Lamentations 3 has our prophet taking a different tact in how he writes this chapter. It is different in style from the previous two. The writer speaks as if he is the representative of all Judah, describing Judah’s sufferings as if they were his own. And those sufferings are God’s righteous judgment on himself as the front of God’s people. “I am the man who has seen affliction because of the rod of His wrath”. God has been in judgment mode with his people. And the weight of that punishment has worn the people, including our writer, down to a point they were desperate for some respite.
To the writer God seems like a wild animal that tears its prey to pieces, or like a hunter who has shot his prey with an arrow. Life has been difficult. God may punish, but the writer still trusts in him. He knows that God’s steadfast love does not change. It is constant and reliable. God disciplines and trains, but those who are patient will enjoy the fullness of his salvation. “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail”.
God never leaves us. Our choices and sin gets in the way and causes a rift in our relationship with God. But it never changes the fact that God loves us. He never gives up and is waiting when we come back to Him in humility with a surrendered spirit. Each day is a new opportunity to come back to Him. “They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him”. We have to make the effort to return – to take the first step to confess, repent and receive His forgiveness and salvation.
And that’s how it happens. We recognize that sin creates a gap in our relationship with God. “Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord….We have transgressed and rebelled, you have not pardoned”. The writer knows sin is a problem. He confesses that it has been a barrier between him and God, preventing God from hearing his prayers for mercy. As a result he has been ruined and disgraced. “You have covered Yourself with anger and pursued us; You have slain and have not spared. You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through”. But God is always waiting for us to return. Jesus was sent to help us do that. We have to take the steps to receive His grace and mercy!