Read Lamentations 5
5 Remember, Lord, what has happened to us;
look, and see our disgrace.
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
our homes to foreigners.
3 We have become fatherless,
our mothers are widows.
4 We must buy the water we drink;
our wood can be had only at a price.
5 Those who pursue us are at our heels;
we are weary and find no rest.
6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria
to get enough bread.
7 Our ancestors sinned and are no more,
and we bear their punishment.
8 Slaves rule over us,
and there is no one to free us from their hands.
9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives
because of the sword in the desert.
10 Our skin is hot as an oven,
feverish from hunger.
11 Women have been violated in Zion,
and virgins in the towns of Judah.
12 Princes have been hung up by their hands;
elders are shown no respect.
13 Young men toil at the millstones;
boys stagger under loads of wood.
14 The elders are gone from the city gate;
the young men have stopped their music.
15 Joy is gone from our hearts;
our dancing has turned to mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head.
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our hearts are faint,
because of these things our eyes grow dim
18 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
with jackals prowling over it.
19 You, Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why do you always forget us?
Why do you forsake us so long?
21 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
renew our days as of old
22 unless you have utterly rejected us
and are angry with us beyond measure.
“To be continued.” How many of us dreaded those three little words at the end of a television show? Those words often meant waiting a whole week and, possibly, an entire summer to learn what happened next. We dislike unresolved conflict so much we will binge entire seasons of shows at once. Lack of resolution is uncomfortable. We don’t like being uncomfortable.
Chapter 5 closes the Book of Lamentations. It is a communal cry of pain and pleading. This chapter is hard to read. It’s difficult to hear details of human suffering. We want a happy ending. In the absence of that, we will settle for any ending. Where is the next episode? If we’re seeking a conclusion neatly tying Israel’s pain to God’s relief, we are sorely disappointed at the end of the book.
The first four chapters of Lamentations follow a strict structure. The structure infuses order and guidance to the verses like a series of locks and gates controlling a canal. Then Chapter 5 breaks the floodgates open! The writer lists the legacy of Israel’s sins for every member of the community, one after another, without pause or pattern. Lyrical language and descriptive metaphors are thrown aside for cold facts detailing the struggling state of daily life for God’s people. Verses 15 and 16 bring the record of tribulations to end, summarized with “Woe to us, for we have sinned.” We almost hear the writer take a long, slow, sobbing sigh before proceeding.
When we pour out our pain and plead to God, we want a resolution. We dread the “To be continued ….” response. Instead, we want the “binge-watching” version of our lives so we can find out what happens.
So why does God make us wait? Isaiah 30:18 gives us a clue:
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.”
God longs to bestow His free and unmerited favor on us through salvation. This is why He waits. We are blessed through the process of waiting. Maybe Lamentations, especially this chapter, is hard to read because we relate to the waiting and it makes us uncomfortable. But, maybe God is blessing us through the waiting.
- Is waiting easy or difficult for you? Why? Do you find yourself looking to accelerate the waiting process at every turn?
- In what difficult seasons or circumstances of life has God made you wait?
- What did you learn through the process of waiting?
If we are blessed in the waiting, why is waiting on God so difficult? Read more on this question from GotQuestions.org.
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4 thoughts on “Lamentations 5”
My greatest takeaway is found in v19, “You, Lord, are enthroned forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.” God reigns supremely over all creation, nothing usurps his authority. I continue to be challenged by Jeremiah’s example in the midst of God’s judgement. As I look at the culture of today and the prevailing brokenness, do I grieve and lament how very far we’ve moved away from Sovereign God? Do I daily confess my own sin? As Ecclesiastes 3:4 says “ there is a time to grieve.” The beautiful thing about true repentance is that He turns our mourning into joy. Why wait another moment to receive his unmerited grace & favor?
Waiting is absolutely one of the hardest things!! Try setting your cruise control on your vehicle for the next 40 days instead of speeding. Life changer. You may never go back.
What if we had margin in our lives to the point that nonbelievers would see us differently simply because we have created space and not hurry?
Waiting creates space to listen; develop & refine our faith; provides order; releases self-induced pressure. God is a God of Peace not chaos.
We have a most gracious awesome loving kind Heavenly Father. He knew we would need a savior so He provided a way out. Shane & Shane have a song out that says it so well ” You’ve Already Won” I am fighting a battle you’ve already won. I know how the story ends. No more fear in LIFE or Death. God is victorious. Waiting is hard, not knowing is difficult BUT GOD is there every single step with us. Be anxious for No-thing but by prayer and supplication let your request be made known to God Philippians 4:6. God is in our breathe, He is that “Hessed” love!!
God thank you for your unfailing, faithful, steadfast, loyal, abounding LOVE!!! Thank you for fulfilling your promises so that I am a part of Your eternal family. God continual open the eyes of my understanding to KNOW more of You. Thank you for words to speak that edify You and give you the glory and honor as I walk day by day!!! In Jesus name amen
31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
I went back to Lamentations 3 where Jeremiah is telling us twice to wait upon the Lord in v 24&26 and reread 31-33. And I really pondered the magnitude of what God asked of Jeremiah. Just imagine that happening today…We can most often predict the destruction in our lives, or the lives of others, by the choices we make that are not God honoring. I thought it was good to close this book with hearing from the generation that had to bear their ancestors sin.v7 Even though it’s tough to read, it should leave us with wisdom that our decisions today greatly affect our children and their children. It should make us ask ourselves what legacy are we leaving behind? Are we teaching this generation to be afraid of God? We sure do not want them to suffer at our expense and be in waiting for God to renew them. Lamentations proves God is a just God with the fall of Solomon’s beautiful temple that can’t even be seen of today…just artifacts found in rumble. All because of sin. Lord, help us to take sin as serious as you. Let us love our children and grandchildren enough to stop any sin that may cause them to wait for your blessings. Thank you Lord, for redirecting our hearts to you and helping us to see You are our priority. Thank you for speaking wisdom into JP and this ministry to help us stop generational sin. We love you, God. In Jesus Name