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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"O Earth, Earth, Earth" - Jeremiah's Plea to a Nation Headed toward Captivity

Shortly before the people of Jerusalem would be carried captive into Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah pleaded with them to repent. Proud, self-righteous, confident in their holiness, and materialistic, they rejected his message. But it was directly on target. In randomly reading Jeremiah 22 this morning, I found passages that seemed to resonate with our Zeitgeist. Here are a few of these verses.
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. . . .

13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; . . .

21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.

22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness. . . .

29. O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.
The Lord spake to us in our prosperity, but so many of us trusted in uncertain riches where thieves (especially those in Washington) can break through and steal, leaving retirement accounts depleted, housing values underwater, jobs cut, and economic outlooks bleak. Many homes and even great empires of wealth have been built by unrighteousness, with loans that could not ever be paid back, or with money that was taken by force from others - trillions of dollars worth, without right and even without accountability. We are witnessing theft at the most grandiose levels ever conceived as the national debt - an ogre that took decades of corruption and greed to accumulate - suddenly doubled in a few weeks, leaving you and your posterity with impossible burdens of debt.

What has been sowed must be reaped. Chaos and captivity loom when a nation has its finances utterly out of control. Much will be swept away by the wind and the floods that will follow. May we heed the word of the Lord and listen to the inspired guidance of his living prophets and apostles to know how to live and prepare in such times. Now, more than ever, the world needs the counsel found in the word of the Lord. More than ever, we each need to repent of our sins, increase the level of charity in our lives (both in Christlike love and specifically in care for the needy around us), live frugally, and draw close to the Lord.

One more verse, speaking of the deceased King Josiah:
16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.

10 comments:

Summer said...

How appropriate for Thanksgiving. I was thinking along the same lines this morning. http://summervw.blogspot.com/2008/11/true-thanksgiving.html

How fun to run across your blog- I found Orson Scott Card's remarks interesting.

Jared said...

This sounds like a call to repentance. We all need to heed the call to repentance.

This morning I read Alma 5. Alma wasn't reluctant to call church members of his day to repentance; neither should we.

Former reader, now not so much said...

First time I've checked back in for weeks. You're still blogging the imitation religion of Republican partisanship?

J. Max Wilson said...

Thanks for this Jeff. Very timely. My Thanksgiving post from last year quotes Lincoln along these same lines. Also, you might enjoy my recent poem on a similar theme.

Anonymous said...

I have read Jeff's comments several times and see no mention of Republican partisanship. Unless Former Reader is referring to calling our lying, thieving government and us to repentence as partisan. Have we gotten to the point that bad is good and good is bad?

Richard G

Jeremy said...

What a great way to apply the scriptures to our day. From a fellow patent guy, those verses should have been very 35 U.S.C Sec. 103 to all LDS.

Jeremy

Mormanity said...

Especially in light of KSR! Thanks, Jeremy - there's nothing that cheers me up more than a little patent-speak!

Greg said...

Jeff - Thank you for this timely and appropriate post. Your post and recent events remind me of Elder Neal A. Maxwell's statement that the fall of the "great and spacious building" of Lehi's dream would be a "gigantic, global collapse that is yet to come" (see Pride and Selfishness). Although we may not be there yet, our society is moving closer and closer to that fateful day...

Todd Wood said...

excellent book for America today

Noah said...

Speaking of scriptures that have an unsettling way of resonating with circumstances of the 21st century...

"And they conceived from them and bore to them great giants.... And they were growing in accordance with their greatness. They were devouring the labor of all the sons of men, and men were not able to supply them. And the giants began to kill men and to devour them. And they began to sin against the birds and beasts and creeping things and the fish, and to devour one another's flesh. And they drank the blood. Then the earth brought accusation against the lawless ones." -- 1 Enoch 7:2-6

Or how about this one, eerily similar to our Book of Moses account of Cain:

They strive for vast hoards of wealth through sin in order to fulfill their vain desires, saying:

"This wealth is mine. And I'll have more in the future. I have killed this enemy today, and I will kill others as well. I am the lord here. I glory in myself. I am successful, powerful, and free. Who else can compare with me? I will perform the sacrifices. I will give to the poor. I will glory in myself."

Distracted by their many affairs, they are caught in a web of delusion. Obsessed with satisfying their desires, they fall headlong into hell. Self-absorbed, stubborn, intoxicated with wealth and pride, they perform their sacrifices in name only, contrary to the manner ordained by God. -- The Gita 16:12-17