Lamentations 1

Read the full chapter here.

In Lamentations 1 Jeremiah surveys the destruction happening in Jerusalem (vv.1-11) and then offers up a plea for mercy (vv.12-22). What was once great is now in ruins (vv.1-2) and we see very clearly the shame of sin (v.8). When Jeremiah saw all of this his reaction is emotionally visceral (v.13), and he feels as if he is personally going through this destruction with the city of God’s people (v.14). Previously calling out to those around for help (v.17), in v.20 we see a call to the Lord for help:

Look, O LORD! I am distressed; 

my stomach is in knots! 

My heart is pounding inside me. 

Yes, I was terribly rebellious! 

Out in the street the sword bereaves a mother of her children; 

Inside the house death is present”.

Despite the sin and shame and suffering going on, there is something deep within us that wants to call out to God when we’re on the brink. How many times have you seen people who profess no particular faith in anything cry out to God or to Jesus when things are on the verge of total collapse? There is something deep within us that comes to the surface when we are about to sink:

Look, O LORD! I am distressed; 

my stomach is in knots!”

Why do you think that is?

I’d suggest that it’s because there is a part of us that knows, really knows, that we are not the be all and end all of existence in the world. When push comes to shove, we want help that we know must come from outside ourselves. In our darkest moments, such as those that Jeremiah is experiencing here, we want the brightest light to break in. In our darkest moments, we need the kind of light that comes from God alone. Where do we go to find that?

“Then Jesus spoke out again, 

I am the light of the world! 

The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

(John 8.12, emphasis added)

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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