Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SIH’s Think On These Things: Lamentations 3:21-22

Lam 3:21-22 (KJV)

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  [It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

To understand our verses for this study we need to remember their context.  Jeremiah was weeping over the nation of Judah as they are taken over and ravaged by the Empire of Babylon.   Why did this happen to them?   It was the direct result of habitual sin and rebellion they had committed against Almighty God.

What could they do to save themselves?  Would their past military power in the days of King David, the wealth of Solomon, or all the alliances they had made with Gentile nations be of any help to them?  Of course not.  Based upon human observation and reasoning there was NO hope left for the nation of Judah.  It was as if Jeremiah was witnessing the permanent end of the people of God.     

Although from worldly observation Judah was at her end with no hope in site, Jeremiah declared plainly that there was hope… “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.   What was it that Jeremiah was remembering that gave him such hope?  [It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  Jeremiah found comfort in remembering two attributes of Jehovah God… His mercies and His compassions…

1.  His mercies – this refers to Jehovah’s willingness to withhold harm from those who deserve to be harmed. Salvation from the punishment of our sins is the greatest act of God’s mercy we have recorded in the Scriptures.

2.  His compassion – this refers to the “tender love” of Jehovah.  It is a love that comes from deep within us making it an unconditional love and acceptance of those who are not acceptable to, nor loved by, others.   Once again our salvation, when He accepted us even though we were unacceptable is the greatest example of His compassion.

Folks, there are many of us who are facing trials and difficulties that seem to be overwhelming to us.  But to make matters worse, we recognize that some of these trials can be directly traced back to sin that we have committed against our Lord.  We have allowed those sins to fester and dwell in our lives.  This only leads to trials and heartaches in the life of the saint. 

As we face the results of our sin, there may seem to be no help in sight, and all hope is lost.  Please remember, if you are feeling this way, our Lord is a Lord of mercy and compassion.   He has already died and suffered for these sins.  We have been forgiven and these sins are covered by His blood.  What are we to do? 1 John 1:8-9 clearly tells us of our need to confess these sins;  and accept His forgiveness that we have already been granted …

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

And remember, because of this time of chastening, the Lord is promising us a future of healing and continued service for Him… Heb 12:11-13 (KJV)

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

There is always forgiveness and hope for the people of God. 

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

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