The water of the lake softly lapped the boulders that bordered the neatly manicured golf green. The idyllic setting was seemingly reserved for my wife and I to enjoy alone as we sat in our car, parked in the driveway of an elegant luxury hotel just off the Las Vegas strip. In the hour we sat in the car, only one other car passed us, and this was 3PM in the afternoon, the day after Thanksgiving!
It was 2009, one year into what would be known as the Great Recession. Just a few years earlier, we were at this same spot but caught in a massive line of cars eagerly awaiting to enter the hotel. The economic downturn was a devastating downturn for cities that relied upon tourism and disposable income. The causes are complex but fundamentally it was greed fomented by multiple parties including bankers, real estate speculators, and ordinary investors that led to the Great Recession. The deserted driveway was a sobering metaphor for the meltdown.
When we are in a situation or location that is the antithesis of the usual activity, it is a numbing experience. Think of an airport tarmac of the center lane of a freeway-if one were to be placed in any of these locations with no one else around, the feeling would be as surreal as what my wife and I were experiencing at the Las Vegas hotel.
Jerusalem, once so full of people, is now deserted. She who was once great among the nations now sits alone like a widow. Once the queen of all the earth, she is now a slave.
Lamentations 1:1 (NLT)
The Prophet Jeremiah describes a shocking scene as he laments the destruction of the once great city of Jerusalem, now ransacked by the Babylonian army and left desolate. No doubt he walked the same streets just a short time earlier and was jostled about like anyone walking in a thriving and bustling city. Now people lay dead in the streets and the survivors scrambled to find food and shelter. It was the sinful behavior of the Jews that led to their city of Jerusalem captured by the conquering Babylonians and their chief priests and leaders slaughtered or taken away to captivity.
Can it happen again? Sin can destroy everything in which we place our trust within a few brief moments. Our nation is struggling to deal with unresolved sins. Sin turns thriving cities into war zones and desolate wastelands. It burns monuments and statues of heroes and patriots of nations. It loots honest businesses and murders innocent bystanders.
The lessons of the past are never learned and the sins keep repeating. It happened thousands of years ago and is happening within this generation and in many cities that are burning in this country. There are many issues that have led to the tragic situations in our cities but it is our heart that is the root cause. We desperately need a Savior to deal with the sins in our heart. Only by confessing our sins to Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Lord and Savior will we be able to address the issues that plague our cities. Once our hearts are changed, the complex issues can begin to be addressed. Instead of looking to blame each other for the reasons, we should turn to God to learn of His absolute Truth, confident that the peace He promises, He is able to deliver.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.