THE LAMENT OF ZION
BUT ZION SAID, THE LORD HATH FORSAKEN ME, AND MY LORD HATH FORGOTTEN ME. ISAIAH 49:14
The LORD has clearly promised to never leave or forsake those whom HE calls HIS children or HIS elect. In fact we read in this very passage from which we take our text that HE says, even though a nursing mother may forget her child (as unlikely as that may be) yet HE will never forget or cast off those whom HE loves with an everlasting love. "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." (Isa. 49:15-
By nature all men are convinced that the blessings and judgements of GOD are dispensed according to their faithfulness, relative to one another. (see Luke 13:1-
Paul preached to the believers at Antioch "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22) This "tribulation" can take on many forms but it is certain that all of GOD's children shall be exercised by troubles of one sort or other in their journey to the celestial city. The LORD JESUS said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." (John 16:33) Paul told Timothy, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2Tim.3:12)
Sometimes the "tribulations" and "persecutions" of GOD's children are external. These are administered to them by others who physically abuse them, sometimes even unto death. Paul recounts his own persecution of the early saints before his conversion in Acts 22:4. (see Acts 7:58; 8;3; 9:1) History itself records for us the horrific persecutions and tortures which many of the true sons of GOD have endured for HIS name's sake down through the annals of time. Those types of "persecutions" are clearly seen and such tribulation as this cannot be mistaken. Even though the degree of physical suffering may be much greater to those who are called upon to endure such troubles, yet the reality of "tribulation" is no less a fact to all of GOD's little ones who are privileged to walk in more civil and outwardly peaceful times. All of GOD's children are called upon to endure "tribulation".
When the word "tribulation" is mentioned in our day, the minds of many are immediately turned to think of an imaginary "period of time" which the dispensationalists have dubbed the "great tribulation". The tribulation of which we speak, which the sons of GOD are called upon to endure has nothing to do with "prophecy" nor "ages to come".
All of the "tribulations" and "troubles" which befall the sons of GOD are ordained by HIM for their benefit because it is impossible that HE should ever cause anything to transpire for their hurt. (see Ps.91:10-
It is as a result of these times of vexation of spirit and wanderings of the mind that HE is often pleased to lift up their heads with joy as HE brings to their minds a remembrance of HIS great and precious promises. We cannot appreciate the depth of HIS blessings apart from a genuine acquaintance with the depravity of our own nature. The glibness and shallow character of modern "Christianity" is a manifestation of a lack of such an acquaintance. The average so called "believer" today has no understanding of the furnace through which the genuine sons of GOD are carried through. He cannot imagine what would ever prompt the sons of GOD to lament the day of their birth as Job and Jeremiah did. (see Job 3:1-
The true sons of GOD, however, can never be satisfied with such a fire but are compelled to cry out to the LORD for warmth and light. (see Isa.50:10) They are quite convinced that "Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." (Psa 127:1) The power of positive thinking offers no comfort for those whose hope is in CHRIST alone. That man who is acquainted with his own dark heart knows that the LORD should cast HIM off daily and would not be surprised if HE did except that that same gracious LORD is pleased to apply the sweet healing balm of the gospel to his very soul and allay his fears and give him strength to stand.
For this very reason the LORD of great mercy has ordained that the gospel be preached as a "healing for the nations". (see Rev.22:2; Ezek.47:8-