By Mike Chaffin
Why do You forget us forever, and forsake us for so long a time?
Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old, unless You have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us! Lamentations 5:20-22
Lamentations – five chapters of Jeremiah’s prayers and laments over Israel about what has taken place; the siege, capture, and destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. These last words are the closing prayer for the restoration of Israel.
It is sometimes easy to feel like Jeremiah. Waiting can be hard. We get impatient thinking God doesn’t hear us, or even worse, God doesn’t care. Nothing could be further from the truth.
God told Jeremiah that Judah would be taken into captivity and Jerusalem would be destroyed. But he also told Jeremiah that after 70 years God would allow his children to return and resettle the promised land. Jeremiah knew the promise, but in his grief he had his doubts.
A similar prayer was recorded by Isaiah when Jerusalem was under siege decades earlier. Isaiah 49:14-16 records, “But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”
God does get angry with us. Like any good father, He disciplines us for our misbehavior and sin. But if we ask for forgiveness, turn from our sin, God is faithful to forgive us and restore our walk with Him.
Sometimes it may seem God has forsaken us, that we are all alone. If you are in God’s will he hasn’t. Sure, it may feel like an eternity to understand what He is doing and see things change, but remember King David’s words in Psalm 30:5,
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
The last words are a poignant reminder that God disciplines those whom he loves. He does this so we may move away from our sin and closer to him. That’s worth rejoicing over.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being a loving father who not only disciplines us, but forgives our trespasses and unfaithfulness. Lord forgive this land and send a great awakening. Let the revival start with me. In Jesus name, amen.