Jeff Weinkauf


Lamentations 1:1-2

[a]How the Lord has covered Daughter Zion with the cloud of his anger[b]! He has hurled down the splendor of Israel from heaven to earth; he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.

2Without pity the Lord has swallowed up all the dwellings of Jacob; in his wrath he has torn down the strongholds of Daughter Judah. He has brought her kingdom and its princes down to the ground in dishonor.


I’ve decided, I like happy endings. I’m a fan of it all working out well. I liked Star Wars, but was NOT crazy about The Empire Strikes back. Why? Because in the former the good guys win, and the bad guys loose. But in the later the BAD guys seem to win. Not a fan. I think this principle can extend to my spiritual life as well. Rushing past Good Friday and leaning into Easter morning, “skimming” books like Ecclesiastes and Lamentations. I want it to work out, and the good news is, it does.

But just because it all works out – does not mean we’re spared some pain along the way. The end gives me hope, but doesn’t give me a pass from correction when it’s needed. God’s plan to redeem humanity though Jesus didn’t mean the Israelites could all go along, doing what ever we want to. In fact no resistance equals little to no growth.

It reminds me a little of the story of the bio-dome trees. These are the trees planted inside a sealed dome in Arizona as part of a “perfect” human atmosphere. This controlled environment had what was thought to be the ideal growing conditions for plants etc. What happened though was that after trees reached a certain height, they would just fall over. Why? What was missing in this ideal world? Resistance. It turns out there was no wind in the bio-dome. Because there was no wind, no resistance, the roots of the trees did not grow deep. So after the trees grew and became top heavy they would simply fall.

Physical trainers know this concept too – climbing the same mountain over and over does not continue to grow endurance and muscle mass. After a point the body get’s used to the work out, and with out new challenges, new resistance growth is not sustained.

Which takes me back to todays reading. The Israelites are hurting like a child whose just been spanked and sent to their room. It’s ugly, there’s no dessert, and definitely no TV or computer time after dinner. Looks like no friends will be coming over to play this week either. The big hammer is coming down. It’s at the point where it’s a little depressing to read. I know the ending but I’m a little sad reading this part.

According to Hebrew’s 12:6 though, discipline is a sign of God’s love and investment in us. When we need correction He will give it. In verse two it uses the words “with out pity”. At first that seems a bit cruel, but reading it a second time it’s apt. The judgment is due the rebellion. There have been chances, there have been reprieves, now it’s time to pay.

God’s not holding back on purpose. I think about my own kids and how (when they were young) I wanted to spare them punishment, they were so cute, I even tried to reason with them, but often they did their own thing anyway. It wasn’t until “hammer time” they found the boundary was real and corrected towards it. It was often in those times too when we noticed a fortitude was being built in them.


So what’s the point? I think it’s this – A life with out correction is wasted, it seems to mint narcissistic people who cant’ see past “me” and what I want. To steal from Dr Lehman “we’re not doing our kids any favors by being overly permissive”.

That’s a principle played out in today’s reading. God is bringing the whole punishment, the whole correction down even though these are His chosen people. Even though he will redeem all of us, He does this because He wont let those He loves just fade away with out his corrective touch.

SO even though I don’t like the tension of the story, even though it’s painful to read. I will leave today’s reading with hope. Because God disciplines and strengthens those He loves.


God, I submit to your correction and to your direction. Thank you for the resistance you add to grow us and make our roots strong. In Jesus name Amen!

Devotions for September 09

Lamentations 1,2
Revelation 14

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