Friday, June 25, 2021
Lamentations 5:1-22, MSG
MSG: 1 “Remember, God, all we’ve been through. Study our plight, the black mark we’ve made in history. 2 Our precious land has been given to outsiders, our homes to strangers. 3 Orphans we are, not a father in sight, and our mothers no better than widows. 4 We have to pay to drink our own water. Even our firewood comes at a price. 5 We’re nothing but slaves, bullied and bowed, worn out and without any rest. 6 We sold ourselves to Assyria and Egypt just to get something to eat.7 Our parents sinned and are no more, and now we’re paying for the wrongs they did. 8 Slaves rule over us; there’s no escape from their grip. 9 We risk our lives to gather food in the bandit–infested desert. 10 Our skin has turned black as an oven, dried out like old leather from the famine. 11 Our wives were raped in the streets in Zion, and our virgins in the cities of Judah. 12 They hanged our princes by their hands, dishonored our elders. 13 Strapping young men were put to women’s work, mere boys forced to do men’s work. 14 The city gate is empty of wise elders. Music from the young is heard no more. 15 All the joy is gone from our hearts. Our dances have turned into dirges. 16 The crown of glory has toppled from our head. Woe! Woe! Would that we’d never sinned! 17 Because of all this we’re heartsick; we can’t see through the tears. 18 On Mount Zion, wrecked and ruined, jackals pace and prowl. 19 And yet, God, you’re sovereign still, your throne intact and eternal. 20 So why do you keep forgetting us? Why dump us and leave us like this? 21 Bring us back to you, God—we’re ready to come back. Give us a fresh start. 22 As it is, you cruelly disowned us. You’ve been so very angry with us.”
I know some of you may have wondered what happened. Why is your blog or vlog not in your inbox? Who failed to file their v/blog? Did they forget? Will this become what we can expect? You have come to count on the v/blogs to stimulate your thinking about love, life, and the Lord. This was the case before the pandemic; for others, since the pandemic.
Whatever the case, there is no need to worry. Today will not become the norm. Today is atypical because my workload was excessive. Therefore, I’m only getting to this task, a labor of love, because I finally work my way through my To-Do-List.
In Lamentations 5:1-22, the Prophet Jeremiah and the people of Israel have begun to wonder whether God had forgotten about them. They face their worst nightmare: decisive defeat at the hand of their enemy and the death of their fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. Worse still, however, they have witnessed the Babylonian army desecrate and demolish the house of God. Perhaps the worst of all, the Babylonians are deporting and transporting a sizable segment of Judah and Benjamin to Babylon.
Amidst all of this chaos and craziness, the Prophet and the people feel God has forgotten them and has forsaken them (Vs. 1). The two are not the same. To forget something is unintentional, but to forsake something is to (deliberately) walk away from someone who looks up to and leans upon you. To feel forsaken is one of the most terrifying and troubling human experiences.
Have you ever felt forgotten by those whom you love and to whom you look? Equally important, have you ever felt forsaken? If so, how do you reconcile either or both with your faith in God? The Prophet points a way forward for us in Verses 2-22.
- When we feel forgotten and forsaken, the Lord is still listening to and looking out for us.
- When we feel forgotten and forsaken, the Lord knows how much it hurts.
- When we feel forgotten and forsaken, the Lord will honor His promise to provide us with hope and help.
I didn’t forget nor forsake you. You, after all, are my people for whose growth I pray and work daily. If I can’t forget nor forsake you, what makes you think God ever has and ever will. God is far more reliable, invested, and responsive to us than we will ever fully known.
Thought for the Day: Despite how you may feel from time to time, God is always working to make sure we make it through our worst times to enjoy later some of our best times—and the good times in between the two.