Lamentations 3 opens with the phrase, “I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath. What a powerful statement that is! I don’t know if this chapter is the story of a man or of a nation, but nevertheless, it is a story of strong judgment and affliction. The interesting and thought provoking point of this chapter is the two interludes of the grace of God. The first one is found in Lamentations 3:21-26 and the second one is Lamentations 3:55-57.
In addition, there is hope for the chastened in Lamentations 3:31-33. “… though he cause grief, he will have compassion…”
I find it very interesting the parallel contrasts both yesterday and today in the coresponding readings of Lamentations and Psalms: judgment and grace, pain, sorrow, and affliction versus joy, praise and testimony.
Today’s reading in Psalms 34 is full of hope. Ps. 34:1-4 is the praise and testimony of a man who has experienced the glory of God.
Ps. 34:8 – “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” This is a call to experience God Himself, not just His blessing but God Himself. When life is tough and hard, I can find refuge in God alone. That is the most likely time that I will experience the blessing shared by the psalmist in verse 8.
Ps. 34:10 seems like a promise that I want to grab onto right now: “…but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. ” I must remember that it is God who defines what is a good thing.
Ps. 32:15, Ps. 34:17, and Ps. 34:19 all refer to the righteous and the promises of God that pertain to the righteous. What makes a man righteous? Is it my works? Is the nature of my heart? No, it is the saving work of the Saviour alone that makes a man righteous before God (Romans 3:21-22).