TO CHEW ON: "I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath." Lamentations 3:1
What a depressing succession of woes pours from Jeremiah's pen here. As a stand-in for Judah, Jeremiah sees himself as:
- sick and injured (vs. 4).
- dead and buried (vs. 6).
- a prisoner (vs. 7).
- tortured (vs. 8).
- a traveler on an obstacle-strewn road (vs. 9).
- attacked by wild animals (vs. 10-11).
- a target of arrows (vs. 12-13).
- the butt of ridicule (vs. 14).
- forced to swallow a bitter drink (vs. 15).
- the object of physical abuse (vs. 16).
With this graphic list that touches on what may have been Jeremiah's worst nightmares, he is depicting how terrible is God's wrath. There is no way man can out-maneuver such ferociousness; man is no match for God.
As we read, we may say, or think, whew, I'm glad that's not me! Yet each one of us is a mere breath away from our lives changing in unspeakable ways. View photos of any disaster, natural and man-made (the 2010 landslide in China for example, the floods in Pakistan, the 2013 flood in Alberta, and recent scenes from Aleppo, Syria.) Note the signs of normal, everyday life buried in mud, floating in water, crushed, broken, dirty, useless. Then imagine yourself in that situation. Seems hopeless, doesn't it?
Thus it's interesting that from under this figurative pile of rubble we hear a positive note: "This I recall to mind, Therefore I have hope" (vs. 21).
What gives Jeremiah hope? We'll talk about that tomorrow.
PRAYER: Dear God, You are fierce and powerful. I can never outwit You. I acknowledge Your omnipotence in the world and in my life. Amen.
MORE: "How Long O Lord" by Brian Doerksen
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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