Archive for November 9th, 2013

Lamentations 5

Lamentations 5 gives us a summary as the writer cries out for God to “look and see our disgrace”.  Things are tough.  God’s punishment wears on and it is getting to be too much.  God’s people are under duress and experiencing much pain and agony.  Why?  The legacy of leaders and fathers who did not live well.  Certainly some will argue that this is not fair.  But life is not fair.  God never said it would be.  The reality is that there is always a penalty to be paid for sin.  Sometimes that comes quickly and impacts the guilty one.  Sometimes, it carries forward generations.

The writer is clear of the challenge they face.  “Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities”.  Not only did the originator of the sin pay a price (are no more) but they passed forward the penalty and now it is being delivered upon their followers and offspring.  The price was large, and the payment is taking generations.  Was the sin worth it?  It seldom is.  But we seldom count the cost when facing the choice of whether to sin and disobey.  In the moment, we make a very bad choice that can cost us much and for a very long time.

So what are they experiencing?  Scripture is pretty descriptive:

–       “Slaves rule over us

–       We get our bread at the peril of our lives

–       Our skin is hot as an oven

–       Women are raped

–       Princes are hung up by their hands

–       Young men are compelled to grind at the mill

–       boys stagger under loads of wood

–       old men have left the city gate

–       The joy of our hearts has ceased

–       our dancing has been turned to mourning

–       The crown has fallen from our head

–       our heart has become sick

–       our eyes have grown dim

–       Mount Zion which lies desolate

That is a steep price for some bad choices – the choice of evil rather than good – disobedience rather than obedience.

But there is hope.  The writer remembers God and His faithfulness.  “But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations….us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old”.  There is good news here.  No matter how far we stray. No matter how much trouble we get into.  No matter how bad we are, God never leaves us.  He waits for us to return.  His promises endure for all generations and His faithfulness never wavers.  We just need to return to Him in humble obedience with a repentant heart.  He will restore us.  He will draw us near if we draw near to Him!

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