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July 19, 2023 - Lamentations 1-5

“The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the festival; all her gates are desolate; her priests groan; her virgins have been afflicted, and she herself suffers bitterly” (1:4). Jeremiah looks out, and he sees that Jerusalem’s plazas are empty, no one comes through her gates, the streets are void of commerce, her people, at least the ones who are left, suffer terribly. What gloomy sights. This is the city of God, where his people have dwelt and prospered. And now, a terrible disaster has struck, evidenced by the emptiness of the city. And even more devastating is the knowledge that the Lord himself has done this (2:1-8). The prophet is so distraught that he weeps and throws up the contents of his stomach (2:11).

But Jeremiah does what God’s people ought always to do. In the midst of disaster, he turns to the Lord. He does not run away from God, but quickly toward him! He prays and recalls: “Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him” (3:19-24).

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

“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 O. Chisholm (1923)

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