Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lamentations 3:37-5:22: Turn Us to Yourself

Lamentations is a book full of laments meaning "to express sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something."  (Merriam-Webster)

There was a great deal to lament during the writing of this book.  Oppression was commonplace.

Jerusalem was a walled city, but many people lived outside the walls.  During the enemy's siege, those people living outside had to flee into the city for protection.  Overcrowding occurred.

Issues stemming from overcrowding followed... anxiety, pestilence, starvation.  People sick in soul and body would die, and the bodies piled up.  Garbage and excrement were strewn in the streets and desperation drove mothers to eat their own children!

Lamentations 2:20
Amplified Bible (AMP)

20 Behold, O Lord, and consider [carefully] to whom You have done this. Should and shall women eat the fruit of their own bodies, the children whom they have tended and swaddled with their hands? Should and shall priest and prophet be slain in the place set apart [for the worship] of the Lord?

Sin's consequences played out for all to witness. 

It's a sobering thought that actions or lack thereof could result in such great suffering and heartache.  We can learn from this tragedy by listening and obeying. 

Our Father loves us. 

We weren't created to bear the weight of the consequences of sin.  Jesus took ALL of that upon Himself when he suffered and died on the cross, but by continuing in sin, we take sin's consequences back upon ourselves. 

What's to be done?

Lamentations 5:21
Amplified Bible (AMP)

21 Turn us to Yourself, O Lord, and we shall be turned and restored! Renew our days as of old!

In the midst of verses depicting great sorrow and suffering, there is HOPE!  The Lord will turn the sinner back to Himself.  Restoration!!!

Holy Spirit, turn the sinner back to the Lord now.  Whisper conviction, tug on a heart.  Open eyes that were blind causing them to see.  Show Your glory, Lord.  Wash, cleanse and empower the sinner to walk away from disobedience and into Your glorious light.  In Jesus' name, AMEN!!!



Monday, May 19, 2014

Lamentations 1:1-3:36: Two Paths Before Me

In a dream, I was being shown two paths, which led to my home. The first path was a narrow, dirt path running parallel and about 20 feet above a creek with fast-moving water. It was dark because a thick forest had blocked out the light. Ahead, I could see that a tree had been uprooted by the erosion of the flowing water's action on the tree's roots.  The tree had lost its foundation and had fallen across the path. This route would be difficult to traverse because of this obstacle and a slippery mud path.

The second path was a paved road free of obstacles. The road was straight and twice as wide as the previous path. It was bright with nothing to block the sun rays. Far in the distance, I could see my home. 
My guide made it clear that I could choose the path leading home.  I felt relief that I could choose an "easy" path.  Then I awoke.
 I have been meditating on and praying about this dream.  Although the Lord empowered me to choose the path leading home, I don't necessarily want to choose the easy way.  I have been praying, "As long as You are with me, Jesus, the path I take will be ok with me." 

Like the "Daughter of Jerusalem" mentioned in today's text, I have chosen wrongly in the past.  We all have made unwise choices at various times.  But the encouragement we receive is that even in our wrong choices, there is mercy.


Lamentations 3:22-23
Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

The Lord's discipline was for my good, for your good.  The impurities in us are removed.  We are as pure gold.

Lamentations 3:27-28
Amplified Bible (AMP)

27 It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke [of divine disciplinary dealings] in his youth.

28 Let him sit alone uncomplaining and keeping silent [in hope], because [God] has laid [the yoke] upon him [for his benefit].

I am thankful that I have a choice, but hesitant to proceed without hearing the direction of Holy Spirit.  I have learned that the easiest path isn't necessarily the preferred path.  The difficult path may be the one, which yields the greatest glory for my Beloved.  All glory goes to Jesus!

Lord, this one thing I ask, Continue to walk with me.  Be my Guide.  I don't want to choose the paved way, just because it seems easy.  I will go wherever You lead just as long as You are walking beside me!  In Jesus Name, AMEN!!!