LAMENTATIONS 2018 | DAY XXX

Read Lamentations Three 

We’ve seen the poet proclaim the steadfast love of God, but that is not the only part of God’s character He praises. Today, let’s look at the rest of what he says of God in these few verses. 

Look up the following cross references for the word “faithfulness” in verse 23 (from the Hebrew word, אֱמוּנָה):

Psalm 89:2

Isaiah 25:1

Deuteronomy 32:4

First, the poet says that God’s faithfulness is constant. God is as reliable as the sunrise each morning. Consider the power of this metaphor. We mark all our time by the sunrise – our days are arranged according to the sunlight. Historically, it has marked out the measures of our days, occupations, human habits, and lives. The sun is constant. We wake up each morning without the question lingering in our mind of whether or not the sun will rise. None of us has known a day in which the sun did not globally rise. And YHWH is the creator of that sun in the sky. He established its patterns. Its faithfulness is only a shadow of His faithfulness. God is faithful.

Look up the following cross references for the word “portion” in verse 24 (from the Hebrew word, חֵ֫לֶק – Be forewarned, they’re not all positive cross references so you will need to think creatively about how our understanding of this word applies in our Lamentations context.):

Genesis 14:24

Isaiah 57:6

Ecclesiastes 9:9

The poet is speaking of his lot in life, the “portion” he has been given in the world. When he looks around him at all there is to be had, he considers the slice of the pie on his own plate. And it’s God! His portion is God! God has given Himself to His people in such a radical way that the Man of Suffering can say that God is his lot in life. His suffering is not negated, but it is surpassed when he considers his portion. In the forefront of his mind is not his circumstances, but the God who is ever-faithful and ever-present with him.

Look up the following cross references for the word “good” in verse 24 (from the Hebrew word, טוֹב):

Genesis 1:4

Genesis 26:7 (here the word is translated “beautiful”)

Deuteronomy 6:18

Though the poet looks around him and sees destruction, he calls to mind the character of God. And that character can be summed up in one simple word: good. God is good. The people’s situation might be the farthest thing from good, but God remains unchanged in His goodness. The Man might be looking around at the destruction that surrounds the people of God, but God remains beautiful in his sight.

How has speaking the name of God and recounting His character changed the poet’s perspective?

How has it changed the poet’s situation? 

Read Lamentations 3:1-19. Recall whom the poet accuses of afflicting him in such far-reaching ways?

This is the power of God, friends. The poet’s situation hasn’t changed one little bit. His feet are still in foreign land. The temple has still been destroyed. His people have still been killed by their national enemies and scattered across enemy territory. His situation is exactly the same, but so is his God! God’s character has not been altered by their suffering – He remains faithful, merciful, and good. And the reality of God’s unchanging character may not change our situations, but it changes everything in the life of faith. The entire tone of the text has been altered by the deliberate and willful prayer that speaks God’s name and recounts His character.

And this is available to you and me today. God may not change our circumstances (though, He might). But the character of God changes everything about how we approach this life. Friends may betray us, but God is more faithful than the dawn. We may lose our homes, but we cannot lose our portion in God. We may look at the ugliness and messiness of our lives, but our God will not cease to be good and beautiful. 

Do you believe this?

PRAY & REFLECT

Confess to God that He is faithful, good/beautiful, and your portion. Ask Him to cement these truths in your heart – for today and for every season of joy or pain you may face in life. Thank Him that even though we change, He never changes. 

Author: amygannett

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