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Lamentation 1

08.26.2010

The theme I get from this first lamentation is from a phrase repeated multiple times in the chapter: ‘no comfort.’  The author describes how there is no sense of comfort, nothing to provide shelter from the inescapable misery after Jerusalem’s fall.  There’s no place to hide, and it even seems like the ‘comforter’ (God, not the duvet) has abandoned the people.

This is a good illustration of the spiritual reality that sin brings about in our lives.  Christians use the phrase ‘distancing us from God’ to describe the effects of sin because the effect is unmistakable.  When we pursue sin (choose the inferior thing over the superior thing) shame and self-hatred can make us feel that God is far away. 

In fact, however, that’s the time when we need most to turn to God.  It’s in this way that having nowhere to hide can be a blessing.  If there was someplace to hide or some way to escape the pain of the consequences of sin, that would allow us the breather we need to keep on making poor decisions.  The lack of comfort ultimately forces us to examine our sin, examine our lives, and make the one real choice there is to be made:  accept God’s grace or wallow in shame and sin.  It never ceases to surprise me that God is a god of contradictions.  His hectoring prophets are emissaries of compassion; the trials He allows us to face are purifying experiences; and even His perceived distance from us in our pain is a means of helping us face and deal with the reality of our fallen condition.

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