The unfailing compassion of God never fails (Lam. 3:23). By faith we seek Him (3:25-26); He always hears (3:55-57)! In worship, discipline is needed (3:27). The anger of God is always moved by love (4:11). He's our inheritance (3:24); Lawyer (3:58); and Judge (3:59); ever the same (5:19).
The prophet Jeremiah was one of the greatest prophets in biblical history, and few have suffered so much public humiliation, rejection, and hostility. For more than 40 years, he warned the Israelites to believe Moses, follow the Lord, and be obedient to His Law or to face the judgment of God for their sins. They failed to repent. They faced the inevitable destruction of their glorious Temple and Jerusalem, the City of God.
God does not permit suffering just for the sake of punishment. It always has a twofold purpose: first, as judgment upon sin, but, second, to allow the offenders the opportunity to repent and commit their lives to Him. We can truly praise the Lord that He forgives us of all our sins when we repent and confess them to Him (I John 1:9). Jeremiah the prophet assures us: Though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies (Lam. 3:32).
After the destruction of the Temple, there was a realization of the awfulness of sin and the consequences of disregarding God's Word. The Israelites had assumed that God's Covenant promise would continue even though they ignored their Covenant responsibility. The prophet pleaded: Let us search (examine) and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord (3:40). Jeremiah called for a national confession of sin, repentance, and obedience to God's Word.
The once-powerful, proud kingdom of Judah was now subjected to every form of humiliation. Its people had to beg for bread from foreigners, pay for drinking water, helplessly stand by and watch their children taken as slaves into heavy, forced labor, and know that these heathen soldiers had ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah (5:11). Can we feel the heartbreak of the weeping prophet as he expresses his sorrow: The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned! (5:16).
The righteous always suffer with a wicked nation; but, for the Christian, suffering should help us see the true values of life. We have had fathers . . . which corrected us. . . . they verily (truly) for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (judgment); but He (God) for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness (Heb. 12:9-10).
Thought for Today:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (I Pet. 1:3).
As the merciful Savior (Lam. 3:22). Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 1:21).
3:5 builded against =besieged; 3:9 inclosed =blocked; 3:14 a derision =a laughingstock; 3:15 wormwood =bitterness; 3:29 putteth his mouth in the dust =speaks humbly; 4:10 sodden =soiled.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Staff: Al Joslyn • Country: Afghanistan (22.7 million) in central Asia • Major languages: Pastu and Afghan Persian (Dari) • Hostile to Christian evangelization. For a Muslim to convert to Christianity is automatic execution • 97.5% Muslim; 1.5% Parsee; .35% Hindu; .1% Traditional ethic; .1% Baha'i; .02% Christian; .02% Sikh; .01% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: Be glad in the Lord and rejoice at all times (Ps. 32:11).
Optional Reading: Revelation 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:18