Rev. Sean Daenzer, director of worship for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and chaplain for the International Center, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Lamentations 3:1-18.
The third poem in Lamentations begins in a way that invites the question: “Who is the man?” Certainly Jeremiah and any individual resident of Jerusalem could lament in the way this poem begins. Each one recognized the calamity God had brought upon Judah for her idolatry and rebellion. The LORD had brought darkness upon His people and besieged them. The LORD had blocked out their prayers and acted as a wild animal in wait of His prey. The LORD had afflicted His people as a warrior against His enemies, such that the poem despairs of hope in its lowest moment. Yet that moment prepares for the turn back to the LORD because the lamentation remains a prayer. What else can Christians do when all is sorrow and trouble but cry out to the LORD in lamentation? He joins us in our sorrow by the incarnation of the Son of God. Jesus shows Himself to be the Man who suffers with us and for us, and by His suffering and death, redeems us from our sin.
“Mercy for Mourners” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Lamentations. As Jeremiah and the people of Judah mourn over the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, they acknowledge God’s just wrath against them, confess their iniquity, and plead for His deliverance. In this way, the book of Lamentations teaches us to pray in repentance and faith so that we would see Christ as the One who has taken the wrath of God on Himself in our place to deliver us by His death and resurrection.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Great Is Your Faithfulness
3 I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
2 he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
3 surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long.
4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
he has broken my bones;
5 he has besieged and enveloped me
with bitterness and tribulation;
6 he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead of long ago.
7 He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;
he has made my chains heavy;
8 though I call and cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer;
9 he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones;
he has made my paths crooked.
10 He is a bear lying in wait for me,
a lion in hiding;
11 he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces;
he has made me desolate;
12 he bent his bow and set me
as a target for his arrow.
13 He drove into my kidneys
the arrows of his quiver;
14 I have become the laughingstock of all peoples,
the object of their taunts all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitterness;
he has sated me with wormwood.
16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness[a] is;
18 so I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the Lord.”
- Lamentations 3:17 Hebrew good
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.