One of the greatest characters in the Bible is the man Jeremiah, a prophet in Judah between the 6th & 7th Century BC, when Jerusalem was transiting into exile in Babylon. He was called as a very young man to a very difficult task of condemning the corrupt life and practice of his people; a society that was once committed to the Lord but succumbed to the influence of pagan nations and opened up to corruption, injustice and all forms of social evils.
Jeremiah was alone in his series of efforts to bring his people back to the Lord. His call, his care, his concerns and cries were virtually in vain as his audience took delight in their obstinacy against God. But as the people rejoice in their rebellion, Jeremiah was heart- broken because he could see their future filled with disaster and gloom. He was a man of sorrow amidst the people who were celebrating in false prosperity and peace. Jeremiah ran his prophetic ministry for forty to fifty years shedding tears not just because he was often beaten up and thrown into prisons, but because he could see that the disobedience of his hard-hearted people would later land them in exile; hence he was tagged “the weeping Prophet”
Does the world of the modern time need a “weeping Prophet”? Maybe we need to wait for the world to become more corrupt than the world in which Jeremiah lived before we can begin to look for a Jeremiah to weep for it. To compare the corruption of Jeremiah’s context with what is obtainable in the modern society is to place a human corpse beside a sleeping man. Even the people of Jeremiah’s day were modest and courteous in their corrupt state. One of the indices that Jeremiah’s day was better was the man Jeremiah himself. His character and concerns for the spiritual situation of his nation irrespective of the numerous sufferings that was unleashed on him point to the fact that it was still possible for at least one person to hear and obey God to the point of suffering in that society. A more spiritually healthy nation should produce greater men than Jeremiah.
In fairness to the people of Jeremiah’s day, they had Laws that were binding on everyone. It was unlike in the present time in which certain people in the society enjoy immunity and so become untouchable with the rod of justice. We are in the days in which evil thrives on the basis of distorting the Laws in order to protect those who break it. Yes, there was injustice in the society in which Jeremiah lived; there was blatant disobedience to the Laws of God; there were false prophets who prophesied lies but the Laws were not manipulated. The worst the Priests would do was to abandon the Law and not say what it says. They would not, for any reason, re-write or import into it what was not originally in it.
But both in the secular and spiritual circles today the fact of the rule of law is always a relegated and ridiculed subject. Even amongst Christians, people sit over the laws of God and make it inapplicable to themselves but use it to judge others. The blatant and callous negligence of the truth and its practical, personal application among those who teach and preach it explains why the world is now lacking those to weep for her. It takes a heart that is so sensitive like that of Jeremiah to the standard of God and the consequences of falling short of it, to weep for the present world and where it is heading to in her rebellion against the Almighty.
But who weeps for the World when the Church has become worldly? Who weeps for the World when celebration has become the order of the day? Who weeps for the World when those to weep have padded themselves in luxury to the point of insensitivity to the plight of the world? Who weeps for the World when the supposed weepers are detached and isolated from the downtrodden and comfortably settled in their ivory towers?
The World of this time indeed needs more than one weeping Jeremiah to weep for her. The society, particularly in our nation is in severe need of great lamentations for all her evils and God’s impending judgement. The Church of our time is too cold and comfortable in her uncaring state for the world whereas she ought to replicate the love that God so have for the world and gave his only begotten son for her. But the Church is presently where she has been led to overtime. She has to be led away from the mentality of ‘celebration’ to the culture of sober mind-set on the state of the people of the world in their relationship with God. If the Church could raise men and women who can bear the burden of the plight of humanity on their hearts, there will be better intercessory spirit in the Church and the World will have better witnesses of Christ.