How long does God expect us to wait on him? The Israelites, during exile, were definitely wondering something along those lines. They thought he would rescue them but then decades passed. Many of us could ask the same question too. How long do I have to wait until God heals my marriage? Heals my disease? Gives me a job? Brings me a spouse? The answer to all of these questions is, we don’t know, but God is asking you to wait faithfully. He does come through – sometimes beyond the grave – but he does come through.
- 1-20 – This is all a lament based on the suffering endured in exile. The people have been scattered and feel completely forsaken.
- 21-22 – Zion represents the Israelites while Edom was the name given to Esau’s descendants.
- 1-22 – Though the author is aware that their sins have caused their suffering, he is desperate for God to rescue and restore them. After a while they begin to wonder if God will ever do so.
- 5-18 – Much of the reason Christ was able to initiate and offer us salvation is because he lowered himself to our level and made himself like us. He suffered through similar difficulties and experienced similar challenges.
- 1-14 – David’s relationship with God was so personal. This is clear from the way he speaks about God’s care for humanity. God is compassionate, caring, and forgiving – these are all worth mentioning.
- The glaze is used to make a simple pot look fancier and more appealing. Like this, speech pretending to have love also attempts to cover up the evil in one’s heart.
In Genesis, Esau loses his birthright after saying, “I’m so hungry I’m about to die!” He most likely was not about the die of hunger. When we’re cold we say, “I’m freezing!” and when hot, “I’m burning up!” We tend to over exaggerate our suffering. Though today’s psalmist sounds pretty dramatic, we have to remember that suffering is real and elicits great emotion in us.
- 1-27 – The author laments over the pain and sorrow of the exile and destruction of the Israelites and their land. But then the author offers hope. God’s faithfulness does renew continually.
- 37-42 – The author recognizes that his people have sinned and are at fault and ultimately need to accept what they’re given.
- 43-54 – The Israelites were shamed because it seemed that their God couldn’t take care of them or had forgotten them. They were both overtaken and humiliated.
- 55-66 – The author clearly still has hope that God will restore his people.
- 3-4 – What a lovely description of Christ!
- 8-12 – Christ cannot be placed on the same level as the angels. He is, instead, set apart and above the angels.
- 1-11 – Though the psalmist’s words seem somewhat dramatic, our sufferings tend to illicit those kinds of thoughts. It is hard to see outside of difficulty and suffering and keep things in perspective.
- 21 – Hothead men tend to ignite controversy everywhere they go.
It’s ok to feel sorrow. It’s ok to ask questions. It’s ok to wonder where God is when you suffer. Lamentations proves it.
Having a rough day? You’re in good company. Lamentations is a book recounting the sorrow and difficulty the Israelites felt due to the exile. They felt rejected, lost, and abandoned. Some of us have felt that way before. Note that there is hope in Lamentations. One of the greatest hymns of all times, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” comes directly from Lamentations. No matter what, there is hope.
- Lamentations is believed to have been written by Jeremiah. He is known as the “weeping prophet”. This is written as a response to being exiled and being rejected by God.
- 1-22 – Here the prophet is lamenting or crying out in sorrow at the fate of Israel and Judah as they are exiled and rejected.
- 1-19 – This chapter focuses on the contrast between where the relationship between God and the Israelites was and where it is during the exile. Special aspects of their relationship such as the temple and being set apart are highlighted.
- This letter is from Paul to Philemon and Apphia. It is only one chapter long.
- 8-16 – Paul is writing to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus who, while Paul was imprisoned, formed a special relationship with Paul. Onesimus had been a servant but was now to become a fellow laborer for Christ with Philemon.
- David commits to living faithfully and commits to not tolerating anyone who doesn’t.
- We are all capable of adding fuel to the fire when we gossip and keep angry words flowing. If we choose to stop our words, we can squash arguments.
Only 8 weeks to go to complete our Year of the Bible! Pretty incredible, eh?
This week, we have a bit of a cornucopia of readings. We’ll spend time in Philemon, Hebrews, Lamentations, and Ezekiel, as well as the usual suspects Proverbs and Psalms.
Something you might want to note this week is the connection and resolution between the Old and New Testaments. Both Lamentations and the prophet Ezekiel are longing for redemption and connection with God. They’re experiencing destruction and separation due to sin. But then we read Hebrews, and other portions of the New Testament and we see that the redemption those in the Old Testament longed for has been realized through Jesus.
Sometimes it is hard to read the prophets and other portions of the Old Testament because the people are being punished and are crying out. But the blessing of reading both the Old and New Testaments at the same time is we immediately get to see God’s answer. We have Christ.