The City

But He restores

By Dale Stonecipher in Redeemer Church 5 months ago | 707 views Link:

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The book of Lamentations was written during a sad time in Israel’s history.  Due to the sin of the people, God had brought judgment and discipline by sending them into exile in Babylon.  They had been forced to leave their homeland and had viewed the destruction of their familiar surroundings.  The book is an expression of woe or sorrow or grief, hence the name “Lamentations.”  They grieved over the exile and destruction and the oppression from their enemies.  Perhaps more than that, they grieved over their sin which had brought about their current situation.

The writer of Lamentations acknowledges their sin and rebellion against God’s commandments.  He expresses that he has no comfort and his heart is faint.  He says he is in distress and his stomach churns. He knows that God has acted according to His purpose and has caused the enemy to overcome His people.  The writer talks of having no light, of having God’s hand against him, of being enveloped in bitterness and tribulation.  He uses a number of metaphors to describe his desperate condition.

But through it all, he calls to mind that the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.  Therefore, the LORD is his portion and he hopes in God.

As a result of his hope in the love and mercy of God, he prays for restoration.  He prays, “Restore us to Yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored.”

We are not in exile in a foreign land, but our circumstances can be so difficult and so longstanding that we become distressed and even bitter.  We may feel we have no light and even that God’s hand is against us.  We may go through periods of questioning God’s goodness and whether He has turned His back.

During those times, and every day, may we remember the writer’s words: “the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.”  He never turns His back on those who are His own.  He always looks upon believers with love.  

Even when He must teach us dependence and submission with difficult circumstances; even when He must discipline us because of our sin; even when we wonder where He is in our situations, He awaits our prayer for restoration.  He is in the business of restoring the downcast and discouraged and even the rebellious as they turn back to Him.  Jeremiah quotes the Lord as saying, “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before Me.”  May we never lose hope in the God of restoration.





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Redeemer Church

We exist to equip God’s people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.

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