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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Lamentations

  |   Words of Grace

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.   Lamentations 3:22-23

 

First, two preliminary things:

 

  1. Most people aren’t aware that there even is a short Book in the Bible called “Lamentations”.

 

  1. Even more people aren’t aware that the official name of this Book is “The Lamentations of Jeremiah”.

 

The Lamentations of Jeremiah are a group of five poems, believed to have been written by the prophet Jeremiah, concerning the downfall of the southern kingdom of Judah, the destruction of Jerusalem, and Judah’s captivity by the Babylonians. They are called ‘laments’ because Jeremiah – the Weeping Prophet – agonizes over the fall and captivity of the southern kingdom.

 

Despite the sadness and grief of Jeremiah over the captivity of his people, he still prophesizes the Lord’s great love and concern over his people, and how the Lord, in His grace and timing will eventually deliver His people.

 

These two verses from chapter three of Lamentations are the basis for the great hymn of the church, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. Here’s the chorus:

 

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

 

Let’s read our verses one more time:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness.

 

Besides these two verses being wonderfully comforting words of faith concerning the Lord’s daily new and fresh mercy towards us, there is something very interesting that most people bypass. They love the words “great love”, “compassion never fail” “new every morning”, and “great is Your faithfulness”, but no one talks about the “we are not consumed” part. Hmm, I’m guessing you’re thinking, “Not sure I ever saw that before!”

 

Well, remember (as we should always do when we are reading and interpreting scripture) what the context is. Who is Jeremiah writing to? He is writing to the disobedient and now captured Israelites from the southern kingdom of Judah. What is Jeremiah’s purpose in writing this verse? The Judahites are obviously discouraged and are fearful that they will be completely annihilated, destroyed, or ‘consumed’ by the Babylonians.

 

Yes, they are afraid that they will be consumed – destroyed – by their enemies. But let’s not forget why they have been captured by their enemies: it is because of this rebellion, disobedience, worship of false gods, and their refusal to worship the One True God. So their destruction is not only possible, but because of the just and holy wrath of God, it is deserved.

 

BUT Jeremiah is reminding the captured children of God to think back – to remember what kind of God they have been called to serve – even though they aren’t serving Him. What kind of God do they serve? A God who, as stated in Micah 7:18, “You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy”. The Lord delights to show His children mercy.

 

So, they will not be consumed because of the Lord’s great love for Israel; because His compassions never fail; because His mercies are new every morning; and because He is and always will be a Great and Faithful God, who can be counted on to always be Who He is.

 

And this is relevant to you and I today because:

Romans 3:23 “….for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”.

Ephesians 2:1-3 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

 

We deserve to be consumed – eternally punished for our sins, disobedience, and rebellion against the Lord. We deserve to be eternally separated from the Lord God in hell, BUT because of His great love we are NOT consumed. We are NOT consumed – we will NOT receive the punishment due to us, because Jesus Christ paid our debt of sin. In a very real sense, Jesus was consumed (not annihilated) – put to death – punished – condemned for our sins; and through His sacrificial death we are now able to be the beneficiaries of the Lord’s daily mercies. And He remains faithful – even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13).

 

So, rejoice in the Lord’s great love for us; rejoice that His compassions will never fail us; be glad that His mercies are new every morning; and sing for joy that the Lord God will always remain faithful to us. And rest in His arms of peace and comfort because we WILL NOT BE CONSUMED.