Summary: In a culture that is given to watching and talking (Spectators) the task of the church is to present the gospel as a doing and acting faith.
I hold in my a hand a piece of paper
-it is a small piece of paper and now crumpled
-it is now trash
-I place it on the floor
-not in the middle of the floor but off to the side
-this is a test to see who will pick it up and who will leave it lay
Notice: it is where everyone can see it
-what has been your experience
-will people walk by it or pick it up
-it is not my paper (I do not own it)
-it is not my doing ( I did not drop it)
-it is not my job to pick it up (janitors job)
Be careful because every Sunday we leave these pews either messy or clear of debris;
piled with garbage or free of trash
Sometimes the things we see does not move us to action
-if it was a $20 dollar bill we would gladly pick it up
Develop The Need:
Ok, thats only paper; but what about the bigger things in life
do we see things in life that need our attention yet go untouched?
-are there things in our marriages that need attention
-what about unconfessed sin;
-what about looking the other way when we see spiritual need; or the needs of our fellow man
-call it procrastination; call it indifference; call it laziness; whatever it is its not a pleasant attribute;
Tonight I want us to take a look at one of Jeremiah’s most powerful questions that relates to whether or not anyone would be moved by such atrocities as the plight of Jerusalem.
Satisfy The Need: Lamentations 1:1-12 12 Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
TEXT: Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?
1st) Look at her desolation Vs. 1
-the city is desolate
-buildings can be replaced
-the real tragedy was the absence of people
-image of a widow (lost their spouse)
Catch a glimpse of the desolation of Jerusalem! the sorrow! the agony!
2nd) Look at her tears! Vs. 2
-the tears were flowing
-in the night (thru the night)
Image of one who has cast herself upon her bed weeping and sobbing with great sorrow
What to do with one who cries; one who sobs; one who weeps;
3rd Look at her losses vs. 3
-her friends have become her enemies
-she had put her trust in the nations around her; paid tribute; now they plundered her
-stole from her
-she has gone into captivity Vs. 4-6
-her beauty has departed (the glory of God’s presence)
-sin has hemmed her in
4th) Look at her memories Vs. 7
-memories haunted them
-her enemies mocked her (laughing stock)
-their sorrow weighed heavily
5th) look at her sins Vs. 8-11
-grievious sin; wreckless
-exposed for all the world to see (turns her back)
-has no comforter
what people saw gave reason:
-to be concerned
-to express compassion
-to feel caringly
Can you just pass by; walk by?
Is it nothing to you? to see this and go on? Are you so unmoved?
Jeremiah for some reason thot that those who looked on such ruin and suffering and sorrow should feel something. The Bedouins of the desert pitched their tents in sight of the ruins; merchants passed by going north and south and saw the deserted streets; Jer 22:8-9 8 And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city? 9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.
Jeremiah was not content to let folks walk past ruins, suffering, sorrow and sadness and not feel something. His question has the effect of jarring them out of complacency and attempts to stir them from callousness; selfishness; apathy, and indifference; Which by the way is what is so very much needed in a spectator society; a society given to looking on the plight of others; seeing the hurt; and staying out of the turmoil of human need.
We have become gawkers, sqwakers, talkers and walkers. We camp out in front of the talk and sqwak shows; we race to the nearest gossip corner to get the latest scoop; we fill our minds with images of pain in the street and all too often we simply do nothing to relieve the suffering of those around us. We run from every whisper of human heartache knowing that it is going to cost us time, money, and a whole lot of caring love. There is paper all over the floor. The turmoil of human need is all around us. Someone needs to pick them up. Will that someone be you. Anytime we find it easy to walk past human need and not feel a thing; nor respond be assured the question comes to us Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?