4 Reasons to Counsel One Another from Lamentations (#3)
In the first and second post in this mini-series on the book of Lamentations, we noted two reasons God gave us this very sad book. First, to show us the awful reality of sin and its devastating consequences so that our hearts will long for reconciliation with our holy Creator. Second, to remind us how much we need God’s faithfulness, mercy, and love and how ready He is to forgive us when we repent and turn to him by faith. Today let’s consider a third reason.
Reason #3. To reveal the sovereign faithfulness of God in both judgment and mercy—His hatred of sin, His holy wrath, and His loyal love (1:12b–15, 18; 2:1–8, 17; 3:21–26, 37–38, 54–66; 4:11, 16, 22; 5:19; cf. Leviticus 26:14–33; Deuteronomy 28:15–57; 32:15–43).
It is interesting to note that Babylon and the Babylonians are never mentioned in Lamentations. Only Edom is cited as an adversary (4:21–22). The perspective of this book clearly leads to the conclusion that God was ultimately sovereign over the horrendous events that happened. Certainly the Bible teaches that God is not the source of evil, but Lamentations stresses that He is sovereign over it—and will use the evil of men to accomplish His purposes. It is precisely because God is sovereign that His disciplined and grieving people can have hope in the midst of pain and tragic circumstances.
Have you ever read the book of Lamentations with an eye to the faithfulness of God in suffering?
Has your small group ever considered studying the book of Lamentations?
Featured Resource for a study of Lamentations: God’s Mercy in Our Suffering (includes Study Guide & Counseling Homework)