“The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him” (Lamentations 3:25). The year is about 586 B.C. and Jeremiah laments that Jerusalem is in ruins as a result of the Babylonian invasion. Jerusalem was once a great city, but now because the people had departed from God’s way the city is in ruins both physically and spiritually. “How lonely sits the city that was full of people. How like a widow is she. Who was great among the nations. The princess among the provinces has become a slave” (Lamentations 1:1). Jeremiah is lamenting the fact that this once great city has now become enslaved. He laments how the people of God are suffering physically, but as a result of their spiritual decay. “Jerusalem has sinned gravely, therefore she has become vile” (Lamentations 1:8). The failure to remain faithful unto God was the reason that Jerusalem suffered the invasion and was enslaved. Yet through it all the faithful prophet of God who begged the people to repent and be faithful says that his portion and hope is in the Lord.
Jeremiah did not give up the faith in spite of the fact that the majority of the people went the way of the world. His portion and hope was not in the nation itself, but it was in God. His portion and hope was not in the people, but it was in God. The Babylonians had completely destroyed Jerusalem including the Temple of God that Solomon had built some 400 years earlier. This all came about because of the failure to walk in the way of the Lord time and time again throughout the years. An example such as “Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols, and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass” (2 Chronicles 24:18). In reality the Temple had become only a hollow representation of what Judah had been. Jeremiah knew the reason for all of this, but still it was difficult to accept and so he cries out in lamentation.
We as Christians living some 2,500 years later should also say that the Lord is our portion and that our hope is in him. The people of God in the Old Testament often became enamored with the societies and nations around them and the materialism that was available and turned from God. That same danger exists today for Christians. It is so easy to become dependent upon the material blessings and government and military and so many other things rather than saying like Jeremiah did “The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him” (Lamentations 3:25).
by Wayne Brewer