Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lamentations: A Tough Book to Handle

Recently in my personal devotions, I have been reading through the book of Lamentations.  In light of this fact, I found it providentially beneficial the other day when I came across a great post by fellow pastor, Erik Raymond entitled, Can Your Theology Handle the Book of Lamentations?  In it he deals with the fact that the way God is often portrayed in this book (as a God of righteous judgment and wrath) might not fit snugly into our preconceived notions of God.
Can your theology handle this book? Or, are you more comfortable ignoring these dark periods in the Bible? Are you more comfortable giving God an extreme makeover so that he is nicer and more palatable?

Lamentations forces those of us who affirm the authority and inerrancy of the Bible to come to grips with a God who gets really angry at sin and then shows it in judgment. This is who he is throughout the Bible, not just in Lamentations.
This is good news for us, because when we honestly assess our situations, we are forced to come to the conclusion that our sin is every bit as heinous as that for which Israel was judged.  And just as their was grace available to Israel as a result of God's steadfast love and covenantal faithfulness to his people, so to it is available to us in the gospel.
In the gospel, through the work of Christ, we have Lamentations come into full view.
  • We understand that God is a judging God—for he has judged his own son for our sins.
  • We understand that we are sinners—God has crushed his own son in our place so that justice might be paid.
  • We understand that grace is abundant—God has acted upon his promises of forgiveness by lavishing his people in grace.
What beautiful truths and what a beautiful framing of the book of Lamentations.  Click here to read Erik's entire post.

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