(Today's post by Adam Cooper)
To build off of the historical information of Lamentations that Marc Cannon put forward yesterday many of the chapters within Lamentations are written as 22 letter acrostics with each of the 22 verses starting with the corresponding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. These verses are songs, or poems, of sadness and despair and a quick read through only one chapter really brings forth the light, rather, the darkness in which these were written.
Chapter 2 outlines a scene that can best be described as bleak. God has turned His chosen people over to themselves and their enemies. People are lying dead in the streets of cities that were at one time jewels of the area and this includes children. The picture painted is of such desolation and sadness that it makes it painfully clear that the favor of God has left His chosen people.
As I sit here and contemplate the despair and destruction that is depicted within this chapter I also begin to think of what God felt during this time. I think of a parent with an impetuous child who they are trying to get to fall asleep but the child keeps crying. The parent has to sit in agony and listen to the cries of their children as they go from the normal “I don’t want to go to sleep yet” cry to a “why don’t you come in here and help me” cry and even more intently to the “why have you left me” cry. With each cry the parent’s heart breaks more and more as they attempt to withstand the heart wrenching pain of hearing their children cry out. I can imagine God’s heart breaking as He listen repeatedly to His people’s cries.
The difference here is that God knows the outcome of this misery. God knows that His people will be reunited one day in Jerusalem. Not only that but God knows that He will send His Son to them in a little under 600 years and they will torture and kill Him. If you think about the fact that everything that happens has a history, a beginning and an eventual conclusion, you know that the misery the Jews are going through in Lamentations must have something to do with God’s ultimate plan. One can speculate that it is times like these that causes the over legalism within the Jewish church which distances them so far from the Word of God that they do not recognize Jesus as the true Messiah.
God does not want His people to suffer. He has great plans for us. It pains Him greatly to allow us to be overcome by the results of our own sin and debauchery. But He allows it to happen because He loves us. Some may call it tough love, some may call it unfair, but it is His love that allows this to occur. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
It is important that we remember that no matter how bad things may get that God is not responsible. WE are responsible because of our failure to submit wholly unto HIM. If things are not going our way it is probably because OUR way is not in line with HIS way. When this happens stop trying to force things to go your way and submit to Him for guidance and wisdom and then try to walk in the Spirit for the correct path.