Sunday, December 23, 2018

December 23 - Lamentations 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Lamentations 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today’s passage is about God’s anger at sin and how sin led to the judgement against Israel. The first half of the chapter (see verses 1-10) shows the destruction that was brought to the land and its people. God destroyed homes, cities, and even the Temple.
  • The Temple was the central place of worship and it represented God’s presence with the people. Many Israelites believed God would never allow his Temple to be harmed. The destruction of the Temple symbolized God’s rejection of his people and that he no longer lived with them.
  • The description of this destruction is followed by feelings of grief over the suffering and cries of the children (see verses 11-12) and that no comfort can be found.
  • Ending this chapter is a recognition that this was not an unforeseen calamity (see verse 17) and an appeal for the people of Israel to cry out to God and “pour out your hearts like water” (verse 19).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God’s anger is never unjustified but it does not mean that he forgets his people permanently. Even though the people of Israel turned their back on God for generations and despite many, many warnings of the consequences that would occur, they were still instructed to call to God in their misery.
  • Just as a good parent disciplines a child and provides comfort in order to help them grow, God wants to comfort his people in the midst of the pain that is a result of their own actions.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • One of the best ways to deal with sorrow is through prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. There are no specials words or phrases that you have to use. Today, have a conversation with God. Tell him how you feel right now, whether it’s excited, frustrated, depressed, or hopeful. Read Luke 11:11-13. Ask him to help you trust that he is not surprised by anything and don’t be afraid to ask for hope or comfort if that is what you need today.