"Put your mouth in the dust, for there alone is your hope." (Lamentations 3:29).
In the broken world in which we live, experiencing the pain of things gone wrong is shared by all. Shattered marriages, burst dreams, broken friendships, moral failures, and tragic loss are unfortunately too common. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of his own pain of personal failure in Lamentations 3, and gives us a peek as to the only hope for the broken.
"Put your mouth in the dust."
This is an ancient expression that conveys a suppliant and humble submission to God's dealings as righteous and loving in design. When wrong actions lead to painful consequences, "put your mouth in the dust" for your hope. Charles Spurgeon comments on this verse: "I do believe that some of you are in darkness much longer than you need to be, because you do not stoop to a humble confession of your sins." We often fight to keep our heads high to hide our faults, when the injunction from God is to go low.
"Put your mouth in the dust" also means we make ourselves lower than anyone else. We Christians are in adulterous love with Mistress Somebody. "Well, I may be guilty of this, but I'm not nearly as bad as So-and-So." Mistress Somebody can only be seen when the eyes are and the head are up. You can't look at her when the mouth is eating dust.
I received a message this morning from a young woman with a marvelous testimony of healing and hope in her marriage. She writes: "I've tried to get my husband to come to church with me the past fourteen years. It was a huge expectation I had for him. I tried asking, begging, guilt trips, throwing fits etc. My dad was a man always in church, and I expected my husband to be there too. I heard your sermon awhile back dealing and decided to do what I had heard you say -- work on myself and my spiritual relationship -- and just pray for my husband. The other day I invited him to come, but this time told him I loved him no matter his decision. I told him I wouldn't hold it against him if he didn't come. He actually came!"
"Put your mouth in the dust, for there alone is your hope."
When our mouths are in the dust, we have nothing to say of ourselves, nothing to claim for ourselves, nothing to boast of in ourselves. With our mouths in the dust, our thoughts can only be on the Lord, and our boast must be in Him.
This morning, at the beginning of a new week, it is my desire to "put my mouth in the dust" for my hope to be in the Lord Jesus alone.