Scripture Reading: Lamentations 2:7-3:39 / Philemon 1-25 / Psalm 119:121-128
Jerusalem was completely devastated by Babylon. The city was under siege for more than 18 months as the Babylonian army surrounded the city. No one went in and no one went out. The city's food supply ran out, disease and starvation spread throughout the city.
Jeremiah repeatedly warned King Zedekiah of the impending doom and his need to surrender. In Zedekiah’s obstinance, he fled for safety believing he would face the wrath of Babylon if he surrendered. He did not escape but was captured and forced to watch his son’s execution before his eyes were gouged out. He was bound by bronze shackles and led 700 miles to Babylon where he would die in prison.
Jerusalem was burned and the walls of the city were torn down. All military, political and religious leaders were either executed or carried away into captivity. The Jewish survivors were led away to Babylon with many of them perishing along the way. Only the poorest of the poor were left in the land.
In the height of this catastrophe, Jeremiah speaks of hope for the people of God. He prophesies that their chastisement would only be for their good as God would bring them better days. He says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)
God has a purpose for everything that comes within our lives. He is great enough to bring us through, to mold us, to chastise us and to equip us. God is not surprised by life or by our actions…He knows us! His compassion is unending and unfailing; never ending and never failing.
God promised Jeremiah and Israel, “I am with you and will save you, declares the Lord. Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished” (Jeremiah 30:11) God’s wrath comes by measure, but thank The Lord that His mercy is without measure!
God’s mercy and compassion are new every morning because He is a faithful God. We may be uncertain of life or even ourselves, but we can be very certain and sure of God’s faithfulness. His faithfulness was evident when He cast Adam and Eve from the Garden for their own good.
He clothed them and promised them a deliverer. God was faithful to His Word as He called Abraham, appointed Jacob, equipped Moses, anointed David and sent His only begotten Son. We live in the shadow of His love and with confidence, thankfulness and praise we declare, “Great is thy faithfulness”!