Day 11: When God Turns Away from Man

Lamentations 3:1-9 :

I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of his wrath.
He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness,
and not in light.
Surely he turns his hand against me
again and again all day long.

He has made my flesh and my skin old.
He has broken my bones.
He has built against me,
and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me dwell in dark places,
as those who have been long dead.

He has walled me about, so that I can’t go out.
He has made my chain heavy.
Yes, when I cry, and call for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
He has walled up my ways with cut stone.
He has made my paths crooked.

This part of the Bible teaches us that it is important to consider what it is like when God is against you. It’s important that we not think of God as a big Santa Clause in the sky. God isn’t just there for us. We were made by Him and for Him. God is there for us in a sense that He loves us and wants to help us, but He isn’t a tool in our hands to be used for our own desire. Our will was intended to be subjected to His. When we consider the true nature of God, we must consider His wrath and anger because it is real. His wrath is what we get when we choose to make ourselves greater than He is.

There are several things that a man experiences when God turns against him that are represented in this passage. One is that they walk in darkness. I take that to mean that his life becomes hopeless in that he can’t see around him anymore. Another thing mentioned here is that he becomes unhealthy. God is always involved in the processes of our body that keep us well. He also mentions that God surrounds him with “bitterness and hardship.” He says that it’s like having a heavy chain on him. He mentions that God puts up walls in his path and makes his paths crooked. This reminds me to thank God when my day is going smoothly. It is God who holds the power to change our smooth days into difficult ones.

I think that the worst thing in this passage is that God no longer listens to prayer when a man is in this condition. This is a place that none of us should ever be in, but it’s good for us to consider what it is like. If a man chooses to ignore God and His mercy, all that is left is to suffer alone and without hope. God hasn’t provided a way for man to walk independently of Him and end up well. Those who choose to rebel against God, are choosing to not have their prayers answered and that very well may be the very worst part of going to Hell. In this life, hope is always in the back of our minds, but when God finally turns His back on you, all hope is gone.