God’s Word Goes Forth: Come to the Lord in Prayer
Lamentations 3:1-24: Lamentations is a collection of poems or “laments” that are presented as eyewitness accounts to the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem. A writer called “the prophet” presents the poem in this passage. The prophet’s lament is both personal and universal. His own experience speaks to everyone who suffers. The prophet, by enumerating his own severe trials, and showing his trust in God, encourages his people to trust in the God and his never-failing mercy.
Today's Scripture: Lamentations 3:22-24
The LORD’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The LORD is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.
1 I am one who knows what it is to be punished by God. 2 He drove me deeper and deeper into darkness 3 And beat me again and again with merciless blows. 4 He has left my flesh open and raw, and has broken my bones. 5 He has shut me in a prison of misery and anguish. 6 He has forced me to live in the stagnant darkness of death. 7 He has bound me in chains; I am a prisoner with no hope of escape. 8 I cry aloud for help, but God refuses to listen; 9 I stagger as I walk; stone walls block me wherever I turn. 10 He waited for me like a bear; he pounced on me like a lion. 11 He chased me off the road, tore me to pieces, and left me. 12 He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. 13 He shot his arrows deep into my body. 14 People laugh at me all day long; I am a joke to them all. 15 Bitter suffering is all he has given me for food and drink. 16 He rubbed my face in the ground and broke my teeth on rocks. 17 I have forgotten what health and peace and happiness are. 18 I do not have much longer to live; my hope in the LORD is gone. 19 The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. 20 I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed. 21 Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: 22 The LORD's unfailing love and mercy still continue, 23 Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. 24 The LORD is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.
The poems in Lamentations were written not simply to lament the destruction of Jerusalem, but to interpret its meaning for God’s people. What did the people of Judah learn about themselves and God from this tragic event? Reread verses 21-24. Which statements in this passage offer hope? What is the relationship between hope and reliance on God?
Lord God, you are good to those who wait for you. Enable me to examine my ways and return to you, lifting my heart and my hands to you in heaven. Amen.