In The Word
Read: Lamentations 5
A Prayer for Mercy
5 Remember, Lord, what has come upon us;
Look, and see our disgrace!
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
Our houses to foreigners.
3 We have become orphans, without a father;
Our mothers are like widows.
4 We have to pay for our drinking water,
Our wood comes to us at a price.
5 Our pursuers are at our necks;
We are worn out, we are given no rest.
6 We have submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread.
7 Our fathers sinned, and are gone;
It is we who have been burdened with the punishment for their wrongdoings.
8 Slaves rule over us;
There is no one to rescue us from their hand.
9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives
Because of the sword in the wilderness.
10 Our skin has become as hot as an oven,
Because of the ravages of hunger.
11 They violated the women in Zion,
The virgins in the cities of Judah.
12 Leaders were hung by their hands;
Elders were not respected.
13 Young men worked at the grinding mill,
And youths staggered under loads of wood.
14 Elders are absent from the gate,
Young men from their music.
15 The joy of our hearts has ended;
Our dancing has been turned into mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head;
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our heart is faint,
Because of these things our eyes are dim;
18 Because of Mount Zion which lies desolate,
Jackals prowl in it.
19 You, Lord, rule forever;
Your throne is from generation to generation.
20 Why will You forget us forever?
Why do You abandon us for so long?
21 Restore us to You, Lord, so that we may be restored;
Renew our days as of old,
22 Unless You have utterly rejected us
And are exceedingly angry with us.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Jeremiah shares the miserable condition of Jerusalem’s inhabitants with God in hopes that God would come and move on their behalf. The God who brought about Jerusalem’s destruction was also the One to bring about her restoration.
Why would Jeremiah tell God about things that He could clearly see? Because God tells us to include Him in our lives through prayer; it is a sign of relationship. “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us (Psalm 62:8).”
After sharing the reality of Jerusalem’s problems with God, Jeremiah then asks a question that many people do during times of difficulty: “Why God?!” When faced with a challenge, the best action to take is to not ask ‘why,’ but instead turn to God, for two reasons. First, ask God what you should learn from the situation. The difficulty may be a result of sin or a poor decision, and God wants to help you learn not to do that again, and pain is a great motivator to change. Or the situation may be because no fault of your own, but God promises that every struggle gives an opportunity to learn and become a more mature, complete person (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4).
Second, turn to God and ask for help because He is the solution to every problem. Even if you caused the situation, God’s mercy is there to help you. Whatever your facing, involve God through prayer and let Him help you.