Daily Thoughts : April 18th

   

Lam 5:19   You, O LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.

     

I find this declaration in the anguish of Lamentations truly remarkable. Lamentations is exactly what it says, a lament over the destruction of Jerusalem and the apparent end of Israel. Only by reading Lamentations can you truly start to catch the awfulness of what happened. As you read it you begin to catch a picture of this utterly devastated city, burned and smashed down and desolate. It is utterly silent except for the sound of the wind blowing leaves or the scurrying of wild creatures among the ruins. It is indeed a picture of total and absolute devastation. When you think of this city at some of its great times say in the reign of Solomon or some of the other great kings, in times of greatness, gladness and glory - it makes the present desolation even worse. This is a city given up by God. How terrible it is. How terrible He must be.

 

But then comes this incredible declaration: Lord, you reign! This is not a declaration of woe, or of complaint or even of anguish. This is a declaration of faith. It says, Lord, I may not understand all this but I affirm that you reign. You are the Lord. This isn't by accident. There is a purpose in all this, even though I may not see it at the moment. You are the Lord, and you reign, so this happened on your watch, this happened with your full knowledge, understanding and, yes, even purpose!

This submits the present disaster to the sovereignty of an all-wise, all-loving God, and therefore trusts Him for a good outcome. It does come! The more one studies the history of the 'end' of Israel at the Exile when Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed both the temple and the city of Jerusalem, the more you see the long-term, big-scale plans of God, intent on purging Israel of the idolatry that had occurred within it again and again from the very beginning. It was an incredible strategy of cleansing and it had to involve the destruction of Jerusalem for a while (it was rebuilt about seventy years later). Jeremiah looked, saw and understood - and praised God. In whatever circumstances you find yourself in, trust Him, praise Him, it will become clear!

  

     

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