Teeth Grinding on Gravel

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Lamentations 3:1-18

They tell us that the human being can take just so much, no more. Jeremiah sounds as though he has just reached that point. In the first two chapters of this book he described in a vivid, but objective, way the punishing actions of the Lord on His faithless people. But here in the third chapter he turns inward and cries out in personal anguish.

In the first word from the Cross, Jesus cries out in the same kind of agony, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Both Jeremiah and Jesus had been sent to their own people and their own people received them not. Instead they heaped indignity upon indignity on them until they both cried out to God. And God does not rebuke them when they cry out “Why?” His answer will not tarry long in coming.

Following Jesus is not for moral and spiritual weaklings. But the assuring word from God to Jesus, to Jeremiah, and to us, is that those who vent their contempt and fury on us do not have the last word. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” is God’s Word to the Christians at Smyrna. God could have put us in a rose-garden world. Instead He chose to bring good out of evil. Evil still hurts, but only love lasts forever.


Lord, we feel deeply for those who are suffering at the hand of brutal people. Give them, and us, the assurance of the gospel, that Your last word is love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.