Affliction by the rod of his wrath

Affliction by the rod of his wrath

I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.  He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turned his hand against me all day.  My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. He hath built against me and compassed me with gall and travail.  He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.

 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.  Also, when I cry and shout, he shuttled out my prayer. He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.  He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places…. cont. Lamentation 3 1-66.

As Jeremiah trudged through his ruined city, he smelled destruction everywhere.  He knew the invading Babylonians had devastated Jerusalem because the people of Judah have forsaken their God.  The Loads people had brought this misery on themselves, yet his heart still broke.

For two whole chapter, Jeremiah laments the calamity.  He now that you see that I recognize the chastening hand of God, he may be for he says, “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed?” (Lamentation 3”38.  Right in the middle of his dirge, he pauses to express one of the most hopeful pronouncements in the Old Testament.” Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.  “ 3: 22-23.

In the midst of the carnage, in the midst of his own wailing, the prophet finds hope in knowing that God still reigns.  He knows that restoration and repentance can occur.  God’s anger will not burn against His people forever. And so, Jeremiah can continue.  Oh, there will still be tears, the last two chapters of lamentations again play the mournful sounds of a funeral match.  Yet because God loves, hope and lives!

In the midst of the carnage, in the midst of his own wailing, the prophet finds hope in knowing that God still reigns.  He knows that restoration and repentance can occur.  God’s anger will not burn against His people forever. And so, Jeremiah can continue.  Oh, there will still be tears, the last two chapters of lamentations again play the mournful sounds of a funeral match.  Yet because God loves, hope and lives!

Effective leaders bank on hope, even in the face of God’s judgment.  They know that for those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, restoration and redemption can indeed f0llow destruction.     

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