Forgotten, Forsaken or Restored?
God, teach me to follow the prophet’s example and pour out my heart to You.
Read Lamentations 5:1-22
 Remember, LORD, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace.  Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.  We have become fatherless, our mothers are widows.  We must buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price.  Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are weary and find no rest.  We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread.  Our ancestors sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment.  Slaves rule over us, and there is no one to free us from their hands.  We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the desert.  Our skin is hot as an oven, feverish from hunger.  Women have been violated in Zion, and virgins in the towns of Judah.  Princes have been hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect.  Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood.  The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music.  Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.  The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned!  Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim  for Mount Zion, which lies desolate, with jackals prowling over it.  You, LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.  Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long?  Restore us to yourself, LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old  unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat requests does the writer make of God?
The acrostic pattern has gone; just an outpouring in prayer to God. The writer reminds God of all that has happened. Why? Not for God’s benefit; he already knows. But in times of great stress we need to be able to say what’s on our hearts. And who better to tell than God? The writer has had moments of hope throughout the book and a moment of supreme faith and hope (3:19-27) in the midst of his despair. But at the end he is still doubtful. Nothing seems to be changing. The sufferings go on. Having reminded God of what’s happening he reminds God of who God is: the one who reigns, the one in whom they hope. “So why have you forgotten us?” (20). After the writer’s plea for restoration, we hope for a final statement of faith that God will do it. Instead he ends in doubt: “Perhaps we have gone too far and God has rejected us forever” (22). With hindsight we know he was wrong. The exile did end. The nation was restored. And “at the right time” God’s Savior, Jesus, was born to restore people to God in a way that our author couldn’t even imagine.
We all have doubts. That’s not a sin. But don’t keep them bottled up. Share them with God.
Father, I do not want to come with pretty prayers or pretend to be who I am not. I want to share my heart with You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.