***Warning*** You are about to get a glimpse into the spaghetti-like thoughts that wind through my brain on a daily basis. Soaked in a sauce of unrelated things, they all seem to mesh together. I pray that you can keep up…it’s hard, even for me sometimes.
This morning I was reading in Jeremiah. King Josiah’s sweeping reforms had begun in 641 B.C. and spanned for a period of about 40 years. But, while Josiah’s heart was with God and was in the right place…the people of Judah slid back to their idol worshiping, heathen ways not long after Josiah’s passing. It would seem that Judah’s turning to God during that period of reformation was not sincere.
As I am reading, I happen upon Jeremiah 4:30.
What are you doing, O devastated one?
Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold?
Why shade your eyes with paint? You adorn yourself in vain.
Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.
Immediately, a song popped into my head. “Roooooooxanne…you don’t have to put on the red light. Those days are over, you don’t have to sell your body to the night.” Let me interject by saying that I shared in a previous post that I would have been a contender on the show “Name That Tune” when it was on the scene. Also, that my parents used to tell me “Garbage in, garbage out” when speaking of music and anything we chose to listen to or read. I will take this opportunity to say, “Mom and Dad, you were right!”
Back to the song….”Roxanne”, by The Police, was the song running through my brain as I read this passage. Yes, I know Sting wrote it about prostitutes that were working near a hotel they were staying in…but, did he know about this verse when he wrote the song? Google search here I come! When I searched “Roxanne, Jeremiah”, I found something interesting. There was another song by Sting called “Jeremiah Blues” (which, it seems, is a song about hypocrisy in Catholicism). That’s enough of a connection to get this spaghetti brain going; Jeremiah, hypocrisy of the people of Judah, idol worship and prostitution/adultery. The people of Judah and Israel were referred to many times as prostitutes who pimped themselves out to other gods and nations- turning from the ONE TRUE GOD. Throughout the Bible we see this “tango”…a push and pull…from beginning to end.
I LOVE music. I appreciate many different styles and genres from different eras in time. While I enjoyed the original song when I was young, there was another version that quickly stole my heart. “El Tango de Roxanne” was featured in the movie “Moulin Rouge”, performed by Ewan McGregor , Jacek Koman, and Jose Feliciano. The masterful use of the violin, the guitar and the piano in this version…the duet…the raw emotion involved and delivered made the song real. Emotional. Painful. Ewan McGregor is belting out “You’re free to leave me, but just don’t deceive me. And please believe me when I say I love you!” At the same time, Jacek is singing the lyrics to “Roxanne”…”you don’t have to wear that dress tonight. Walk the streets for money- don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right”. Listen to this song…close your eyes and imagine God having this conversation with the people of Judah. You can hear the jealousy…He is a jealous God. You can hear pain along with the deep longing for Roxanne (Judah) to quit her wandering and come home. Gut wrenching. It’s so heavy on the heart. God’s chosen people- the hurt and betrayal- the choice to wander. He just wants them (and us) to choose HIM. Toward the end of the song, the music begins to build; it changes from hurt to wrath and anger…and I continue to read in Jeremiah 5 and, as I listen, I imagine the prophecy coming to fruition as it is described in the Bible.
“Why should I forgive you? Your children have all forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I have supplied their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes…should I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?” (v 7-9) A distant nation with quivers like an open grave, mighty warriors, will devour your flocks and herds, and your sons and daughters…with the sword they destroy the fortified cities in which you trust (v. 15-17). And in Jeremiah 6…an army is coming, armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come in battle formation to attack (v 22-23).
Thinking of this song in this context sent goose bumps up my arms.
Just a spaghetti noodle away…my thoughts shift again. When I was in History class as a teen, the one thing that I think was really a disservice to the study of History was the compartmentalized manner in which they taught. The teacher would have a unit on Egypt, a unit on the Middle East, a unit on the birth of Christianity…but never, did they tie any of these units together. I need to know! History does not consist of a bunch of separate events. They are all tied together. My spaghetti brain is happier when I know how they are all tied together! When I read the Bible, I sometimes fall victim to that habit of compartmentalization. But, if I am really digging into God’s Word…then I DIG. Today I pulled out the Halley’s Bible Handbook and started looking at timelines. I could see when reading Jeremiah that the Babylonians were coming…we are studying Habakkuk in Sunday School, which includes the same prophecy. Wait, did these two guys know each other? Tying Habakkuk and Jeremiah together with Kings and Chronicles. Understanding the timeline and how all of these books of the Bible all fit together to weave the history of a series of events is what I crave. God is weaving a tapestry folks, and though I may not understand some of the stitches as they are placed, I know that each one is intentionally placed and will be completely unveiled when His work is complete.
Anyways….sorry if that thought process was dizzying. Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep up with…but it’s my brain. God and his Word are alive and very real as they race through it. Welcome to my world. 🙂