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Let him Give his Cheek to the One Who Strikes

3 April • Monday of Holy Week


Lamentations 3:22-66

22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his

mercies never come to an end;

23 they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”

25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to

the soul who seeks him.

26 It is good that one should wait quietly

for the salvation of the LORD.

27 It is good for a man that he bear the

yoke in his youth.


28 Let him sit alone in silence

when it is laid on him;

29 let him put his mouth in the dust—

there may yet be hope;

30 let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and

let him be filled with insults.

31 For the Lord will not

cast off forever,

32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion

according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

33 for he does not afflict from his heart

or grieve the children of men.


34 To crush underfoot

all the prisoners of the earth,

35 to deny a man justice

in the presence of the Most High,

36 to subvert a man in his lawsuit,

the Lord does not approve.


37 Who has spoken and it came to pass,

unless the Lord has commanded it?

38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that

good and bad come?

39 Why should a living man complain,

a man, about the punishment of his sins?

40 Let us test and examine our ways,

and return to the LORD!

41 Let us lift up our hearts and hands to

God in heaven:

42 “We have transgressed and rebelled,

and you have not forgiven.

43 “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing

without pity;

44 you have wrapped yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can pass through.

45 You have made us scum and garbage

among the peoples.


46 “All our enemies

open their mouths against us;

47 panic and pitfall have come upon us,

devastation and destruction;

48 my eyes flow with rivers of tears

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.


49 “My eyes will flow without ceasing,

without respite,

50 until the LORD from heaven

looks down and sees;

51 my eyes cause me grief

at the fate of all the daughters of my city.

52 “I have been hunted like a bird

by those who were my enemies without cause;

53 they flung me alive into the pit

and cast stones on me;

54 water closed over my head;

I said, ‘I am lost.’

55 “I called on your name, O LORD,

from the depths of the pit;

56 you heard my plea, ‘Do not close

your ear to my cry for help!’

57 You came near when I called on you;

you said, ‘Do not fear!’

58 “You have taken up my cause, O Lord;

you have redeemed my life.

59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O LORD;

judge my cause.

60 You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me.

61 “You have heard their taunts, O LORD, all

their plots against me.

62 The lips and thoughts of my assailants are

against me all the day long.

63 Behold their sitting and their rising;

I am the object of their taunts.

64 “You will repay them, O LORD, according to

the work of their hands.

65 You will give them dullness of heart;

your curse will be on them.

66 You will pursue them in anger and destroy them from

under your heavens, O LORD.”

 

Meditation

Many know these famous verses: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (vv.22-23)

God’s love is steadfast. It is covenant love. The committed love we imitate in Christian marriage. Our God will never forsake us. He will not condemn or abandon us.


Knowing this, the author interprets his present suffering as God’s loving discipline. The state of Jerusalem is in ruins, but it is ruined because of the people’s own sin. Disobedience and rebellion have caused the devastation of the church—it is punishment from God (v.39).

How should we receive suffering from God who loves us? We bear it. We sit in silence. We allow Him to do His painful work in our lives and our church (vv.27-29).

“We give our cheek to the one who strikes us” (v.30).

In the end, we need to know that all His discipline is but a moment. Suffering lasts only a little while. God will not cast us off. All the pain He causes is tempered by His compassion. As strange as it sounds, God does not afflict us willingly (vv.31-33).

The desired outcome is repentance (vv.40-41). Turning back to God, with the knowledge that He has done this for our sake, even for our good.

Hardship is not wasted when we know it comes from the merciful God of steadfast love.

 

Prayer

Father in heaven, I know You love me. In all my affliction, let me sit in silence. Teach me to bear the yoke of Your discipline. I trust that despite my suffering, Your steadfast love for me never ceases. Amen.

 

Action

Brother, sister, if you are in a state of ruin because of your sin—now is the time to contemplate your ways. Turn back to the Lord in repentance and faith. His love will never fail you.


Rev Dr Dev Menon

Pastor

Zion Bishan Bible-Presbyterian Church


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