But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us. You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale. You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us. I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.
The heavenly Father has a way of getting our attention. Sometimes He humbles us. Sometimes we live in a confused state of defeat. A tough situation barges into our lives, seemingly out of the blue.
That’s what we read about in today’s passage. Israel had just suffered a devastating loss at the hands of an enemy. Now they “live in disgrace all day long” and their “face is covered with shame” as the enemy continues to taunt. And, we’ll see in tomorrow’s passage, they were certain this was not a self-inflicted consequence.
We don’t always know why tough times come. But God uses every one of them for His purposes. There are things He wants to teach us, areas in which we need to grow. He has our attention in hard times. That’s when He does His best teaching because we are doing our best listening.
Father, You have our attention. We are listening. Use today for Your purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.