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Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 236: The LORD is my portion

Today's Reading: Lamentations 1:1-3:36

The prophet Jeremiah begins his sorrowful weeping as he pens the book of Lamentations. As we read this mournful poem, we see that Israel has been stripped within and without.

Many of us have had friends who seem to have Job-like lives. It seems they can not absorb one piece of grief before another is knocking at their doors. Though Jeremiah acknowledges the wrath of God is just, he still, with compassion, cries for the destruction of Israel. It is pitiable to watch the consequences of bad choices begin to live themselves out.

Israel stands now naked, stripped of all her former glory, marched into exile, empty of all that is pleasing. Her inheritance has been squandered, much like that of the Prodigal Son. She is compared to a widow, who has no station or protection in life. She owns no property, she has no title, she has no honor, she has no blessing.

She has become like one without an inheritance and thrown out of the household. She has nothing, except one thing.

The LORD is my portion.

The LORD is now all she can see as her inheritance. No longer will silver, gold, wisdom, knowledge or glory be on her head. When they read the will, Israel receives the dusty treasure hidden in the attic.

The LORD is my portion.

And what a treasure this is, for it is more than sufficient.

Many people love the hymn, Amazing Grace. The first verse is memorized by even those who do not know or trust in God. But a wonderful verse, often left out of hymnals, has crept into my heart and claimed a special place. It gives me hope and piece in the midst of sorrowful situations.

The LORD has promised good to me
His Word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

This passage in Lamentations from the pen of Jeremiah has comforted many souls as they have faced trials, consequences or suffering. This portion of God's Word, though often neglected, has had its truth sneak into our favorite hymns.

With our brothers and sisters in ages past, let us declare with Jeremiah, "Great is thy faithfulness."

The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

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