19You, Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
20Why do you always forget us?
Why do you forsake us so long? (Lamentations 5:19, 20)
Today and tomorrow we will be looking at the closing verses of Lamentations, the Prophet Jeremiah’s final words included in the Holy Bible. Here Jeremiah asks the Lord why does God always forget His people and allow them to suffer for so long? It is a question we could be asking of God right now. COVID surging, another punishing hurricane to the state of Louisiana, the human crisis in Afghanistan, the young lives of American Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors taken violently and with no reason.
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I, personally, do not see any of this as a surprise. God gave us an unprecedented chance to do the right thing last year, giving America and the world a huge pause to grow closer to God, spend time in the Word. Did the world take advantage of that opportunity? Nope. Instead, I see leaders in the church lamenting over attendance for a football game, as if slowing the spread of COVID is not as important as watching adults play a sport.
For years scientists have been warning the world, and America, of the threat of global warming, and this weekend we witnessed a storm grow into a monstrous hurricane in just three days and slam into the same area Katrina did exactly 16-years prior. But do we support moving to clean energy and evolving away from fossil fuels? Doesn’t seem like it, when the truth is here, but so many refuse to support or even believe it.
The battle in Afghanistan was lost years ago when military leaders decided American lives were more important than trying to wipe out the Taliban. Could American forces have destroyed the Taliban completely? On paper, yes, but the Taliban is a culture, a religious following that continues to draw followers and support. On December 31, 2014, the operations in Afghanistan changed tempo and name and became “Operation Freedom Sentinel.” In those nearly seven years of attempting to build the Afghan army to the ability to defend and fight without American firepower, 94 Military members lost their lives in combat, a stark difference from the first thirteen years of the combat operations of Operation Enduring Freedom, where 2,218 Service members lost their lives in Afghanistan. (https://www.defense.gov/casualty.pdf)
Those numbers alone are a huge testament to the fact that the American military valued the lives of their service members over the destruction of the Taliban, and they should have. Of course, there are those that plead about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and why the US should do more, but they do so having never served in the military, or willing to send their sons and daughters into harm’s way on the other side of the world. It looks right now that Afghanistan will soon lose all the advancements in social and economic progress they were able to achieve over the last twenty years. The Taliban claims they are more progressive and support women’s rights, along with the positive changes the country has seen in their absence, but that has, obviously, not been their track record. You can be sure they are going to massacre many of those who fought against them, as they have been doing that for the last seven years. Only time will tell what the future that Afghanistan will hold. But be sure, the mess we see unfolding before us was years in the making. I said this a week ago when this disaster erupted in America’s face: we need to either be the American Crusader we claim to be at moments like this, or we need not to be. But before we start fixing all the world’s problems, we need to fix our own.
If you are really upset about the crisis in Afghanistan, do something to help. An “Instagram influencer” by the name of “Quentin Quarantino” was able to raise over $7 million dollars in less than a week and which led to the evacuation of over 350 Afghans in just 24-hours on privately chartered flights. This was one man who used his influence to change the lives of 350 Afghans. You can read his story here. I bring this up to serve as an example of how ONE person CAN surely make a difference. Now, we all do not have hundreds of thousands of IG followers, but we can all do something to make a change, and we can be the people that stand for injustice around the world. What we are seeing in Afghanistan is happening in many places around the world: Ethiopia, Yemen, Syria, Venezuela. Here is Resuce.org’s top ten list of Humanitarian Crisis around the world, all of which need not just America’s help, but the worlds.
As I have said for the last two years, we need a revival, a final revival that allows us to stand firmly in the Truth of who Jesus is, who Jesus instructs us to be, and how we are to live as born-again Christians. If we want this revival to change America, it must start inside each of us. Rhett Walker released a short, five-track EP on Friday, with the following track that magnificently puts the above thought into powerful, catchy lyrics. Once we have a transformation in the hearts of America, then we’ll be ready to start fixing the problems of this world. Let’s give it a try and witness how God heals this land.
Reading plan: 2 Timothy 4
Deeper reading plan: Lamentations 4