Monday, November 15, 2010

Beating Your Chest

Lamentations

                Have you ever felt like everything is going wrong in your life? Have you ever cried out to God and felt like he was not listening? Have you ever been so stressed or in so much pain that it is even hard to breathe? Have you ever screwed up and felt like God is punishing you? Those are intense feeling and you are honestly not alone.
                The book of Lamentations is intense and is full of pain. It is about a guy screaming out to God. His country is destroyed and his people are being hunted down. Everyone he knows is either being killed or deported. The children of his people were being massacred and it seemed like God was actually against them. One of the most powerful verses of the book reads “My eyes are red from crying, my stomach is in knots, and I feel sick all over. My people are being wiped out and children lie helpless in the streets of the city. A child begs its mother for food and drink then blacks out like a wounded soldier lying in the street. The child dies slowly in its mother’s arms.” (2:11-12). Can you understand this pain. Another verse states that the prayers of the people are being lifted up but the clouds are blocking them. It means that God seems like he is not listening.
                Now honestly, if you would of read the books before this one. These people were wicked and were completely going against God for a long time. These people were Israel and God continued to warn them what would happen if they did not obey him, yet they did not listen. They continued to be lawless and wicked. This is what happened. Even knowing about how the Israelites committed evil deeds, this punishment seems so severe. This book even states that women are eating their children because they are so hungry. It does not seem fair and ‘just’. It amazes me that the author of this book even challenges God. It shows honesty.
                What is the point of this devotional? Well in the mist of this there was hope. The author stated that it could be worse. They could have COMPLETYLY been destroyed; however, God allowed them to live and there is hope in that. That is the one of the hopes of this story; however, what about you? What is the hope in your life when you are crossing the thresholds of this hell? The hope is found in your actions. Something the author said in the mist of this Holocaust was profound “We’re still alive! We shouldn’t complain when we are being punished for our sins. Instead, we should think about the way we are living and turn back to the LORD.” (3:39-40). He talked about repentance which is turning away from their  sins and following the LORD again. Now I honestly don’t know if God punishes his people like he did then; however, I do know we suffer when we engulf ourselves in our wrongs and saturate ourselves in our sins. We do have repercussions. So to put this in today’s terms: when your hand is burning, don’t complain about it but take it off the stove. We need to turn away from our sins. If Israel would have done this, these events would not have happened. They would be in peace. So I challenge to seek God in the mist of the current hell you’re going through, and if you are not listening to God, there is consequence that is inevitable. Its just a natural law like putting your hand on a stove; its going to get burned. I encourage you, to just look at your life and see if you are living the way that you should be living.