The Word for today:
The Themes of Lamentations
1. The depth of Judah's sin gives rise to the severity of God's judgment:
Her enemies prosper, because the LORD has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions;
her children have gone away, captives before the foe. (1:5; see also 1:8, 18, 20; 3:42; 4:6, 13, 22; 5:16)
2. God is a righteous and sovereign Judge:
"The LORD is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word;
but hear, all you peoples, and see my suffering;
my young women and my young men have gone into captivity. (1:18; see also 2:5,7)
3. Hope is found in God's compassion...
For the Lord will not cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. (3:31-33)
…and in His faithfulness:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (3:22-23)
4. God's grace will turn lamentation to consolation:
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (3:24-25)
Q. The themes of Lamentations include the severity of God’s judgment and God’s compassion and grace. But don't judgment and grace contradict each other?
A. The "contradiction" ended at the cross, when God judged Jesus in order to forgive our sins.
Understanding the reconciliation of these so-called “opposite” virtues is the key to understanding the Bible as a whole.
Therefore, the understanding of spiritual truth begins at the cross, because it is not until the cross that we are able to see the entire spectrum--the true light (1)--of God's character.
(1) John 1:9