“Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath [them] still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. 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. [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness. The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD [is] good unto them that wait for him, to the soul [that] seeketh him. [It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lam. 3:19-26 KJV
Our congregation is going to be singing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” this weekend for our communion hymn. I wonder how many in the church have done a meditation on what those words must have meant for Jeremiah.
By the time Jeremiah wrote Lamentations his beloved Jerusalem was a smouldering pile of ash. Probably the words were penned even as the prophet was embroiled again in a case of rebellious Hebrew intrigue. His protector Gedaliah was assassinated and Jeremiah was forcibly marched into Egypt by the rebels trying desperately to escape their Babylonian pursuers. It is believed that Jeremiah was martyred on this journey.
It would make sense then that he would say “I remember all my afflictions and I have in my soul all these bitter disappointments.”
What does not track is the statement he follows this up with: “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. [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness. The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” Lam 3: 21-24
What is Jeremiah talking about “We are not consumed”? If ever there was a people who were consumed it was the people of Judah. Babylon utterly obliterated the city and carried off all its inhabitants into exile except for a few of the poorest.
But Jeremiah goes on to say, “Great is Thy faithfulness.”
You see, Jeremiah realized that while the children of Israel were being carried off into Babylon they were still alive. The fact that God had spared their lives was just more proof to Jeremiah that God was being true to His word. God was doing exactly what He had promised King Solomon He would do if the people were rebellious. The hope that was stirring in Jeremiah’s heart was that if God was faithful to the first part of his promise to Solomon he would be faithful to all of it. God would bring a repentant people back to Israel again!
THere is a lesson to be learned for us here. God is faithful to carry out everything He has promised to us as His people. He has promised to forgive when we confess and repent. He has promised to grant eternal life to those who would confess and believe. He has promised to come and take us out this world one day. He has promised that every trial would only make us stronger if we walked in the power of His Spirit. He has promised to answer our prayers as we lined ourselves up with His will here on Earth.
No matter what is going on now or what will go on in the future, God is our portion and therefore we can have great hope in Him! Always remember we win in the end!