LAMENTATIONS 1:8-9: “Jerusalem has sinned grievously; therefore, she has become an object of scorn. All who honored her now despise her, for they have seen her nakedness. She herself groans and turns away. Her uncleanness stains her skirts. She never considered her end. Her downfall was astonishing; there was no one to comfort her. Lord, look on my affliction, for the enemy boasts.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Do I take the time to consider my end? Lamentations is a difficult but important book to read. It is the lament of the prophet Jeremiah as he looks back over the destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was there for it all. He was the prophet called to warn Judah in her final days. And, he was there when the host of the survivors were taken to Babylon. In these two verses from the opening chapter of this book there is a startling statement.
- “She never considered her end.”
Jeremiah looks over the destruction of Jerusalem, the devastation of the Temple, and the suffering of his people and he concludes – “They never considered their end.” They had the prophetic word through Jeremiah and others. They had warning signs of previous conflicts and difficulties. And, in all of this they chose to walk blindly, believing the false testimony of prophets who were speaking for their own gain and not for God.
What would have happened if they had considered their end. Have you ever looked back over the results of a bad decision and thought – “If I only knew what would happen I would have acted differently!”. No doubt this was what Jeremiah was thinking and what those who had survived and were exiled pondered in their heart. “If only we had listened,” “If only we had headed the word of the Lord.”.
Considering our end is important in every aspect of life. It not only speaks to carefully contemplating the consequences of sin. It also speaks to looking forward to the wonderful promises of God. If we consider the end of all our decisions it will help us to make wise choices. And, if we consider the end of our blessed assurance it will help us to live in the power of His grace!f
- “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace.” 2 Peter 3:10-14 CSB
Let’s recap our end. Everything in this life will be destroyed. To place our faith and confidence in the hopes of this life is no different than Judah listening to the assurance of the false prophets who could not stop the destruction of Jerusalem. Yet, we have a blessed hope. It is the hope of a new heaven and a new earth. It is the hope of eternal life that begins now as we walk by faith in Christ. Taking an account of our end should change us. It should purify us. It should compel us to press on toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!
My most prized possession as a young teenager was my race modified 1972 Ford Pinto. I spent all my time and money modifying this car. It was my prize possession. Yet, I never at that time considered its end. One morning, as I went to buy new tires and wheels for my prized possession, I greeted it with police lights and the sign of an accident. Someone had hit the back end of my prized possession and my dreams were shattered. Now this prized possession is probably recycled into a building, or worse yet – a minivan :).
Considering our end is important. And, for the believer it is a positive thing. It reminds us what our faith and devotion should be focused upon. And, it assures us of our blessed future and coming inheritance of the saints. Considering our end keeps us from the deception of sin and its heartbreaks. It helps us purify our lives and walk in a spirit of humility and repentance. The good news is – I’ve read the end of the book and – WE WIN!
Lord, help me to consider my end today in every thought, action, and decision I make. Help me to always put Your Kingdom first in my life. Grant me the grace to lay down every weight and sin and run with patience the race that is set before me – UNTO THE BLESSED END!
In Jesus Name!