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Grieving the loss of a loved one can be very painful, especially if it is the loss of an only child. One writer tells some chilling stories of parents that have lost children. Many are heart wrenching, so it is easy to see why God used the pain of losing a son to describe the exile ancient Israel was about to endure. Hoping to prevent that pain, God’s prophet Jeremiah pleaded (Ch 6), “Oh, my people, dress yourselves in burlap and sit among the ashes. Mourn and weep bitterly, as for the loss of an only son. For suddenly the destroying armies will be upon you!” Jeremiah kept telling the people that exile was just ahead; but his proud nation rejected his call to repent. They refused to believe God would let anything bad happen to them. They thought they were God’s pets. But in a few short years, the Babylonians invaded their land three times, destroyed their cherished Temple, burned down all the important buildings, and deported all but the very poor to Babylon. They stayed there 70 years, all because they were too proud to repent of their sins and live up to their covenant agreement. In every generation, God invites us to turn from our self-centeredness, accept His Son as our Savior, and live in ways that please Him.

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