I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. (Lam. 3:19–20)
Expanded Passage: Lamentations 3:19-20
In Vienna, Austria, a large block of stone sits as a memorial in the middle of the city. This simple, eye-catching stone statue is a reminder of the heavy and horrifying days of the Holocaust, a dark time in Austria’s history when many Jews were tortured and killed by the Nazis. The monument ensures that all who see it will recall the atrocity of the evils committed, as well as the consequences and pain that followed.
As Austrians intentionally remember the heavy affliction and pain that came with the evil acts committed by their ancestors, they are reminded of the consequences of their past mistakes. Jeremiah, the author of Lamentations, recalled the pain and bitter violence during the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. This destruction resulted from Israel’s disobedient and rebellious wandering from their covenant with God. Although remembering such hurts can be a difficult experience, it helps to prevent repeating past mistakes.
Austrians remember the hurt and brokenness that came out of the Holocaust, and by etching it into their memory, they ensure that they will not allow that dark time in their history to be repeated. In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah mourned the hurt his people endured because of their disobedience. Similarly, we must remember the weight of the consequences of our mistakes in order to repent and learn from them.
Remember the consequences of living outside God’s will.
Grace Aukerman is a recent Kingswood University graduate who is passionate about coffee and about sharing God’s truth through the written word.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.