Lamentations 3: 34-36
The invaders were relentless and brutal. They overran the defenses of their victims. They destroyed structures that were important and sacred to the people. They suppressed rights, removed the government, and even carted prisoners into exile in the invaders' homeland.
The same thing is happening in Ukraine today, but I'm talking about when the Babylonians overran Jerusalem, crushing Judah and leaving shambles and rubble behind them. This is the land that Jeremiah occupied when writing Lamentations.
Here is the last in a series of devotionals on Lamentations 3: 19-36. In today's text from Lamentations 3: 34-36, we're reminded that God sees injustice and will rectify such injustice.
To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land,
to deny people their rights before the Most High,
to deprive them of justice — would not the Lord see such things?
When Jeremiah writes that the Lord sees injustice, he is also implying that the time will come when God acts against such injustice. Before the fall of Jerusalem, Jeremiah warned that the time of destruction was on its way but also previewed God's actions to overturn injustice (Jeremiah 9: 24).
I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Things don't happen immediately in life the way we want them to. In Lamentations, Jeremiah sits in a time of oppression and cries out for justice. The Lord will indeed answer - later. That is the promise that we must wait for when we suffer injustice.
Part of our waiting is on the Lord, and part of our waiting is on humans to act righteously. Some of us suffer from poverty. Some suffer from discrimination. Some are denied rights. Some are not given a voice. Some are imprisoned incorrectly. Some are brutalized. Some grow up in a space where there is seemingly no hope for change.
This is not God's will. He envisions a world where "there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3: 28) Humans are the ones who oppress others. The Lord's will is that we prioritize action against oppression and injustice in all forms, as we read in Amos 5: 21-24:
I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.
The Lord promises justice to the oppressed. But it's a promise that we must participate in as well.
Cecil Taylor Ministries publishes at least 10 devotionals/blog per month. To read past devotionals and blogs, please check out CecilTaylorMinistries.com/blog. There are also dozens of video devotionals available. Please click on "Devotional Archives" at CecilTaylorMinistries.com/free-content.