Lamentations 2:3-4 In fierce anger [the LORD] has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it. Like an enemy he has strung his bow; his right hand is ready. Like a foe he has slain all who were pleasing to the eye; he has poured out his wrath like fire on the tent of the Daughter of Zion.
My M’Cheyne Daily Bible Readings have been taking me through the Prophecy of Jeremiah, and now I am into his Lamentations. In the midst of all this rather ’depressing’ diet, two more ‘encouraging’ things stand out: firstly, that whatever happens in this world to make me anxious and perplexed, I can ‘rest’ securely in the fact that God always remains in sovereign control over everything that happens in his world no matter how bad it might seem to me; and secondly, that all the expressions of a holy God’s anger against man’s sin (MY sin) are a timely reminder that Jesus was willing to bear the full impact of this anger in my place, to protect me from it. When he cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me?”, he was suffering everything of which Jeremiah’s lamentation was only a faint foreshadowing!
All this gives me a deeper appreciation of the depth of God’s love and grace when I sing, “In Christ alone my hope is found; he is my light, my strength, my song; this cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all – here in the love of Christ I stand. In Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe! This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones he came to save. Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied; for all my sin on him was laid – here in the death of Christ I live” (Keith Getty – slightly modified).
As unpalatable as it might be to ‘journey’ through this part of God’s infallible Word, thank you Robert Murray M’Cheyne for helping me do it each year, so that I learn to appreciate more and more each time just who my loving Heavenly Father is, and what his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was prepared willingly to go through on my behalf. “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that he should send his only Son to make a wretch his treasure. How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turns his face away, as wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory. Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders; ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers. It was my sin that held him there until it was accomplished, his dying breath has brought me life – I know that it is finished. I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no pow’r, no wisdom; but I will boast in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. Why should I gain from his reward? I cannot give an answer; but this I know with all my heart, HIS wounds have paid MY ransom” (Stuart Townend).
– Bruce Christian