Bible Studies/lamentations 3
hello and thank you for taking my question:
In Lamentations 3 the writer begins by saying how God is afflicting him but then goes on to say in verse 33 that God doesnt willingly afflict anyone - what gives???
Thank you for sending your good question. Like many aspects of the Bible, it helps to read it all, realizing His story (history) reveals Godís character of love and justice.
Lamentations is written when Jeremiah is removed from Judah, along with the remnant of rebellious Jews, when Godís 70 yearsí judgment begins. Jeremiah pleaded vainly for many years, for the Jews to honor and obey God, but they refused.
The affliction was for the nation (Lam.1:15ónot Jeremiahís men) but Jeremiah suffered along with them. However he knew the affliction was only a last resort God used to uphold justice and to get the attention of a nation that wasnít listening to His prophet, Jeremiahóa nation that wasnít responding to Godís love . The 70 years had a purpose and an end. God didnít write the Jews off completely.
Jeremiah 11:7 God earnestly desired the trust and obedience of His people, rising early since the beginning of their nation coming out of Egypt, to get their attention. After 600 or so years, He finally kicked them out of the promised land temporarily, afflicting them severely. The 12th chapter of Hebrews gives an echo of that sentiment.
May we encourage people to heed Godís Word, accept the salvation He has provided at such a great cost to Himself, and respond to His love before they face everlasting judgment.