Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 7), (Lamentations 3), (1 Corinthians 16)

Such are the means of modern communication rarely a day goes past without us hearing some news of events that are causing anxiety – even distress – among believers in some part of the world.  We reflected on this as we continued reading Jeremiah’s brief book of Lamentations.   It was obviously written after the tragedy of Jerusalem’s fall and the destruction of the Temple.
But today’s chapter 3 – is most remarkable!  It contains some great lessons for us – lessons of the perceptions that can come into our minds from God if we truly seek him as Jeremiah did.  First, he says, God “has enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation” [v.5] Maybe we can use that word ‘envelope’ in a modern sense and say, can we put this bitterness into an envelope and put it out with the rubbish or into the fire!  But how? Jeremiah also says, “my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.” [v.17]
But then, wonderfully, from v.21, his mind climbs out of his depression – and what a wonderful example this is for all who, at some stage in their lives, feel overwhelmed by events.  He writes, “But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’” [v.25,26]
If you are a young person, note v.27, “It is good for a man (or woman) that they bear the yoke in their youth.”  A yoke? That is, be in harness in the service of the Lord and learn that God watches over their lives and knows and can and will direct the path of those who truly seek him. David says in Psalm 142, “When my spirit faints within me, you know my way.”  [v.3]
Finally, although there are other verses in this remarkable chapter we would have liked to quote, note v.40,41.  “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God …”  May we follow Jeremiah’s example, for few have experienced traumas like he did.  But, after being totally “bereft of peace” he still knew that “the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases.”


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