Tag: hope from ashes
Scripture reading for August 18th: Lamentations 1-5
“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was a queen among the provinces has now become a slave.” . . “Jerusalem has sinned greatly and so has become unclean. All who honored her despise her, for they have seen her nakedness: she herself groans and turns away.” (Lamentations 1:1,8)
Jerusalem, the once proud city of the nation of Israel was turned to rubble! Those who lived there were either killed or taken captive by their enemies and the rest were slaves of a foreign occupying power. Jeremiah wrote this book of Lamentations as a funeral song over the death of a city and nation. He knew why this had happened and repeatedly told the people what was coming and why! Their sins had piled up and God had allowed them to reap the consequences!
The consequences of sin were horrible and sad! Jerusalem was destroyed and burned by fire, and its walls broken down. The children and infants suffered in the siege and had no food to eat. Many starved to death and some were actually eaten by their parents in order for them to survive! (Lamentations 2:11-12, 19-20) Others were murdered or slaughtered by the conquerors. The ravages of war and siege left a deposit of hopelessness and bitterness in the hearts of the survivors and even in Jeremiah’s own heart! (Lamentations 3:5-7, 19-20)
But Jeremiah found cause to hope in the midst of all the destruction and depression. “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24) God’s great love and mercy brought hope to the prophet. He knew that God was faithful to His word and the many promises He had made for His people and holy city.
In his grief, Jeremiah was comforted by God’s mercy. It is the same in our day. God’s love through Jesus Christ will sustain us through life’s trials and save us from the consequences of our many sins. He is our portion and we can trust in the God of all hope! (Romans 15:13)