Lamentations 3:21-25 – “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (This Verse could well have been taken from Ps. 42:4. Jeremiah’s statements thus far concerning Judah have been of despair, but now God’s Promises of Mercy and Grace come to his ‘mind.’ Only this can give him ‘hope,’ as this is the only sure ‘hope’ for anyone!)
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. (As the Prophet enters the Intercessory role, he will now learn that God Himself, in the absence of all outward spiritual fellowship, is a sufficing portion for Faith, and even in the face of what looks like catastrophic defeat.
“The Holy Spirit directs Jeremiah’s attention, and hence Judah’s, away from their plight to ‘the LORD’s Mercies.’)
“They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness. (In a sense, God’s Mercy cannot be exhausted, because it begins ‘anew each and every morning.’ As well, one can be certain that this will never change, because the Holy Spirit says, ‘Great is Your faithfulness.’)
“The LORD is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. (‘The LORD is my portion,’ proclaims the fact that anything and everything that one truly needs is found in the Lord, and only in the Lord [II Pet. 1:3-4; Ps. 16:5].)
“The LORD is good unto them who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him. (The intimation is: if we properly ‘seek Him,’ even though it may take some time, we will ‘find Him’ [Lk. 11:5-13].)”
The Book of Lamentations, written by Jeremiah, is a Book made up of five Elegies (a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation for one who is dead or dying). In this Book, the Elegies concern the destruction of Jerusalem and the impending slavery of God’s People. In effect, Lamentations is a Funeral Eulogy for the Nation because of their sin and refusal to repent.
Jeremiah was a heartbroken Prophet with a heartbreaking message: repent or be judged.
For forty years he prophesied to God’s People with no success. He is despised, rejected, and persecuted. His broken heart causes him to write a heartbreaking Book.
In Lamentations 1:1 the first word begins with the word, “How.” “How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!” The answer is sin. Unrepented sin always will ultimately bring judgment and destruction.
However, that is not what I want to deal with, instead I want to see from Jeremiah’s own words that even in the midst of what looks hopeless, there is, in fact, hope.
“THIS I RECALL TO MY MIND”
Though the weeping Prophet is looking over a burned out, destroyed city, its citizens taken into Babylonian captivity with everything looking hopeless, he says, “This I recall to my mind.” At this moment, Jeremiah begins to recall God’s Promises of Mercy and Grace, and all that the Lord had done for God’s People in the past. There is something about all of us that in times of crisis and great heartache, we have a tendency to forget all the good things the Lord has done for us in the past. Though we don’t live in the past, we must never forget the past Blessings bestowed upon us by the Lord. No doubt, Jeremiah began to think back upon all that the Lord had done for Israel. As he does this, he is able to conclude the sentence with “therefore I have hope.”
Israel was once in Egyptian bondage, but God delivered them – hope. He opened the Red Sea – hope. He provided food when they were hungry – hope. When they were thirsty, He gave them water – hope. He pushed down the walls of Jericho – hope. He opened the Jordan – hope. He brought them into the Land of Promise – hope. He made them a great Nation – hope. I have no doubt the words of Balaam in Numbers 23:19-21 came to his mind: “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent; has He said, and shall He not do it? or has He spoken, and He shall not make it good? Behold, I have received Commandment to bless; and He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has He seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.”
Yes, we will have problems, distressing, perplexing problems and even suffering at times, but no matter what is happening remember what the Lord has done for you in the past and have hope. The reason we can have hope is:
“IT IS OF THE LORD’S MERCIES THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, BECAUSE HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT!”
Notice Jeremiah said “Mercies” plural and not “Mercy” singular. He is saying no matter what, the Lord has a never-ending supply of Mercy for His Children. Then He said the Lord’s Compassion, it fails not. The word “Compassion” means to love, to find (we may lose our way, our Faith shaken, but the Lord will find us if we don’t give up), to have Mercy.
“THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING: GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS!”
What is new every morning? The Lord’s Mercies, which never run out. Mercy is a product of Grace. In God’s dealings with man, He purposely chose Grace as His Means of dealing with man. Once God chose to deal with us through Grace, then Mercy as a natural product of Grace becomes a guarantee. Mercy is God’s Faithfulness to us despite our unworthiness. Mercy expresses the emotion and devotion of Love, and it cannot be exhausted because it begins “anew each and every morning.”
“THE LORD IS MY PORTION, SAYS MY SOUL; THEREFORE WILL I HOPE IN HIM!”
“The Lord is my portion”: everything we need is found in the Lord and only in the Lord. We don’t seek the help of the world, but the help of the Lord.
“THE LORD IS GOOD UNTO THEM THAT WAIT FOR HIM, TO THE SOUL THAT SEEKS HIM!”
This plainly tells us that the Lord may not come immediately and that we are to wait for Him. This teaches us Patience and Trust. And, if we wait for Him, He will be “good unto them who wait for Him.”
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