“I Made Them Childless Jer. 15:7”

Categories: Tuesday Tidbits

Once in my career, I played a minor role in a modern tragedy that had a father lose his only son. The sound of the parents crying when they knew their child had died, still echoes in my ears. It was impossible not to feel those emotions and empathize with that family. It probably has happened more than once, given that my job often subjects me to being a participant in the final moments of some individual's lives; however, this occasion was one that was abundantly clear to me and will forever remain in the forefront of my mind. I saw, from a later interview on the subject, into the father's mental state after such a loss. It was heart-breaking to visualize. It was impossible not to sympathize with parents facing such a loss.

I remember years ago when my father passed away. I was at the funeral home with my grandparents, who despite my father being almost 50, never saw him as anything else but their little boy. My grandmother turned to me and said this is deeply wrong and the most unnatural thing that can happen to you as a parent. Parents aren't supposed to see their children die.

In movies, we are often given a villain who is trying to get some information from the hero or inflict terrible pain on him or her. They often threaten their children. I recall one of the most moving scenes in cinema in the movie Saving Private Ryan. When movies are done well you know it, because emotionally you forget you are watching something and instead feel it. Early in the movie, Steven Spielberg must make you understand the reason for the rest of the drama and action that is to take place. He does that with one scene where Private Ryan's mother gets news that 3 of her sons have been killed. That realization makes her too weak to stand. You truly feel that pain even if in life you have never lived it. You sympathize with her and hope and pray never to face the same event.

When we read all of the punishments placed upon the children of Israel as they are about to be destroyed and sent off into Babylonian captivity, I cannot find one more punishing than is recorded for us in Jeremiah 15:7. "I made them Childless. He of course is not saying he caused them simply to be barren. Instead, he is telling Jeremiah to let the people who survive know how he is going to decimate their children. The most unnatural thing that can happen is about to happen on a national scale. We think of the anguish when the Egyptians lost their firstborn on a national scale. What must the cry have sounded like that day when all the people felt the same unbelievable pain. 1Cor 10:13 says that there will be no temptation that we cannot bear. This punishment would be one that seems would test anyone's ability to endure.

We know of another case of enduring loss, when Christ our father's only son went to his death on the cross. When such a tragedy befalls us we have no power to stop it or slow it down. However, in the case of Calvary, not only could Jesus have called down 10,000 angels, but God also had the power to stop everything and leave us without hope. He did not alter his promise. He did not spare his son. He loved us too much, so despite the pain that seeing Christ subjected to so much would have caused, God endured it. God felt the unnatural feeling, so we in our sin and filth could feel his love for us. Praise the Lord for his loving favor.

Joe Johnsey