55 I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. 56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” 57 You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” (Lamentations 3:55-57 NIV)
I’ve never seen the book of Lamentations on anyone’s “most read” lists, but I’ve gained so much from spending time with the insights shared. We don’t know for sure, but most believe Jeremiah wrote the “lament” when Jerusalem was taken over by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
Jeremiah had been called by God to announce the bad news of the coming invasion because of the rebellion of God’s people. Instead of listening and turning back to God…they wanted to kill him. They threw him in a pit and left him for dead. (Jeremiah 38:6)
Sometime later, after the fall of Jerusalem, the book of Lamentations was written. As you read the little four chapter book you can feel the grief, sorrow, and suffering of God’s people. What is being seen, the brokenness of the city, the suffering of the people, and the hopelessness of the situation flow through Jeremiah’s pen in the darkest of hues. Yet, there are glimmers of hope and anchors of faith in God’s Sovereign hand that steadies Jeremiah.
In Lamentations 3, shrouded in darkness, Jeremiah is able to “call to mind,” to remember truths from the past that remain true in the present darkness. Jeremiah goes back to the place of the pit where he was left for dead, yet God heard his cry, came near, and said, “Do not fear.” God marked Jeremiah’s life while he was in the pit. Forevermore Jeremiah would have the experience of God’s faithfulness to remind him when he encountered pits in the years to come.
Are you in a pit as you read this devotional? If not, then hold on to what you are reading because it will come in handy at some point in the future. Don’t waste your time wondering if God loves you when the darkness comes rushing in. Do what Jeremiah did: Call on His name from the darkness and watch Him draw near and speak to you, “Do not fear.”