Mourning into Dancing (2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36)

As the Lord had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord. (2 Kings 24:13)

There are sad moments in the lives of God’s people.  Perhaps one of the saddest moments for Israel was the destruction of the Temple that Solomon had built.  This place was God’s place – it wasn’t where He dwelled, but it was where He met with them.  In removing the treasures from the Temple, Nebuchadnezzar was declaring his domination over the Lord, and for those who were watching, it seemed to indicate that God’s presence was either gone or it hadn’t been there in the first place.  It was a day of mourning.

We have days of mourning, too.  We have days when it seems as though God isn’t showing up in our behalf.  We have days when God’s presence seems so far from us, and we feel lonely and abandoned.  The fact is, God hadn’t left Israel anymore than He leaves us.  His promise is that He won’t ever leave us for forsake us.

Israel’s future was bright.  Christ was coming.  The nation felt abandoned and neglected, but God was preparing to do His biggest work.  In the present moment there was mourning.  But the mourning wouldn’t last; it would turn into dancing and celebration at the marriage of the Lamb of God who was to come and take away the sins of the world.

Are you discouraged today?  Don’t be.  Your present circumstances won’t last forever.  If you’re submitted to the Lord, He’s not far from you.  There will be dancing… it’s just a matter of time.  Make sure you’re ready for it, and wait with eager anticipation.

Father, there are moments when I feel defeated.  There are days when it feels as though Your presence is far from me – if it even exists at all.  Keep me from allowing my feelings of the moment to dominate what I know to be true.  Let me rest in Your promises – that You are there and that You work all things together for good.  Encourage me today to know that mourning will turn to dancing, and let me be ready to dance when the time comes.