The Weeping Prophet

Week 4 Day 3

Lamentations 3:19-26, 39-41
19 Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.
20 Surely my soul remembers
And is bowed down within me.
21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.

39 Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
40 Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to the Lord.
41 We lift up our heart and hands
Toward God in heaven
The prophet Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet” because in much of his writings we read the words of an extremely grief-stricken man. He pours his heart out to God in such immense anguish that often it can be easy to mistakenly question where his faith is. In this moment of extreme grief, Jeremiah does not hold back but pours out the feelings of his heart before the Lord. There are no masks that he seeks to hold but Jeremiah places himself bare before the presence of God.

In the book of Lamentations Jeremiah laments the upcoming destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian forces. God had revealed to him that the wrath of God would soon be poured upon the holy city for all their sins and wickedness. In desperation, Jeremiah cried out to the Lord saying, “My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So, I say, ‘My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:17-18)

How many of us would dare to be this honest and open with God? Sometimes it feels wrong to come to God with these types of raw feelings, yet Jeremiah does just this. He tells God everything, hiding nothing from his heart. Notice while Jeremiah pours out his heart in frustration and tears, he also makes sure to lay hold of the power and promises of God. Verse 21 says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” Yes, Jeremiah’s life is in the dumps. Yes, Jeremiah’s world is literally crumbling down around him. So, he bears his heart before the Lord in pain and anguish. However, his heart does not stay burdened by sadness. Instead, even while burdened with grief, Jeremiah chooses to turn his heart to the power and promises of God.

Death is an ever-real presence in our own lives. It brings us to our knees and often has us asking, “Why, O’ God? Why would you allow this to happen to me?” And these questions are good for us to ask, because at their core these questions remind us that something is wrong here. Sin has ushered in death and disorder. Like Jeremiah, while lamenting we must lay hold of the power and promises of God. We must remember that our God defeated death. We must remember that God has given us new life. We must remember that one day sin will be defeated in its totality.

So lament. Grieve over the effects of sin and death but do so while also remembering the power and promises of God.

Reflection and Prayer

What does it tell us about God that He desires to hear our deepest emotions? What does it tell us that he longs to hear from us at all?

In what ways do you need to cling to the power and promises of God in your own life?

Dear Lord, we thank you that you desire to hear our hearts. We thank you that we don’t have to come to you with masks raised, seemingly as if everything is perfect in our lives. We recognize that we live in a fallen and broken world, filled with chaos and sin. As we grieve the effects of sin around us, help us to always look to your power and promises as we eagerly await the restoration of the world at your second coming.

Faith Bible Staff