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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lamentations

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

How goes your day? I recently read the book of Lamentations. Lamentations is a piece displaying the grief over what happened to Jerusalem at the beginning of Judah's exile. Essentially, the city and temple were destroyed. The writer never shares his name but many think it was written by Jeremiah, one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament.


Over and over the lamentor shares his grief over the destroyed city; asking God to come and bring restoration. There are a few stanzas in the middle that offer hope, but not very many. At this point in time the Jews had little hope. Their brightest had been taken away to be trained for what could be equated to middle management or less. They had no human king with any power and the temple they used to worship God had been destroyed. God had chosen not to intervene during the invasion and even brought the Babylonians because of how they had worshiped idols and not taken there adoption by God seriously.

In one spot the author admits to feeling not just abandoned by God, but betrayed; saying God seems like an enemy. Yet he also recognizes the sin and rebellion of the chosen against God.

I find one thing interesting: God never chides the lamentor. We see no evidence that God is angry at Israel for their expression of grief, even though they had not shown Him the proper respect and had in some ways brought it on themselves. In fact, in the middle of the lament God offers a little hope! He says:
"For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone."  Lamentations 3:31
Sometimes we feel like God is not on our side. When we don't get the job we want or the girl rejects the date or our family member gets extremely ill. We start to question if God is on our side at all. Right here God says: I do not like this stuff! God will respond to our sin and evil, but He will not enjoy doing so.

In our day we do not like to think of God as disciplining us. We want to believe our problems come from other people or simply the course of life. When someone does suggest that God is disciplining us, we get mad about it. Proverbs 3:11-12 and Hebrews 12 tell us to think of it this way: God disciplines us as a father would his son. No one enjoys the discipline, but it brings fruit in the form of a change of life.

Back to our Old Testament friends, God eventually judged the Babylonians by having another empire conquer them. Then, he led the King there to send men back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and the city wall. Hundreds of years later, Christ came to bring full redemption to us.

Our problems are not always discipline, but sometimes they are. When you are struggling, spend some time asking God if He is disciplining you. I don't think He does this very often and either way I think He would love to shower His love and hope and kindness over you. 

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the perspective I think God like you said doesn't enjoy the perspective of disciplining us if anything he is the one in the most pain because he loves SO MUCH but he most likely experiences tremendous joy when we respond to his discpling the right way and get closer to him

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    1. So used to facebook...I was wanting to "like" your comment. :)

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