Meditation Mondays: God's Wrath and the Gospel
Lamentations 3:43-45 (ESV)
43 “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,
killing without pity;
44 you have wrapped yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through.
45 You have made us scum and garbage
among the peoples.
The prophet Jeremiah in the verses previous to this passage acknowledged his people's guilt before God. Now we see that God is righteous to execute His justice because God is Holy and His standard will not be compromised. The Lord used the Babylonians to judge rebellious Jerusalem. Now, the Babylonians were evil and their deeds were evil and ruthless, but God used them as pawns to accomplish His good and godly purpose for those in Jerusalem. He distributed justice and ultimately humbled His people and brought them to Himself.
There was also a distance in the midst of Jerusalem's judgment. God made Himself inaccessible in some shape, form, or fashion. Prayers were hindered. God felt distant. But what could have been described as distance could also be described as wrath. God brought His people low so that they could see their sin, repent of sin, and turn to Him alone for deliverance.
Christ ultimately experienced the wrath and anger of our just God so that believers never had to experience it. Christ experienced a killing without pity on the cross- a death we deserved. Christ experienced distance when He cried out "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) and now we are invited to come boldly before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). Christ was made scum and garbage among the peoples so that sinners could be elevated to the status of sons and daughters.
So when you read and meditate on passages like this, turn and thank God for loving you so much, He sent Jesus and sealed you with His Spirit.