Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Can Your Theology Handle The Book Of Lamentations?

“Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. 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 your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”” (Lamentations 3:19–24)

The writer here is the comforted by the character of God. Doesn’t it strike you as odd that it is the one who brings the wrath is also the one who brings the comfort? It is like the 2nd Psalm whereby there is no refuge from him but there is refuge in him.

In this case this comfort is specifically said to be tethered to God’s faithfulness, that is, his covenant love for his people.

Listen, this song of grace must be extremely loud to drown out the collective cries of anguish over sin. And it is.

Can your theology handle such lavish grace?

It is abundant and immeasurable grace because it covers abundant and infinite sin!

Even (perhaps especially) in Lamentations, amid the funeral, there is a repudiation of works righteousness and a promotion of the grace of God.

In Lamentations we have God crushing his people Israel because of their sin. Their sin is rampant and repulsive. This is exacerbated by the fact that Israel is God’s chosen people. He loves them. They are his nation.

In the New Testament we have God reacting to sin by crushing someone even more special than a nation of people. In the Gospel Narratives we read of God crushing his own beloved and dear Son for sin (John 3.16; Col. 1.13). But note the twist: it is not because of his sin that he is judged upon the cross but for the sins of his people (1 Pet. 3.18).

Our sin is not any less rampant or repugnant to the divine nostrils than at the time of Lamentations. Sin is and always will be wicked before God.

In the gospel, through the work of Christ, we have Lamentations come into full view.

We understand that God is a judging God—for he has judged his own son for our sins.

We understand that we are sinners—God has crushed his own son in our place so that justice might be paid.

We understand that grace is abundant—God has acted upon his promises of forgiveness by lavishing his people in grace.

You have to see that there is a lot more at stake here than at first glance. If you can’t handle the themes and trajectories of Lamentations then you can’t handle the gospel. Every thread in this book is divinely stitched to Calvary.

No comments:

Post a Comment