Reading through the Bible together
A prayer weaves its way to heaven. “Remember” (v. 1) means clinging to God. In the suffering that followed the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, in the darkness that seemed to separate the survivors from the Lord, someone said “Remember.” Jeremiah knows his Scripture. He knows that when God remembers things happen for His people (cf. Gen. 8:1; 19:29; 30:22; Ex. 2:24; 6:5). The misery of the catastrophe is balanced by the Lord’s eternity (Lam. 5:19): “You, O Lord, remain forever.”
God’s timing is right; His justice is transformative; His patience is everlasting. He cannot forget (v. 20) because He loves us as a mother caring for her baby (Isa. 49:14, 15). But it is only He who can transform us. “Turn us back to You, Lord,” writes Jeremiah, “and we will be restored” (v. 21).
In the midst of our private struggles and our personal moments of darkness, Lamentations reminds us that God has not quietly slipped away. He is around. He has not gone on vacation or thrown us on the rubbish dump. His discipline is always transformative; His patience and long-suffering are everlasting (Ex. 34:6, 7); He is not angry but eager to come to our rescue.
“Remember” today, God’s goodness and His salvation.
Gerald A. Klingbeil, D.Litt.
Assoc. Editor of Adventist Review/Adventist World
Research Professor, Andrews University