Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Aug 24, Lam 1-2

Today's readings are Lam 1-2. Tomorrow's are Lam 3-5. 

Lamentations was written shortly after the fall of Jerusalem, most likely by Jeremiah (2 Chron 35:25). It is comprised of 5 poems, a chapter each, all mourning the losses of that great city. While it is graphic in its descriptions of devastation and grief, the high point of the poems is found in ch 3 where we hear that the suffering and sorrow would produce hope because God's mercies are "new every morning" and inexhaustible .

In Lam 1, we hear the author's lament (vs 1-11) then the personified lament of the city in vs 12-22. 

Lam 2:1-10 details the Lord's anger unleashed upon the city. Vs 11-19 are the author's lament and his call for the remaining people of the city to pray. In vs 20-22, Jerusalem, once again personified, laments her own destruction. 

Everything has happened exactly as God said it would. That Jeremiah is lamenting and praying, calling the city to repent is the ember of hope that God still intends to do good for His people. Looking back on the Book of Jeremiah, there were times when Jeremiah was specifically instructed by God not to pray for the people (Jer 7:16; 11:14; 14:11). God's judgment was coming but it was to refine not destroy. Now that judgment has fallen, God signals His intention to redeem by allowing prayer for the city and people once again. 

We should see mercy and grace in God's treatment of His people. It's far too easy to look upon the destruction of Jerusalem and label God as vengeful and angry. However, the arc of the story line of the Bible consistently exhibits His grace. This would be a good thing for us to remember when we come upon hard times. God intends to refine and grow us, not destroy us. 

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