Woe is Me

Lamentations 1: 12

Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any pain like my pain which was severely dealt out to me, which the Lord inflicted on the day of His fierce anger.

Have you spent any time in Lamentations recently? Whoa! It is a veritable gold mine for Country-Western writers who need some good “cry in your beer” songs. Whew! It is good to read it every now and then but I certainly can’t take a steady diet of it.

I thought this verse might pique a few of you though. Read all of chapter one if you want the real low down on the situation. Still, there are few things that repulse and irritate me more than a person blaming my beloved Father for the ills they suffer. Truthfully, half, at least, of our troubles, we bring on ourselves. There is this principle of the seed and the harvest and unfortunately for us, the seed will produce a harvest regardless of the character of the seed. In other words, bad seeds will produce an unfavorable harvest just like good seed yields a desired crop.

Did you know this book was written by Jeremiah? He knew a few things even if you don’t get that from reading this verse alone. He is an important prophet and you can see that he totally gets it when you get to verse 22. He is speaking here, not for himself but for the entire nation, a nation which struggled in their devotion to following God’s ways, not unlike us, right? Verse 22 reads, “Let all their wickedness come before Thee; and deal with them as Thou has dealt with me for all my transgressions; for my groans are many, and my heart is faint.” You see, Jeremiah spends 21 verses pouring out the lamentation of the nation. He articulates their woes in vibrant, expressive language. In the end, the prophet, the mouthpiece of God comes out. He knows that it is their own transgressions which have brought them to their point of suffering. God doesn’t have to punish us for our stupidity, those ill-advised seeds which we, ourselves, have strewn far and wide are going to do all the damage we can bear.

When we finally are bowed down under the weight of the repercussions of our acts, then we cry out to the Lord and He is there to rescue us. Lamentations 3: 19 – 20 expresses this tragedy so clearly, “Remember my affliction and the wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down with me.” What tragic language, worthy even of Shakespeare. Hopefully, this is when we turn to the Lord and allow Him to save us from ourselves. He is always there for us, even when we have crucified ourselves.