If anyone were to pick up the Bible and read the portions of the Old Testament, where there are many passages speaking of war and destruction, especially aimed at those who were God's children, they might form the wrong idea of who God is, and why He allowed these things to happen.
As with all scripture, we must ask the Lord to shed the light of the Holy Spirit on it, and let Him reveal truth to us, and give us understanding of His Word, so that we might learn from it, and be able to effectively witness to others, the grace and mercy of our Lord.
Jeremiah 6 is sub-titled in my Bible as "Certainty of Judgement". The Lord continues to give us details of what is to become of Judah and Jerusalem, because of their continual sin and turning away from God.
6: 1 - 5: "Flee for safety, people of Benjamin! Flee from Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in Tekoa! Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem! For disaster looms out of the north, even terrible destruction. I will destroy the Daughter of Zion, so beautiful and delicate. Shepherds with their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents around her, each tending his own portion. Prepare for battle against her! Arise, let us attack at noon! But, alas, the daylight is fading, and the shadows of evening grow long. So arise, let us attack at night and destroy her fortresses!"
The call then to flee for safety and to sound the trumpet, is the same call we receive from the Lord today. For our safety, we need to run to the Lord Jesus, and for us to sound the trumpet, is a word to us to make known the salvation of the Lord to all around, for there is no other name under heaven that can give us the peace and safety from the attack of the enemy.
The shepherds referred to in this passage is a reference to the armies of Babylon, who were being sent to battle against "The Daughter of Zion" - God's people. Yes, God allowed this, just as he allows things to happen today, many things we don't understand. His sole purpose is to get our attention and show us that He alone is all powerful, and He alone is the only true source of Hope. It's sad that sometimes it takes tragedy in ones' life to bring them to their knees in search of answers and hope.
The passage today that really jumped out at me was where it says, "But, alas, the daylight is fading, and the shadows of evening grow long. So arise, let us attack at night and destroy her fortresses". It seems to me that the enemy tends to attack us when we are the most vulnerable and the least expectant.
We live in the greatest and most powerful nation in the world, but I think we have allowed ourselves to become stagnant and vulnerable. We have those who think that we are inpenetratable, and as we saw on 9/11/01, we were attacked without warning, by those who are out to destroy our country.
It's our responsibility as Christians, to "sound the trumpet", and always be aware of the events around us, so we can prepare ourselves for the spiritual battles we face as individuals, and also as a country.
I close with a passage from I Peter 5: 6 - 11. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of ALL grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."
Have a blessed Thursday!