February 24, 2013
READ: Lamentations 5:1-22
But Lord, You remain the same forever! Your throne continues from generation to generation (v.19).
I didn’t realise how far I was removed from reality until I read The Hunger Games. It jolted me into doing some research. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates for 2010, there are about 925 million hungry people in the world. That means 13.6 percent of the world population, or almost 1 in 7 people regularly experience hunger.
With so many modern comforts within our grasp, I’ve been lulled into thinking that the world I live in is how everyone lives. Sadly, that’s not true. Hunger, oppression and injustice plague many parts of our planet today.
Reading the book of Lamentations can give us a point of entry into the experience of those who have suffered the death of a nation and the agony of utter despair. In vivid details, Jeremiah describes for us the state of Jerusalem after the Babylonians destroyed it. The Israelites lost not only their land, but also their homes and inheritance (5:2). In every household it was likely that a family member was missing (v.3). Cold, thirst and exhaustion were the new norms (v.4). Hope had flickered out. Fear plagued all—from the women to the princes, young men to the children (vv.11-13). Life was no longer the same (v.14).
Amid the gloom and despair, Jeremiah cried out, “But Lord, You remain the same forever! Your throne continues from generation to generation” (v.19).
We’re reminded that though the suffering of the present seems more real than the possibility of redemption in the future, God’s love and faithfulness remain. Let’s pray and reach out to the brokenhearted today, that they might discover this heartwarming truth. For as someone once said, “The best fruit of anyone’s mourning is his praying to God.” —Poh Fang Chia
Read Psalm 33:12-22 for the message of hope that we can share with the destitute.
How do you think the world you live in might be different from other parts of the world? How can you expand your understanding and empathy for those who are struggling beyond your country’s borders?