LAMENTATIONS 2018 | DAY XXXIII

Read Lamentations Three 

Today we come to some of the most important verses in the entire book of Lamentations. 

Look back at our study of the literary structure in the book of Lamentations. What place do these verses have in chapter three?

What place do they have in the book as a whole?

Throughout the book of Lamentations so far, we have seen three truths developed by the poet:

  1. God punishes His people in judgment of their sin.
  2. God’s judgment results in grief.
  3. God can be both good and also the one who allows our affliction and grief.

We’ve seen these truths laced throughout the book of Lamentations. Take a moment and flip back through chapters one, two, and the first half of chapter three. Where do you see each of these concepts developed:

  1. God punishes His people in judgment of their sin.
  1. God’s judgment results in grief.
  1. God can be both good and also the one who allows our affliction and grief.

These three statements have been the poet’s reality. As he has wrestled with the consequences of the nation’s sin, he has come to understand it as God’s judgment. And, that judgment is the cause of his lament. The very name of the book incites the truth that God’s judgment leads to true grief! And, in chapter three we see the poet praise God for His goodness, even in the midst of His affliction. 

Read Lamentations 3:31-33. How does each line parallel these truths? What is the poet teaching us about God’s character alongside these three statements?

  1. God punishes His people in judgment of their sin.
  1. God’s judgment results in grief.
  1. God can be good and also the one who allows our affliction and grief.

The poet wants his people – and US – to see a fuller picture of God’s character. Yes, God rejects His people as an act of judgment, but He will not cast them off forever (verse 31). God’s judgment does lead to grief and lament, but embedded in God’s character is a resolute compassion – God will be faithful to His covenant promises yet! And, though our good God allows affliction and grief, this is not what God truly wants! He is not in His nature a God of anger, but a God of love; He takes no pleasure in the suffering of His people! He wants His people to come to repentance. 

God’s faithfulness is fully on display! God is faithful to punish sin, and He is faithful to respond to repentance in compassion. Though the poet waited on God without a sense of entitlement to restoration, He knows that embedded in God’s character is a desire to restore His people. God will relent, He will restore, not because the people deserve it, but because God cannot cease to be who He is.

How can these three truths encourage you in your own season of repentance?

How can you praise God for His eternal compassion, even before you have experienced full restoration from your sin?

PRAY & REFLECT

Praise God that He is eternally compassionate! Praise Him that He is faithful to punish sin and faithful to restore – because of who HE is! Confess to Him that you are not entitled to His restoration, and thank Him that He restores out of His mercy and grace. 

Author: amygannett

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