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By Phillip Hines
Hartselle church of Christ
Jeremiah spent about 40 years warning the Judean Jews that divine judgment would come unless they chose to repent and turn back to God.
The prophet’s pleas went unheeded.
Therefore, God allowed the Babylonian military to unleash its power on Judah. The ruins left behind stood as a reminder of the devastation that continued disobedience to God can bring.
While surveying the rubble of Jerusalem, Jeremiah laments over the city and its people. He is as low as he can be. His condition is summarized in Lamentations 3:18, “And I said, ‘My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord.’”
Jeremiah has confusion, sorrow, bitterness, loneliness, despair and pain. The picture is bleak – but it is not one given without hope.
In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah turns his eyes toward heaven. In doing so, he finds what he and the Jews so desperately need: divine compassion!
Jeremiah is reminded once again that God stays with His people no matter how unfaithful they become. Regardless of how deep of a pit we dig for ourselves, God is there, loving us still.
In Lamentations 3:21-24, Jeremiah writes, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope: Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’”
Jeremiah’s experience communicates a message that is the theme of Lamentations. The effects of disobedience are great, but the compassion of the Lord is abundantly greater!