Devotional thoughts tagged as: 'Lamentations'

Waiting Quietly for God's Response

It is good that one should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:26

The 5 poems in the Book of Lamentations, chapters 1-5, focus on the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans in 586 B.C.E. There is a bitter realism in the book of Lamentations. This book presents a vivid picture of death and destruction. Yet Lamentations lifts up suffering as a threat to God's purpose in history. The third poem or third chapter of Lamentations is the climax of prayer focusing on dealing with suffering and asking God to help the nation of Israel deal with its suffering.

Patience is a hard virtue to practice when your life has been turned upside down by war or natural disasters. Take time to study the 3rd chapter of the Book of Lamentations and ask yourself, Do I have the necessary patience to wait quietly for God to respond to my prayers?

Consider the consequences of your actions

The people of Judah failed to think through the consequences of their choices. (see Lamentations 1:9) For generations they had ignored the Laws warning against idolatry, oppressing the poor and cheating in business. They maintained a pretence of worshiping the Lord by keeping temple rituals, but in reality they had turned away from God.

The Lord sent many prophets to warn the people of Judea of the impending disaster but the Judeans ignored them. Then when the Babylonians destroyed their way of life, the people were shocked.

In a similar way how much longer can Americans ignore our increasing national debt with other nations. What are the consequences of letting our national debt continue to increase? Will we be like the people of Israel when disaster strikes?

Corporate Sin and Corporate Confession

Can an entire group of people be held accountable for the sins of some of their members? Lamentations 1:18 says yes. God's people bear corporate responsibility. We may not have contributed directly to the wrongs committed in the past but just as we inherit benefits from our ancestors we must also accept the legacies of sin. Following after the example of Jeremiah, God's people can make a confession and seek healing for what we as the people have done and acknowledge the consequences that are still with us.

Today this means we must think about how we conduct our lives, knowing that the choices we make today may affect our grandchildren.

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