Jeremiah 3:1-3“They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, an she goes from him and becomes another man’s, May he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,” says the Lord. “Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see: Where have you not lain with men? By the road you have sat for them Like an Arabian in the wilderness; And you have polluted the land With your harlotries and your wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot’s forehead; You refuse to be ashamed.
Here, quite starkly in this prophecy God provided through Jeremiah, He has revealed one of the clear reasons as to why the rains can be withheld, even in the seasons you would expect to see the latter rain. While some may say that this only applied thousands of years ago, they forget that God’s truthes are eternal. Quite clearly the Lord is revealing the challenge that can apply to a so called modern society or economy.
That is as a nation, state, or local economy we as a people and a region need to remember there is an ethical dilemma to investment attraction, a moral challenge to how and by whom we develop, an absolute need to consider how all in society share in its wealth, and most importantly, where they place our Lord God in all that is happening. It is essential not to sell our soul to the highest bidder, effectively prostituting ourselves for those who have the money, and particularly those who seek their own gain to the detriment of others. A healthy region is one whose soul prospers, and this is much deeper than simply more construction projects, or large employers. While ‘cranes in the sky’, or other new employers from overseas can be a good thing, they are not the measure of a sustainably prosperous region or city.
If in achieving these apparent artefacts of prosperity we have accepted investment from dubious sources, or ones that are both border line ethically and not for our regions future, or clearly bent the rules to allow certain projects to develop in order for a better outcome for few, and create short term wealth that in the long run gauges our long term sustainability, we have failed. Playing the harlot never wins. Even worse is when in doing we sideline God, even diminishing His ways on our society, in order to not offend those we seek to attract. Thinking our good plans is the reason for our “success” or safety, rather than acknowledging God’s grace, is a common ill of man, which can never end well. The result often is many still being poor, the rains being withheld, fires, and a few getting fat while many get leaner…and eventually all falling foul to the sins of a region.
So, consider deeply the state of your region, and if you see no rain, particularly something that seems to be against normal natural forces, and comes out of ‘nowhere’, consider your regions soul. The good news is that the Lord in His mercy provided the ultimate path of redemption. First, recognise our wrong doing.
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.
Second, seek the Lord afresh, for only He can truly heal the land, and bring the rains. While all can come to God and pray, it is also important for the kings of the land to do so. In Ezekiel,the Lord reveals how he looks for such intercessors…particularly for corporate sin.
2 Chronicles 7:14
‘if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’
And thirdly, know that through Jesus Christ, you and your region can not only be forgiven and healed, and the rains return, but also be cleansed and made new.
1 John 1:9 – 2:2
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.