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Lamentations 5, Psalm 43

That last chapter of Lamentations begins with a list of humiliating experiences God’s people endure in their captivity and exile. This shows the multitude of problems that God has brought on Israel. This list crescendos into one insult, “for Mount Zion, which lies desolate, with jackals prowling over it.” (Lamentations 5:18) We can easily miss the point. Mount Zion is God’s holy mountain, the place where King David was to dwell, and God’s rule made known. These insults that God has brought upon Israel, as the writer is inferring, also brings insult upon God. This ending plea for the everlasting God to relent and show favor once again is founded upon the seriousness of the honor due the Lord of the Universe. Lament comes from a heart broken, but like all Bibical prayers, makes petitions based on God’s character. God will not be mocked, and if those who experience mockery due the hand of God see how God’s goodness and name are at stake with the tragedies around them, it makes complete sense to bring this to the Lord’s attention in prayer. When we lament, cry out, or ask God for favor, we ultimately rest our pleas on the scriptural insistence that the glory of the Lord must be honored. So we pray in our evil days, especially for the church that God would see our internal destruction and our external derision and move to purify us from within by the Holy Spirit to display the glory of Jesus. Our days are evil, but we pray, “Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old.” (Lamentations 5:21)

Jeremiah Vaught