June 2, 2015
“He has filled me with bitterness…my soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is… But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3: 15, 16, 22-23)
When Jeremiah gets to his darkest hour, he receives a revelation of hope and salvation. Just like Job, when suffering brought him to the bottom of despair’s pit, he received his Messianic revelation: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last upon the earth. And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God!” (Job 19:25-26)
In the third chapter of his Lamentations, Jeremiah received the same kind of revelation given to Job. After World War II, Corrie ten Boom told people all over the world how, in a Nazi concentration camp, God revealed this truth to her: “There is no pit so deep but what the love of God is deeper still.” This is the same truth God revealed to Jeremiah. It’s intriguing to realize Job received his Messianic revelation when he ‘bottomed out” through weeping and suffering. God made Jeremiah know the marvelous truth about His unconditional love that is taught from Genesis to Revelation: God’s love is not won by a positive performance or lost by a negative performance.
Reading the Lamentations, I am deeply touched and inspired meditating upon God’s miraculous revelation to Jeremiah, that all the horror of the Babylonian conquest and captivity did not mean that God no longer loved the people of Judah… Another awesome possible miracle, however, is that as Jeremiah received his revelation weeping in his grotto on the hill of Golgotha, he could have been sitting on the very spot God was going to pour out His love on the whole world.
Dick Woodward, Mini Bible College Old Testament Handbook, (pp. 500-501)
October 21, 2012
When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!” (Job 42:10)
What may be the oldest book in the Bible answers the question: “Why do God’s people suffer?” Many people are familiar with the book of Job but have a shallow understanding of its message. They think it is just the story of a wealthy, godly man who lost everything and still worshiped God.
This is actually the story of a suffering, godly man who learned three perspectives we must ‘get together’ if we are going to be the kind of person God wants us all to be. Job looks in with his friends to find the answer to the why of his suffering. This led him and them nowhere. He is told to look up. He does and dialogs with God in a whirlwind. This profoundly changes him forever.
When God rebukes his friends because everything they told Job about himself and God was wrong, Job prays for his friends. When he looks around and prays for his friends, God richly blessed him and doubles all he lost.
This old saga of suffering tells us that if we want to be a together person we must first look up and get our vertical perspective and relationship with God together. Then we must look in and confess what God wants us to know about those internal issues that make us tick right.
Only those who have looked up and looked in as directed by God are qualified to look around and be part of God’s solution in the horizontal dimension of relationships.
Is God using the circumstances of your life to teach you to look up, in, and around as you should?