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The Sufferings and Hope of God's People

(Lamentations 1:12-16; 3:22-24, 31-33, 40, 41)

Lesson 11 -- fourth quarter 2002
November 10, 2002

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications

Is it nothing to us?

Down through the ages, God has always stood by His Word. He has never failed to correct and punish His people when they have rebelliously or carelessly abandoned Him and His ways. We can see it often and easily enough in the Biblical record. And if we were students of more modern history, we would discover it as well. The truth cannot be evaded nor avoided: God eventually judges the sin of His people.

We know that, at least in our heads. Right? Of course we do! Yet we still need to have the simple message of Lamentations 1:12 touch our hearts and our lives: "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" In other words, are we unaffected by the disobedience-caused punishment suffered by others of God's people? Surely we can understand cause and effect! And surely we have the wisdom to shun the cause so that we might avoid the effect!

Yet so many of us do not receive positive, life-amending instruction from the carelessness and disobedience of others. It seems we think that we can somehow do as they did but escape the consequences. Can it be that I am that cocky or deceived or ignorant? How about you?

My friend, let's both take seriously this reminder from Jeremiah and God. Let's reconsider God's dealings with His straying people before, and then ponder the path of our own feet. Let's determine that our love for God and the grace of God will keep us faithful to Him and His ways.


Isn't God absolutely wonderful?! We have just been reminded that He will neither tolerate nor excuse carelessness and disobedience. We have just seen His justice and judgment. Yet His compassion, mercy, and faithfulness do not fail. They are every bit as certain as His judgment and justice.

Lamentations 3:22 and 23 give me hope and assurance despite the realities of the first section: "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." God's constant mercy and compassion toward His people promise healing and restoration after failure and judgment. When God sets out to correct and punish me, His purpose isn't to crush and destroy me. No! He aims to perfect me.

Praise God for His new-every-morning compassionate mercy!

This is for me.

Several evenings ago, our two youngest children were systematically dividing some toys between themselves. They each made a selection whenever his or her turn came around.

Such choosing among options reminds me of life. Life has so many options to value, treasure, and live for. All of us make selections from those myriad possibilities. Jeremiah said, "The LORD is my portion" (Lamentations 3:24).

That convicts me because I find the other options so distracting. And even in my choosing the good things, I so easily miss the Lord. So I purpose again to make the Lord my choice. Join me in this renewed commitment?

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