Lamentations 3:30–66 (NKJV)
30 Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32 Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
33 For He does not afflict willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.
34 To crush under one’s feet
All the prisoners of the earth,
35 To turn aside the justice due a man
Before the face of the Most High,
36 Or subvert a man in his cause—
The Lord does not approve.
37 Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the Lord has not commanded it?
The Lord is not an evil god with mischief as His goal. God actually longs to bless His people and bring good into their lives. Punishment is only in the name of discipline. God’s desire is not to harm or crush, but rather to increase and bless. However, evil actions bring evil results, and discipline is necessary in the short term to bring about holiness and righteousness in the long term.
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That woe and well-being proceed?
39 Why should a living man complain,
A man for the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
41 Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven.
42 We have transgressed and rebelled;
You have not pardoned.
43 You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain and not pitied.
44 You have covered Yourself with a cloud,
That prayer should not pass through.
45 You have made us an offscouring and refuse
In the midst of the peoples.
46 All our enemies
Have opened their mouths against us.
The effects of God’s judgment are harsh. The only remedy is repentance and contrition. Man must turn his heart back to the God of grace in order to be restored. When the heavens are covered with a cloud of glass, keep praying. When you feel thrown away, understand that punishment is only temporary toward the heart with Godly sorrow and repentance.
47 Fear and a snare have come upon us,
Desolation and destruction.
48 My eyes overflow with rivers of water
For the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eyes flow and do not cease,
50 Till the Lord from heaven
Looks down and sees.
51 My eyes bring suffering to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
52 My enemies without cause
Hunted me down like a bird.
53 They silenced my life in the pit
And threw stones at me.
54 The waters flowed over my head;
I said, “I am cut off!”
Sorrow follows judgment, but is surely merited. The deep unsettled nature of conviction and guilt drive one to tears, and rightly so. However, one is not required to stay there. Rise up, but only with a bowed head toward God, not your problems.
55 I called on Your name, O Lord,
From the lowest pit.
56 You have heard my voice:
“Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help.”
57 You drew near on the day I called on You,
And said, “Do not fear!”
58 O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul;
You have redeemed my life.
59 O Lord, You have seen how I am wronged;
Judge my case.
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.
61 You have heard their reproach, O Lord,
All their schemes against me,
62 The lips of my enemies
And their whispering against me all the day.
63 Look at their sitting down and their rising up;
I am their taunting song.
64 Repay them, O Lord,
According to the work of their hands.
65 Give them a veiled heart;
Your curse be upon them!
66 In Your anger,
Pursue and destroy them
From under the heavens of the Lord.
Jeremiah calls unto God for rescue and vengeance against his enemies. There is hope in Christ. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is restoration in the future of the repentant soul. Trust in God and know that what seems like complete hopelessness today can become a beautiful restoration tomorrow if you pray and trust the Lord of the whole Earth.