You’ve heard me say that generally I only read one Book and that being the Bible. It’s my source of hope, strength, and knowledge. It fills me up each day and points me in the direction I’m destined to go in. To this day I have not grown tired of reading it, and I don’t plan on it in the future.
But occasionally, (and let me emphasize – occasionally), I will pick up a book and read. Now, I’m not the guy who necessarily likes to read mysteries, or romantic type novels. I’m not into sci-fi or adventure stories. I’ve read Westerns but am not drawn to them. Probably not going to read a book of poetry. If I’m going to read a book, it’s probably going to be a book that will help me learn something I don’t already know. I’ll probably read about a study that was done in the church world and it’s findings. I like reading statistics and percentages.
I tell you that because I want you to know that I’ve just entered into the book of Lamentations in my Bible reading. The name alone sounds dreary. Most attribute the writing of this book to Jeremiah and it makes sense as we coined him “the weeping prophet.” This is a book expressing deep sorrow about the destruction of Jerusalem.
The prophet who wrote this book realized that Jerusalem was being punished because its people had sinned, tremendously, though being warned to stop, over and over again. To the prophet, the suffering seemed greater than what their sins deserved. In the first chapter he uses phrases like…
“The Lord has punished Jerusalem because of her awful sins; He has let her people be dragged away.” Lamentations 1:5 CEV
“Zion’s glory has disappeared…” Lamentations 1:6 CEV
“Her sins had made her filthy, but she wasn’t worried about what could happen.” Lamentations 1:9 CEV
“The Lord was right, but I refused to obey Him.” Lamentations 1:18 CEV
“I’ve lost all hope…” Lamentations 1:22 CEV
Those are depressing words. Those words weary our souls. Who wants to read that? But there is still hope. We’re only in chapter one, so you’ll have to wait. It’s kind of the same for us – we never truly understand or grasp the amazing grace of God until we understand how far away our sin has taken us.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Unlike having to wait to hear some good news in the book of Lamentations, wait no longer in your own personal life. The Bible tell us, “… if we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” (1 John 1:9 CEV). If you’ve got a cloudy, dreary, depressing day, maybe, the place you should start is by letting God lift that all from you and let His Son shine in your life.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen