A friend of mine recently told me a perplexing story concerning his employment situation. After two years of job hunting, he landed an interview with a great company in a beautiful city. It felt like destiny. At long last, his prayers would be answered.
And then something strange happened. During the interview, he answered every question perfectly, wowed them with his talent. He was on fire. The hiring manager gushed, “I see a lot of passion and potential in you.” Feeling emboldened, he asked for an offer. Then she shrugged. “We’re not allowed to do that. You’ll hear something in a few days.”
A few days turned into three weeks, and then he was rejected with no explanation. For him, it was the last straw. With a broken spirit, he told me he was giving up.
While the American economy continues to plummet out of control, stories like his have become the norm. In homes across the nation, from the deep south to the Pacific northwest, malaise and depression have come to define life.
And it keeps getting worse. A freakish cold spell in Central America just killed new crops, forcing grocers to raise prices and some to start dropping the dreaded S word: shortages. In cities like Atlanta, gas prices rise in the blink of an eye. Places like Nevada and California limp along with double-digit unemployment. As the workforce evaporates, municipal tax revenue falls even more, forcing governments to lay off jobs once thought recession proof.
While discussing these things with my friend, I mentioned the trials of Job in the Bible and how much patience he had to sustain. Yet it just didn’t feel like a good comparison. Something else was amiss.
Casting about for answers, I turned to the wisdom of my mother. I told her the plight of my friend and how it seemed exceptionally difficult. She replied that while his situation was quite steeped in pathos, it was not unique. Everyone she knew told the very same story.
And then I understood. These are not isolated cases of people facing temporary trials. This is a massive spiritual blight. This is the sin of a rebellious nation that can no longer be ignored. This is ancient Israel with Babylon at the gates. A comparison of ancient Israel to modern America is almost like holding up a mirror.
Which brings us to the prophet Jeremiah. People love to hold up Job as an example of patience because he had a happy ending. Yet for a profile in patience that goes deeper than that, we must look to Jeremiah’s life. He lived in a time when there was no success, no vibrant economy, nothing to look forward to.
Jeremiah certainly had dreams for his life. He surely wanted something better than to watch his nation burn to the ground before being drug away into slavery. Yet judgment had come and economic collapse was simply unavoidable. Jeremiah’s story stands as a sobering reminder that sometimes rain falls on the just and the wicked all at once.
We cannot foretell America’s eventual demise while thinking it will somehow not affect us. We cannot see Babylon at the gates and ask for our house to kindly be spared. We don’t always have the luxury of being Job. We must wait for a safe place to be provided, and then we must go where we are told to go.
The call to restore America is over. Our debt is as big as our entire economy. Our food is too expensive and our homes are drained of savings. It is now just a matter of time before Babylon marches into our cities.
Now is the time to restore our homes. We will not survive if we keep assuming we can live like always and somehow be spared. It is time to read Jeremiah.