He set fire to the temple of the LORD, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.
In five hours, our side of the world will welcome the new year with a bang. For most Pinoys, it will be loud countdowns followed by a sumptuous meal with their families and friends. To some, although prohibited, it will be with firecrackers, even guns. With my kids, we announced we’re having a ‘Noisy Night!’ We told them it will be a time to shout and jump and run around, and that mom will not stop them. Rilian’s eyes grew big in excitement, maybe in disbelief, with that last one, haha! Everyone’s idea is to face the new year joyous and with high hopes. A time to seal one’s past as done and gone, and a time to look and move ahead and start all over again.
The sky was also fiery that time in Judah. But not in celebration, or hope. Jerusalem was literally burning. God’s temple included. It was their darkest hour. Like their northern brothers, they were taken captives. The noise all around signaled that what they had was past, and what’s ahead is gone. The Babylonians divided them in two: the strong and skillful were dragged as slaves, the poorest were left behind. I don’t know If I’d rather be rich or poor that time. With the temple burned down, even their last resort to return to God seemed gone. Who else can save them now?
With 2011 almost behind us, we wish all bad things will die with it. A strip-down of all negative vibes so we could inhale some positive karma. Some think loud noises will drive away those bad spirits or round fruits and pocketful of coins can bring in abundance. Traditions cannot ensure a good future, nor will religion. For why would a God of hope allow His temple to be desecrated if it was the main thing? God is the main thing! Turning back from Him was the sin that caused Judah’s future to grow dim. Fireworks can’t cover sins’ tracks. It will be a dim future - a dark 2012 – if we’ll continue to deceive ourselves that we can do life without God; that we can bury those sins underground so that no consequence will haunt us back; that we can restart anew without repentance and His forgiveness. Judah was given nth chances to come to terms with God. But they resisted 'til t’was forfeited. We have a chance here to make it right this time. Be right with Him and rest assured, 2012 will be more than just alright. With God, it will be your best year ever!