I’m not a reader. I’m painfully slow at it and can barely make time for Scripture and an occasional medical article, let alone books. Still, there are two men who I love to read — men who describe what I’m seeing in a way that makes me guffaw and cry, sometimes at the same time: Joe Sobran and G.K. Chesterton. It seems weird to think of loving men I’ve never met, but if I don’t love these men, I’m not sure I’ve ever loved any man.
And, now, I’m adding a 3rd to my list: the prophet Jeremiah. As I reread his book at Christmas time, I’m also on the heels of reading 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, so I know better what Jeremiah was up against. And it’s been good to do it at Christmas time, too. Actually, in a strange way, the book of Jeremiah helps Christmas make more sense than ever.
When I was younger, I always thought of Christmas as a time when the world was better than usual. As I get older, what improves at Christmas is not the world around me but my understanding of just how low God stooped for you and me. I don’t think it’s possible to read Jeremiah, or any of the Old Testament, without wondering at the obstinate, determined, persistent rebellion of the nations of Israel and Judah. But if you pay attention to anything in this country, it won’t be long before you realize our idolatries and murder dwarf those of Jeremiah’s time.
As I write this, Glamour magazine is bubbling over with excitement about a new technology that makes killing your baby easier than ever. The SofTouch baby aspirator boasts no need for scraping, chopping, stabbing, poisons, pre-op preparations, or recovery time. Why, you can even return to work that very afternoon! Murder has never been so simple.
Can there be any question that God has judged this country, giving us over to our bloodlust? We are being pulverized by the weight of our own violence. Just as Judah gladly followed Manasseh, Amon, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, and others into murderous, lecherous, idolatry, we in America have followed Sanger, Roosevelt, Kinsey, and Clinton (just to name a few), into the same.
If we’re faithful witnesses to God, we too will surely suffer like the prophet Jeremiah. We may be imprisoned or even killed. But to be given peace with God—to be plucked out of a crooked and perverse generation that has perfected infanticide (to a degree that Herod couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams) is as good a reason to sing as I’ve ever known.
Jesus has come. Let us adore Him. Then let us follow Him to the death, knowing that He will wash even the filthiest sinner and will not fail to avenge even one drop of the innocent blood soaking our land.