And so we come to the tragic end of 1 Samuel. David’s best friend Jonathan is killed by the Philistines. His arch-enemy Saul also dies. Poor David! What a roller coaster of emotions!
It’s apt that we’re diving into Lamentations. Though it wasn’t written by David, it’s similar to his Psalms in its unabashed honesty, conveying grief and despair, even blaming things on God! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels a little uncomfortable reading about how ‘though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; […] he has made my paths crooked’ (Lam 3:8–9). Wait, isn’t God a loving Father who listens to our prayers and makes our paths straight?
What I love about Lamentations is that it gives us permission to be honest about our feelings with God. I take comfort in knowing God is big and gracious enough to take all our prayers, complaints included.
Yet even in the midst of pain and sorrow, there is hope! This key passage testifies to God’s unchanging love no matter what our circumstances:
‘The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”’ (Lam 3:22–24)Interestingly, Lamentations represents the grief that comes from God’s righteous judgement upon a sinful people. Though we have been reconciled to God in Christ, that doesn’t mean we can live anyway we want. Ephesians and Titus set down multiple instructions on how to ‘be imitators of God […] and live in love’ (Eph 5:1–2), how ‘to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly’ (Titus 2:12).
As we rest on God’s mercy and faithfulness, let’s ask Him to help us lead lives pleasing to Him.
- How honest are you in your prayers to God?
- In difficult circumstances, what practical steps can you take to help yourself remember our hope in God?
- How receptive are you to instructions on how to live a godly life?
- Do you tend to have an attitude of guilt in sin or an attitude of freedom in Christ?