Quiet Time Coaching Episode 489 | New Thing Series — Part 44 | “Nehemiah’s Lament – Part 2” | Malcolm Cox

A new thing! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to your daily devotional podcast anchored in Isaiah 43:19: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’

We are currently looking at God doing a new thing in the life of Nehemiah. Today we explore Nehemiah’s lament. After hearing the terrible news about Judah and Jerusalem, Nehemiah responds with a prayer of lament.

“When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments;” (Nehemiah 1:4-5 NRSV)

Yesterday we talked about the background to lament. The Bible is soaked in it because it deals with real life, and not some airy-fairy fantasy of how things should be. God and his people engage with the reality of what things are truly like.

Nehemiah’s Lament

  • His lament is deep. It goes on for many days.
  • He addresses God directly – Nehemiah is not talking to himself
  • He acknowledges the awesome nature of God – He is the one with the power to change things
  • He recalls that God is faithful and loving – He is the one who cares even more than Nehemiah

For Reflection
A faithful lament is not simply a complaint, but taking what is painful to God. Praise and lament go together. They deepen one another.

“Within the believing community, lament without praise…would not be a lament addressed to YHWH, but the ‘atheist howl’ for which it sometimes is mistaken. Praise without lament…would be frivolous and self-deceptive – not a praise to God, but merely rejoicing in good luck, or a triumph of projection.” Evoking Lament, Eva Harasta and Brian Brock

“…lament deepens praise because it does not envy or deface it, but instead humbly lets itself be embraced by it.” Evoking Lament, Eva Harasta and Brian Brock

Why not take some time today to praise God while holding something ‘broken’ before God at the same time?

I hope you find your heart, your life, your congregation and your world inspired by God doing a new thing. Until tomorrow, take care, and God bless.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License