnecessary. Jeremiah had spent his life crying out to the kingdom that God had sent Nebuchadnezzar against them to defeat them. There was a way out: surrender. But they would not submit to God’s discipline through Nebuchadnezzar anymore than they submitted to God’s law which would have brought them blessing and security in the land.
My challenge: It’s easier to see the grave failures of historic fools than to detect and avoid our own failures. Learn the lessons of those who refused to listen and obey. (See I Corinthians 10:6-13).
Tomorrow’s reading: Lamentations 3:1-5:22