Lamentations 3:52-57 :
They have chased me relentlessly like a bird,
those who are my enemies without cause.
They have cut off my life in the dungeon,
and have cast a stone on me.
Waters flowed over my head.
I said, “I am cut off.”
I called on your name, Yahweh,
out of the lowest dungeon.
You heard my voice:
“Don’t hide your ear from my sighing,
and my cry.”
You came near in the day that I called on you.
You said, “Don’t be afraid.”
As I read this passage again, I realized that enemies of Israel walk a very thin line. There’s only one good reason to be Israel’s enemy, and that’s if the God of Israel tells you that you must. Any other reason is not a good one. This passage tells us that Israel had “enemies without cause.” That tells me that they were attacking Israel for their own reasons without regard to God’s will. I’ve talked about this quite a bit as we have read the prophesies against Israel’s enemies, but it is very revealing that God tells us that they were taking advantage of God’s will to do their own, rather than simply being obedient to God in the matter. That’s something that we should also avoid. Our flesh can deceive us and make us think because something is good to do, that we are doing it for the right reasons. Even when we do something good, we must continue to rely on God’s power to do those things, otherwise we may fail to actually be doing those things with the right attitude.
The most wonderful thing about this passage is the fact that God was listening to the cry of His people. It clearly says here that “You came near in the day that I called on you.” Obviously, God wasn’t ignoring His people as was written just a few lines earlier. It just felt that way.
One of the most common messages that God brings to man is repeated here. It is: “Don’t be afraid.” Rarely a day goes by that I’m not afraid of something. The fact that God says this to us so often, tells me that fear is a serious problem for all of us. That’s one of the interesting things about sheep. They are pretty easily spooked. We are like sheep to God and He kindly reminds us to not be afraid, even after we have done wrong. In a sense, Lamentations has been an expression of fear that culminates in this wonderful three words. When we worry, we can really make life complicated but God shows us that the way forward is to simply keep trusting in Him.