Thursday, April 25, 2019 -
Today I read Lamentations. Jeremiah was a righteous prophet of the Lord, yet he greatly suffered unjustly. This was greatly due to the sinful ways of the people of Judah. He knew God was punishing His people, and he wasn’t afraid to say so. “For the Lord has caused her grief because of the multitude of her transgressions.” (Lam. 1:5) As a result, the people were taken into captivity.
But what was Jeremiah’s “reward”? He was thrown into a pit of mud, into which he sank.
Several quotes of Jeremiah were especially meaningful to me as I read them: “For He does not afflict willingly, or grieve the sons of men. To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the land, to deprive a man of justice in the presence of the Most High, to defraud a man in his lawsuit - - of these things the Lord does not approve.” (Lam. 3:33-36).
Jeremiah also says in the same chapter, “Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion, says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord’ (Lam. 3:19-26).
How true! How genuine are these truths for me! Every morning God speaks to me, and comforts me, and reassures me! He is merciful, loving and compassionate! “Oh Lord, thou didst plead my soul’s cause; thou hast redeemed my life. O Lord, Thou hast seen my oppression. Judge my case.” (Lam. 3:58-59) Yet through all of this personal hardship, what Jeremiah mourned mostly for was the sin of the nation and its people, “For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were turned toward her.” (Lam. 4:6). And finally, his prayer for the nation, “restore us to Thee, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old. Unless Thou hast utterly rejected us, and art exceedingly angry with us.” (Lam. 5:21-22)