Restore Us to Thyself, O Lord

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Lamentations 5:1-22

With today’s devotions we end four months with the gutsiest prophet of them all, Jeremiah. He draws for us a picture of the swaggering Babylonians piling the loads on the backs of God’s people, ravishing their women, lynching their leaders. Sounds like something out of American history, doesn’t it? How terrible that human beings should treat other human beings in such ways!

But the slaves never lose hope. They direct their cry for liberation and restoration to the Lord, and we know that in 536 b.c. the Exile ended and under Nehemiah, Jerusalem was rebuilt.

Two things have stood out in our months of reading. One is the faithful, unwavering preaching of Jeremiah in the face of the most intense, vicious hostility imaginable. The second is that God was not kidding when He warned His people that curse upon curse would come upon them if they failed to obey His law.

A few of us may have felt as though God were slapping our faces as we read about this prophet. But if the slap woke us to the awful reality of an eternity apart from God and His love, it was a slap that saves.

Good-bye, Jeremiah, and thank you.

PRAYER

Father, the story of Israel’s suffering was painful to read. But it made us aware that there is a great deal more suffering ahead for us if we shut our ears to Your Word. Touch us with Your healing power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.