Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jeremiah, Lamentations, and prayers

Jeremiah (the book) can perhaps be summed up thus: God redeems through judgment and ransoms through suffering. The rhetorical questions posed in chapter 3 resonate through the entire book: their quiet but powerful statement that, all reasons so far as man can see aside, He will redeem and restore and forgive His people. There are both quiet foreshadowing (like anticipatory echoes) and forthright proclamation of Messiah to come. Glory!

In Lamentations there is a frightful but rightful weeping over all that transpired up to the fall of Jerusalem. Great grief, terrible in its depth - for God's temporary and temporal judgment was fierce indeed. (How much more so - and thus, how much greater the suffering of those subjecting themselves to it by willful sin - the unending, everlasting torment of Hell! This is a fearful thought indeed!)

[Oh God, let me grasp how grievous that punishment, and how glorious Your life, that my heart might rightly appraise the task of spreading the Gospel! Let me know both how terrible the bad news is and how very great (both of itself and in contrast) is the Good news! Let me live my life thus in light of Light and Life!l]

[Make my life a sacrifice to You.]

[Make my life a pleasing incense to You.]

[May my prayers accord ever with Your will. May they be bold and filled with power. May the change this fallen world!]

[May my words, spoken and written, and the testimony of my deeds, be a compelling and fitting call to Life: to a proper understanding and appropriation thereof by the redeemed, and to the attaining thereof by the lost.]

[Make my influence great, and make me nothing, for the sake of Your name, that Your glory be known in all the earth!]

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