August 5, 2021
"Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison. I continually remember them and have become depressed."
“Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison. I continually remember them and have become depressed. Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young.” Lamentations 3:19-27
Lamentations 3 is the most elaborate of the lamenting elegies. It surpasses its “sisters” in spiritual value because it contains this (above) supreme expression of faith. We cannot overlook the fact that Jeremiah is personifying the nation and personifying Messiah, as he uses vivid word pictures to describe the types of sufferings that were fully realized in Jesus.
For instance, Jeremiah has been led around in darkness, and the Lord seemed to have forsaken him. He describes being crushed and broken, surrounded by grief and weariness, bound with heavy chains, and thrown in a dungeon. He is one who was on a journey and blocked by “hewn stones” (an image of the Jewish leaders) and turned aside to perplexing paths. He is hunted, arrows pierced his heart, was derided by his people, and subject to mocking songs. He feasted on bitterness, was made to drink gall. He is even denied the peace that other sufferers may come to know. These, and several other images, are all foreshadowing the suffering of the Messiah.
All these accounts build a passionate plea for deliverance. Here, the Lord is presented, not as an enemy but as a Deliverer and Friend. It is noteworthy, even from a literary point of view, that this beautiful paragraph of confident trust and spiritual instruction is the central section of the central chapter of this lament. It towers above the dark valleys of grief and despair.
In this present generation, one in which we will soon see rebuke for our personal and national sin, we must remember this beautiful promise:
“Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ Hebrews 13:5b-6
Finally, we have an exhortation to seek the Lord while we are young, and to learn to humbly follow Him. This is so we will not be thrown into anxiety when life’s troubles come upon us later in life. That is why it is essential to read his Word daily. When we fast-track Biblical literacy, we are fast-tracking faith! Romans 10:17