A brief summary of the sixty-six verses from the passage below:
Surely He has turned His hand against me Time and time again throughout the day. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and woe. Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer. He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces; He has made me desolate. He has also broken my teeth with gravel, and covered me with ashes. You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity. Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall. My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good for a man to bear The yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and keep silent, Because God has laid it on him; Let him put his mouth in the dust–There may yet be hope. For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion According to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, Nor grieve the children of men. Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, When the Lord has not commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed? Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD; We have transgressed and rebelled; You have not pardoned.You have covered Yourself with anger And pursued us; You have slain and not pitied. You have covered Yourself with a cloud, That prayer should not pass through. Fear and a snare have come upon us, desolation and destruction. My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. My eyes flow and do not cease, Without interruption, Till the LORD from heaven Looks down and sees. My eyes bring suffering to my soul because of all the daughters of my city. I called on Your name, O LORD, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice: “Do not hide Your ear From my sighing, from my cry for help.” You drew near on the day I called on You, And said, “Do not fear!” O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.
Lam 3:3, 5, 8, 11, 16-17, 19-25, 27-29, 31-33, 37-40, 42-44, 47-51, 55-58 NKJV
From what I can tell this passage from Jeremiah the prophet is about him dwelling in absolute misery and recognizing and accepting the sovereignty of God through his circumstances despite his feelings. He takes time in the middle of the passage to state this with phrases such as, “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed? Why should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?” Our chastisement and discipline come as a result of the sinful habits and little bondages that we place upon ourselves, and this is His refining, pruning and purifying process in us, to change us to be conformed to the image of His Son. Some issues we deal with may come from external sources, such as sins of the fathers being passed to their children, but at some deep level I believe we have to accept responsibility of these into our lives knowingly or not. This may come in the form of a physically abusive father where the son then goes on to hit his own children for little reason beyond how he was ‘trained’ to deal or cope with faults or wrongdoing.
I also like the reference of bearing yoke in our youth, again showing how we must be discipline ourselves for pending adulthood and what it bears us to face later in life. Basically accept your lot in life and deal with what God gives you to face. Better to show Him honor and glory than to disgrace yourself before Him to whom we must one day give an account.
There is even a collective call to repentance for the people of his nation. He recognizes their sin and even his own and that God is just for giving them punishment of any kind. “You have covered yourself with a cloud that prayer should not past through. Even when I cry and shout he shuts out my prayer.” Yikes! “A snare and destruction has come upon us.” Again, accept your lot and know that it could be worse. You are alive and not yet dead before the Lord for your sins. In all of this pain, I recall it to mind and therefore I have hope. Jeremiah also pours out his tears of concern for the people. My eyes bring suffering to my soul because of all the daughters of my city.
Near the beginning and ending, it closes with seeing the Lord for the lovingkindness that He does still offer us regardless of the suffering we face. “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” I called on Your name, O LORD, from the lowest pit.” “You drew near on the day I called on You, And said, “Do not fear!” O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.”
Lord thank You for giving me this passage of scripture last night as I found such comfort in knowing that regardless of what I face, You are there and are faithful to hear my cries and store my ears up in a bottle. You are my mediator and my strength in times of darkness.2013-08-13
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