Lamentations 3:40

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Lamentations 3:40   

“Let us test and examine our ways and return to the LORD!” – Lamentations 3:40

Let us start this with the verse just before our focus verse in order to understand what is being said.  “Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?” Lamentations 3:39.  What he is saying is, if a man sins why should He gripe and complain about what happens to him.  The writer of Proverbs put it this way.  “When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.” Proverbs 19:3. The writer is basically saying that when a man gives into the sinful ways and desires of his heart, it causes him to go astray from the ways God has called him to go.  And when things do not go well for him, he places all the blame upon God and not on the one who actually caused this to happen, himself.  Thus, the writer of Lamentations is saying, why should someone complain about what God allows to happen because of their sins?  I like the way Theologian Adam Clarke put it.  “He who has his life still lent to him has small cause of complaint. How great soever his affliction may be, he is still alive; therefore, he may seek and find mercy unto eternal life. Of this, death would deprive him; therefore let not a living man complain.” 

So, going back to verse 39, why should a man complain about the outcome of his own behavior?  At least he is still alive and can make adjustments in his ways.  And if he still lives, what should he do rather than sit around and complain?   The answer lies in our focus verse.  “Let us test and examine our ways and return to the LORD! “ Lamentations 3:40.  This is a more reasonable and profitable thing to do rather than complaining to and about God.  We should look within ourselves and see whether our ways have been good or bad.  Do we have things we do which are not good?  Do we think badly about others who may be more happy and  content than we are?  When we look inside, do we see areas which we know God is not happy with? 

The main idea here is that God is calling us to look inside ourselves and look deep within and see if there is anything we need to ask forgiveness for and repent of.  And ask God to help us see these things.  David called out to God and asked Him to assist in seeing what was in his heart.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!”  Psalm 139:23-24. 

This should be our desire as we walk on the earth in the Lord.  We should want to see any wrong thing we do or desire and work toward wiping them out.  We should, with the Lord’s help, examine our heart and our ways, looking deep into what drives us  and what our focus is on.  And we should pray that God will take these desires away and lead us back to Him. 

This can be a difficult endeavor.  We may not want to know where our hearts are, what we desire in our lives, and where our thoughts lead us.  However, God wants us to do this and more, for He wants a great and loving relationship with us.  He has amazing grace for us and will forgive us when we repent of these things and give our all to Him.  So, take some time to make the same requests David made.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24.  In doing this, we will test and examine our ways, and by making the necessary changes, we can return to the Lord and have a much more wonderful relationship with God than we ever had.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Lamentations 3:32

Verse of the Day Devotion: Lamentations 3:32 

“For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness.” – Lamentations 3:32         

Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you?  Have you ever felt that the correction of the Lord is difficult?  There are times when it feels like He is far away.  Especially when we do something against what God allows or has commanded.  The writer of Lamentations, which traditionally is attributed to Jeremiah, had experienced this.  He has understood the correction of God.  “I am the man who has seen affliction because of the rod of His wrath.”  Lamentations 3:1.  By reading this, it is apparent he is a troubled man.  He is going through a very difficult time.  He feels that God is angry, and he is experiencing the repercussions of His anger.  This is many times what happens when we are corrected.

He does not understand and is perplexed.  “He has driven me and made me walk In darkness and not in light.” Lamentations 3:2.  The idea of darkness points to great trouble and perplexity.  He desired to walk in the light again where there is both comfort and direction, but it is not the case at that time.  Lets look at a few additional verses that describe how he is feeling.  “Surely against me He has turned His hand rrepeatedly all the day.” Lamentations 3:3.   “My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, “My strength has perished, And so has my hope from the LORD.” Lamentations 3:17-18.

But as we read further, he remembers the loving kindness of the Lord.  “This I recall to my mind; Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23.  And then finally, the last part being our focus verse, “For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.”  Lamentations 3:31-32.

We must understand that we will go through trials, some of which will be to correct us, some in order to do a particular work of God.  We must always understand that God has a purpose for all He does.  In the area of correction, it is because He loves us and wants us to change the path we are currently on and go back to following Him as He desires us to.  The writer of proverbs puts it this way.  “My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD or loathe His reproof, For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”  Proverbs 3:11-12.  A father who loves his children corrects and reproves them because he loves them and wants them to grow up to be Godly adults.  This is the same with God.  He loves us and wants us to follow Him and be with Him forever, therefore He will do what is necessary to make this happen. 

But His correction will not last forever and therefore His rejection will not last forever, but only for a season in order to help us be who He desires us to be; a person who loves God in all ways and does His will.  So, when we find ourselves in difficult times because He is correcting us, or any other reason, give Him thanks.  He is doing and allowing these things because He loves us.  It is temporary, and it puts us back on the path to eternal happiness with Him. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.