Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird. They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me; the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. I called on your name, Lord , from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life. Lord , you have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause! You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me. Lord , you have heard their insults, all their plots against me— what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long. Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs. Pay them back what they deserve, Lord , for what their hands have done. Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them! Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the Lord. – Lamentations 3:52-66
This passage hearkens back to the book of Jeremiah where Jeremiah is described being placed in a muddy cistern to die by people opposed to his message. This happens with the approval of the leaders of the day, specifically King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 38:1-13). Back in Jeremiah I reflected on the similarities between Jeremiah’s “lowering” and Jesus’ coming to earth. This passage contains some of the same imagery and meaning, but it also seems to add a new layer or two about what our role as followers of these “lowered leaders” should be.
The author of this lament (perhaps Jeremiah) calls out from the “depths of the pit”. In the book of Jeremiah it seemed like “the pit” was a metaphorical reference to our earthly existence. I am not saying that all of life here on earth is like a muddy pit from a physical perspective, but from a spiritual perspective it is a place where our souls can become mired in mud.
I really like God’s response to the call for help from the “pit”. He “came near” when the author called, and I can testify that God still does this. God shows up when we confidently call on His name. He comes near to us. So it seems the key is to responding to calamity and adversity here in the “pit” is to call out to God rather than cursing. God “takes up our case” and redeems the lives of those who trust and call on Him. What does it look like to call out to God and what does it mean to Redeem someone’s life?
It strikes me that calling out to God is more of a posture than a specific action. We call out to God with our souls rather than our voices. God came to redeem us with His very soul in the form of a Man named Jesus. Our response from “the pit” should be one of continual conversation and commitment even when we feel like we are still stuck in the mud.
Prayer: Thank You God for rescuing our souls that have become mired in mud here on earth.