October 20, Reading 2 – Lamentations 3

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Have you ever felt like Jeremiah as he pours out his complaint with God in these first 20 verses? Then meditate on verses 22-27. Why is faithfulness so precious?

SJA Notes

How can Jeremiah (the author of Lamentations) have both of these truths in his mind and not break?

The God has greviously wounded Jeremiah (and the people), AND that the Lord is good to those who wait for Him?

Jeremiah gets to the crux in v31, “For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;”

He continues this thought (which is important for us to wrestle with, how we pray, how we progress in prayer) – and comes to the conclusion, “Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?”

Jeremiah was a real person who dealt with the real world, broken and desperate, and his own sin (walking in humility and meekness under the Lord’s will).

His struggles will mirror ours, and we should take note and heart in his prayers here, how they point us to the Lord, and to Jesus.

Because Jeremiah ends this passage pointing to the great truth – The Lord has taken up our cause, and He is the JUST Lord, He will bring punishment.

Which reminds us of our own punishment – That we deserved it as much as any enemy of God. And yet He sent Jesus, His Son, to be our redemption, our rescue, our restorative healing balm.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

* Great God,

Thank You that You have taken up our cause. That You see the evil in the world around us today. That You will call to account.

Thank You Lord that You have saved us, that we no longer fear death or the punishment of hellfire.

Instead we walk free in Jesus, and look forward to any weight and shame and brokenness that still inhabits us being completely removed on that final day when King Jesus returns.

Amen!

October 19, Reading 2 – Lamentations 2

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

This is not a different God. We need to respect God and not treat Him with contempt as Israel did. Verses 6 and 7 contain threads that reach from Genesis to Revelation. The Tabernacle of Jesus’ body brings this entire lament to its deepest depths. Yet this dark valley is the way to joy, the joy of resurrection.

SJA Notes

Psalms are often turned to when in turmoil and despair (for good reason), but look at Lamentations!

“The Lord has become like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel;”

“He has laid waste to his booth like a garden, laid in ruins his meeting place; the LORD has made Zion forget festival and Sabbath, and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.”

“The LORD determined to lay in ruins the wall of the daughter of Zion; he stretched out the measuring line; he did not restrain his hand from destroying;”

We must remember that the Lord sent prophet after prophet with warnings to His people. Reminders to seek His face, to obey His laws, to walk under His will.

And yet they continued in disobedience (as the 1st OT readings are showing in 2 Kings at the moment), walking further and further down the broad road into evil upon evil.

And yet. The author of Lamentations cries out to the Lord,

“Look, O LORD, and see! With whom have you dealt thus?”

This is God’s word. Do we see dissonance of thought here?

Of course not. And so, we must wrestle with these truths. Truths for us today, post-Jesus’ appearance in Israel all those years ago.

To comprehend that we can endure the trials brought about by our own foolishness and yet cry out for mercy.

* Father of Mercy,

Even though You have saved us, called us to be set apart, marked us as Your people – Even though we are in Jesus, still we choose foolishness.

Please forgive us Lord, and show us mercy. We throw ourselves at Your feet in humble adoration and abject worship. For what else have we to do?

Amen.