'My soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is......
The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,'
'therefore I will hope in him.'
(Church in Wales Lectionary, from the New Revised Standard Version)
Lamentations was likely written by Jeremiah, and shows him lamenting over the city of Jerusalem. In 597 BCE King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, and eventually installed Zedekiah as a vassal king of Judah. However, Zedekiah revolted against Babylon and entered into an alliance with Pharaoh. The result is another siege by Nebuchadnezzar. Lamentations describes the dreadful life in the city. Children were begging for food, and young men and women were being killed by the sword in the streets.
Jeremiah believes that all this devastation has been sent by God because of the nation's disobedience, yet despite this he suddenly makes the most amazing statement of faith in God, as we see above. His words have lasted down the centuries, and are still frequently used.
Today, in the midst of global troubles we need to take note that the steadfast love of the Lord for His people, never ceases!
at this time of a pandemic
which has touched our whole world,
we pray for all governments
and all seeking to deal with its effects,
as well as doctors and nurses caring for the sick.
Keep us firm in the belief that Your love
for Your people never ceases,
and bring us safe through this time.