Take a moment to read the entire chapter of Lamentations 2 before reading the devotional below.
So many people live with a belief that God is angry with them, or that in general God is angry and causing a whole lot of suffering. Today’s chapter is one of the reasons why — it sure sounds like God is very angry and has caused a lot of destruction as a result. There is no way to clean this up or say that God is not angry here. His wrath is real and the people of Jerusalem are in deep mourning in this chapter.
As always, our goal is to understand the character of God as we read the Bible. What does this reveal about him? Why would he even want this in the Bible anyway? We think of times we have gotten angry, and usually we are not proud of what happened as a result. God is willing to have this story about him documented for all of history. Why would he choose to do that? The key to this passage is sin. Verse 17 says that God did exactly what he promised he would do if his people turned away from him and entered into sin. This punishment was planned and intentional. In many ways, the response that his people are experiencing now — deep lament — is exactly what he was hoping for.
Here’s your freedom for today: God wants you to return to him. God does not want to punish you because he is out of control in his anger. He is not shaking his head disappointed in you. But sometimes he does remove protection from your life or destroy things in order to bring about your restoration. Sin has consequences. God already promised that. He is faithful to keep his word and he gives us plenty of warning about the ways sin will ruin our lives. If we do not feel the weight of our sin, we are more likely to continue in it and move farther and father away from God. When we experience pain as a result of our sin, our hearts break as we realize we have gone our own way. In our lament we turn back to God and invite him to rescue us all over again. God does not change his mind in these moments — his intention was always to welcome you with open arms. If you have been caught in sin and are in the midst of feeling the consequences, let your heart break and turn back to God. He’s ready. Are you?