Prayer for the day
Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Scripture for the day
The book of Lamentations is certainly true to its name. It takes up the cry that Jeremiah began, lifting voices to heaven in wailing lament, sorrowing for the loss of the land, the destruction of the cities, and the exile of the people. The vivid imagery of Lamentations lays before the reader the picture of a land left to rot, a people displaced, and a country absolutely decimated. The interesting thing is that this destruction, while we would think of it as done by enemy countries, is ultimately attributed to God as His punishment of the people for their sins.
Lamentations weeps over the failure of the people to be the people of God, instead following other gods and other ways, breaking the law and breaking the heart of God, so that their punishment is righteous and just. They are destroyed by their sin, and exile is the appropriate response.
Yet Hebrews continues to offer hope that this is not the final word on the matter. The book of Hebrews recounts the problem with the law of God, not that the law is unrighteous, but that the law requires righteousness. The righteous living it was designed to enforce was impossible for the people because they were people, because it set standards that they didn’t even want to keep to most of the time. The law was not evil, it simply exposed evil for what it was.
The transgression of the law, then, is still evil and awful, but we now have a sacrificial system that will do something about it: Jesus Christ, in his death, was the sacrifice that no other sacrifice could be, and accomplished what no other sacrifice could: the death of the power of sin.
Praise God for the sacrifice that destroys the power of sin.