Day 2 of a three -day reflection –
Israel is obliterated. Children are dead. The people who live are in captivity. The prophet is in despair.
Jeremiah speaks his sorrow and his despair as he begins this section of the book. He feels forgotten. His prayers are hitting the ceiling without being heard (verse 8). He is desolate (verse 17). All of this comes to him as he remembers the trials and the troubles of his nation (verses 18 -20).
But then, Jeremiah remembers something else. He recalls the faithfulness of God.
Lamentations 3: 22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
In the heart of this war-torn prophet, the sun once again rises, and with the morning comes a glimpse of hope, a realization – God’s compassion does NOT fail. In the middle of the destruction of a nation astray from God, Jeremiah sees God’s redemption and His keeping power (verses 57 – 58).
Judgment has not passed from Israel, but Jeremiah sees God’s goodness. He continues to call the people to repentance –
40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
The sin of the nation is not downplayed nor ignored, but Jeremiah lays the responsibility for judgment in God’s hands (verse 59), and he again acknowledges God’s willingness to save (verses 31, 32).
The Message for Today
God’s path has not changed. Even though we like children run off His path, distracted by selfishness and diverted by the pull of our own desires, He calls us to come back to His way – the way of relationship and joy.
When we cry to Him, His arm reaches and lifts us back to the path. HE is faithful!
The detritus of sin and rebellion is all around us. We walk among overthrown lives and wrecked homes in a broken world.
Only God’s path is safe.
Only His word is true.
Only His way leads us home.
He will faithfully lead us if we will follow.
Great Is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Though changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.
Pardon for Sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
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!
–Thomas Chisholm, 1925
Photo – Sun Over Water, Beth Mims