Restore Us, Lord
Today’s Reading: Lamentations 5:1-22 (SOAP: 21)
But You, O LORD
Don’t miss the “but You” moment in verse 19. Similar to that of chapter 3, verse 21 – where in the throes of lament Jeremiah says – “But this I call to mind”. Here, he is lamenting the degradation of the city and the plight of the people when it seems the knowledge and the faith of his hope turn his inward thoughts back toward God. This time he says, “But You, O LORD, reign forever. Your throne endures from generation to generation. Remembering these truths seems to prompt both the question and the plea that follow and the words you can almost hear him stammering over in verse 22, “unless You have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure”.
The Confusion and questions
Because Jeremiah knows the goodness of God and His faithfulness to all generations he cries out hoping to understand why God hasn’t come to their aide.
Why do You keep on forgetting us? Why do You forsake us so long?Lamentations 5:20
In response to his own questions Jeremiah prays a prayer of restoration and renewal and includes a purpose that he knew would align with God’s will for his people and the city. “Bring us back to Yourself, O LORD, so that we may return to You;” – not just to what we knew but first and foremost to You. He went on to pray, “Renew our life”. The plea is not for God to create a new life for them but specifically for restoration to “as in days before” – days when they had a crown and their city stood strong, when they were joyful and dancing. Restored to a time when their elders sat in the city gates and their young men played music. They longed to go back to the day when they weren’t hungry or in danger or living enslaved but to a day when they knew prosperity and success and respect for who they were.
What Can We Learn? – The Application –
What can we learn from these statements of prayer and truth? I think we can take a lesson from Jeremiah’s reasoning and pray prayers that keep God first. I think we should be inspired to watch that our desire is return to Him when we have fallen away, and to pray big prayers without letting them become greedy prayers.
Father, when I lament may my mind and eyes and heart always return to or stay on You. May my chief desire be You and my heart be for ‘renewal’ rather than bigger and better.” Let me not lose heart but when it fades, help me remember You reign forever and Your throne from generation to generation.
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