Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lamentations 4 & 5 - Hope When We Call on Him and Confess

LINK: Lamentations 4 & 5

BACKGROUND

Lamentation 4 is the fourth dirge or lament and parallels the judgment in Lamentations 2. Like the previous three chapters, it has 22 verses with corresponded acrostically to the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. After describing the response of the individual (Jeremiah) in the midst of judgment in Lamentations 3, Jeremiah returned to give a "before" and "after" siege snapshot of Jerusalem (4:1-11), explained the cause of the siege (4:12-20), and called for vindication for Zion and a bitter cup of judgment to be passed to Edom, representing all Gentile nations who profited at Jerusalem's expense (4:21-22). Lamentations 4 is the only chapter that does not include a prayer.

Lamentations 5 is the final dirge and is not an acrostic poem but a prayer of lament. It is a call for God to remember their condition (5:1-18) followed by a call for God to restore Judah (5:19-22). It is a call to restore both the land and the blessings of the covenant in Deuteronomy 30:1-10.

REFLECTION

The Book of Lamentations ends on a note of hope. God would not totally abandon His people because He was a covenant-keeping God despite Israel's disobedience. There was hope if His people would call on Him and confess their sins.

That is the character of our compassionate and sovereign God. He has made a covenant with you through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and there is hope for you if you humbly come to Him, confess, and call on His name.

It really is that simple.

APPLICATION

I sense there are some of you who are far away from Him today. Come to Him, dear one. Enter in with confidence, confess your sin, and cling to Him! He will show you the next step.

Maybe you do not feel far away. Pray for those who do. Lift them up to the throne of grace.

PRAYER

It is only to Your cross that we can cling, Lord. We are weak and disobedient people. We are so prone to wander and leave You! Lord, we come to You today and call upon Your infinite mercy and grace to reveal to us our sin and our need of You. We lay it all down and cling to You. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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