New Mercies each morning!
Scripture reading for August 16th: Lamentations 1-5
Lamentations is a series of five funeral songs about the death of Jerusalem and the captivity of God’s people. This book is helpful to gain insight into the process of grief and helping people deal with death and loss. Mourning people go through stages ranging from disbelief and shock, to mourning and depression, blaming others or God, to quiet acceptance and finally readiness to move on. These stages may take various amounts of time to process. God understands our grief. Jesus was a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. (Isaiah 53:3)
Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. (Lamentations 1:16) He had warned the Israelites faithfully of the coming judgment and destruction of Jerusalem. He witnessed this destruction and now was writing to chronicle the grief process. Jeremiah was a lot like Jesus Christ, who wept over the city of Jerusalem as He saw prophetically the destruction that was to come upon it for their rejection of Him as their Messiah. (Matthew 23:37-39) God values tears so much that the Psalmist said He gathers them up in a bottle and records them on a scroll. (Psalm 56:8)
In Lamentations 3, the prophet was recounting his misery and described it with images that bring Isaiah 53 and the crucifixion to mind. In the middle of his lament, his thoughts turned to hope! (Lamentation 3:20-21) The cause of this hope was God’s steadfast love, great compassion and mercy. Jeremiah stated that this mercy was “new every morning”. (Lamentations 3:22-23) The Lord is good to those who wait for Him and put their hope in Him!
This funeral lament ends with words of faith and hope and a prayer. God is sovereign and reigns forever. He would have compassion and restore as they had prayed. Take a moment and offer a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s compassion and renewing mercies. His Son Jesus Christ wept over us and bore our sorrows and tears that we might live in the joy of His love and receive new mercies every morning!
“You, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.” Lamentations 5:19-22