Blog purpose – to dig around in the rich fertile soil of the Old Testament and draw out relevant, practical applications for 21st Century living.
Read Lamentations 3:22-23
Just what is the “eye of the hurricane”?
The eye is a region of mostly calm weather found at the center of strong tropical cyclones. In other words, it is a place in the middle of a fierce cyclone or hurricane where it is eerily quiet and calm.
In the midst of a crazy storm, there is actually a place of peace or calm. Sound like your day or mine? Things are out of control; yet in the midst of the chaos a peace overtakes you. A peace that passes all understanding.
Before we delve into the fertile soil of the Old Testament, I’d like to give you a quick view into Hebrew writing style and symbols. Acrostics were a very popular form in the ancient days that helped in memorizing and/or passing on truth to the next generation.
Examples? Proverbs 31:10-31 talking about the virtuous woman. If you were to view this passage in the Hebrew language, you would notice that there are 22 traits described. There also happens to be 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. So, as moms would teach their daughters about being a virtuous woman, they would literally be teaching them the ABCs or, better yet, the ABGs (Aleph Bet Gimmels) of how to be that type of woman.
Psalm 119 is another great example – 22 sections of 8 verses. Each verse in each section begins with the same letter of the alphabet. In other words, all verses in the first section begin with the letter “Aleph”, all verses in the second section with the letter “Bet” and so on. How cool is that?
Another place where an acrostic is found is the book of Lamentations. Open to Lamentations. Okay, before I give it away, what do you notice about the structure of the five chapters? I’m waiting. Don’t worry; I’ve got plenty of time. Take a look.
Yup. You’re right. Five chapters in the book. Chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5 each have 22 verses.
So, what does that mean? Each verse in those chapters begins with one of the Hebrew letters of the alphabet.
Notice anything different about the third chapter? Bingo. There are 66 verses, made up of 3 sections of 22. Yup! Each section contains the whole alphabet as the beginning letter for each verse.
Why an acrostic in Lamentations? The book was written as a way to express national grief after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Perhaps God wanted Israel to have an easy way commit to memory the truth about their storm but also His presence in the midst of that storm.
I find it quite fascinating that Lamentations 3:22-23, some of the most encouraging verses of the Bible, are found where? Smack dab in the middle of a book of Israel’s lamenting. Where is the eye of the hurricane? Smack dab in the middle of a chaotic, destructive storm.
What are some 21st Century applications?
- Storms are inevitable. No matter how we pray or hope or wish, often times God teaches us huge lessons during times of storms.
- Even in the greatest storms of your life, there is a place of uncanny, unfathomable peace – resting next to God’ heart.
- This peace in the middle of the storm isn’t cooked up by our PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). No, it is the power and presence of God in your life.
- Right now, you may be in the midst of your biggest storm ever. Know that even there, peace is available – Philippians 4:6-7; John 16:33.
- God’s eye is on you in the eye of the storm!