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New Mercies Every Morning-Lam 3.21-24

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Lamentation 3:21—24

Have you ever felt like there would be no tomorrow?  Or that life is as bad as it can get.  There are too many bills to pay and not enough money.  You may have sicknesses and diseases that you can’t get healed from and life is just too weary to go on another day.  Well, I want to encourage you from God’s word to look up and find hope.  No matter how bad it may seem God is still on the throne and we can find comfort and hope in that fact.

--It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. [1] (KJV)

--The Lord’s alovingkindnesses 1indeed never cease (Or that we are not consumed), bFor His compassions never fail.    23   They are new aevery morning; Great is bYour faithfulness.[2] (NASB)

--The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. [3] (NLT)

--The kindness of the Lord has not ended, His mercies are not spent.  23They are renewed every morning —Ample is Your grace![4] (Tanakh)

--It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. [Mal. 3:6.]  23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. [Isa. 33:2.] [5] (AMP)

--The LORD’s unfailing love and mercy still continue,  23 Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.[6] (Good News)

--God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.  They’re created new every morning.  How great your faithfulness![7] (Message)

Jeremiah wrote these words at a time when Israel was suffering much affliction.  He described their sin and suffering in chapters 1 & 2.  He described the destruction of Jerusalem, which was to come soon, in all its horror in chapter 4.  In chapter 3 he shares his own personal pain in verses 1-18.  But with a prayer to God to remember his bitter condition, the prophet gets his eyes off himself and onto the Lord.  Hope is revived when he remembers that the Lord’s mercies and compassions ... are new every morning, and that His faithfulness is great  (vv. 21–24).   He remembered that as bad as things are, they could be worse!

What is it that could bring Jeremiah out of his depression and the mully-grubs?  As he is reflecting on how awful the situation is, he is reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of God.  Let’s look at what he remembered and be reminded of God’s goodness to us:

1.      Mercies of God—God’s covenant love

The NASB says “loving kindnesses”—which we can relate to better than mercy, but the word used for mercy is (Heb chesed).  It means a love or affection that is steadfast based on a loyalty or devotion, especially in relationship to the covenant and God as its author. Out of the faithfulness of His covenant God grants mercy.  His mercy is limitless and can never fail.

2617 חֶסֶד, חֶסֶד [checed /kheh·sed/] n m. From 2616; TWOT 698a, 699a; GK 2875 and 2876; 248 occurrences; AV translates as “mercy” 149 times, “kindness” 40 times, “loving-kindness” 30 times, “goodness” 12 times, “kindly” five times, “merciful” four times, “favour” three times, “good” once, “goodliness” once, “pity” once, “reproach” once, and “wicked thing” once. 1 goodness, kindness, faithfulness.[8]

2876 II. חֶסֶד (chesed): n.masc.; ≡ Str 2617; TWOT 698a—1. LN 25.33-25.58 loyal love, unfailing kindness, devotion, i.e., a love or affection that is steadfast based on a prior relationship (Ex 34:6, 7); 2. LN 79.9-79.17 glory, i.e., lovely appearance (Isa 40:6); 3. LN 88.66-88.74 favor, i.e., the giving benefits (Est 2:9), note: for another interp in Ps 52:3[EB 1], see 2875 [9]

KJV says “we are not consumed.”  We all owe it to the sparing mercy of God that we are not consumed. If He had dealt with us according to our sins, we would have been consumed long ago; but we have been dealt with according to God’s mercies (His lovingkindesses, and therefore we should praise Him each day and for all of eternity.

What was it that kept hope alive in Jeremiah in spite of the terrible situation he was in?  It was his knowledge of the mercies of the Lord.  God’s mercy (Hebrew chesed) involved His undying love and loyalty toward His people through the covenant that He had made with Israel.  It was because of that covenant that Jeremiah could expect that the Lord would love them in spite of their sin.  He might discipline His disobedient people, allowing them to be ravaged by their enemies, and even letting their temple and the Law be destroyed (Lam. 2:9), but He would never ultimately forsake His people.

Neither will God forsake His children today. His mercy and grace have been extended to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1), and nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:31–39).  As a result, we can have hope (5:1–5; 1 Pet. 1:3–5), even in the midst of the gloomiest circumstances (2 Cor. 1:8–11).

But not only did Jeremiah remember the mercies of God, he also remembered the compassion of God.

2.     Compassion of God—God’s tender care

The words “unfailing love” (3:22 NLT) or “compassions” are translated from a Hebrew term related to the Hebrew word for “stork “or “womb,” suggesting a mother’s love and faithfulness.[10]

7356 רַחַם, רַחֲמִים [racham /rakh·am/] n m abs pl intens. From 7355; TWOT 2146a; GK 8166 and 8171; 44 occurrences; AV translates as “mercy” 30 times, “compassion” four times, “womb” four times, “bowels” twice

7355 רָחַם [racham /raw·kham/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 2146; GK 8163; 47 occurrences; AV translates as “… mercy” 32 times, “… compassion” eight times, “pity” three times, “love” once, “merciful” once, “Ruhamah” once, and “surely” once. 1 to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion. 1a (Qal) to love. 1b (Piel). 1b1 to have compassion, be compassionate. 1b1a of God, man. 1c (Pual) to be shown compassion, be compassionate.

Compassion is a word that requires action.  It is more than pity or sympathy, because it causes us to do something.  The Bible says Jesus was “moved with compassion” and as result He healed the sick, fed the hungry, cast out demons, and taught them the truth continually.

Jeremiah said two things concerning the compassions of God.

   1. "They fail not." God never fails to be compassionate. The judgment of God never comes until every means of grace has been exhausted. It is like facing a judge who loves you and is looking for some loophole—He will find any excuse to free you.

    2. "They are new every morning." It seems that God is looking for some way to demonstrate His love for us each new day.

Not only did we have the mercies and compassions of God when we got saved, but we have them now—new every morning.   Every morning we have fresh instances of God’s compassion towards us!   

--He gives us the life and breath we need to live. 

--He provides the sunshine and the rain we need to grow our crops. 

--He gives us jobs so we can pay our bills and feed our family. 

--He gives us the birds to sing to wake us up and bring a smile to our faces.

--He paints beautiful sunrises and sunsets across the sky for our enjoyment.

--He smiles upon us each day with more blessings than we can possibly think of or imagine. 

Personal anecdotes about squirrels eating nuts in a tree and burying a piece of bread in the ground.  I have become a squirrel & bird watcher—marveling at how they are brings a smile to me—that is God’s gift to us.

Psalms 103:13   As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. (NIV)

We must learn to see each day as a gift from our loving compassionate heavenly Father.  Like a mother or father tenderly loving their child, God gives His children His bountiful blessings every morning.  He smiles upon us with such love and compassion that no earthly parent could ever give to their children.  And He doesn’t do this one time, but He does it everyday of our lives! 

The proof of God’s love and compassion can be seen every time you look up at the sky and see the sun.  Even on a cloudy day, you still know that the sun came up in the morning—therefore, you are reminded that God has fresh, new mercies & compassions for you for this day.  Every morning when the sun comes up we have newfreshmercies and compassions from our loving heavenly Father. 

Our Father loves us so much He doesn’t want us to have old stale mercies and compassion to live from during the day.  What will you face today?  Not the same things you faced yesterday or what you will face tomorrow.  Each day has its own trials and difficulties that are unique to that day.  Our Father knows that, so He gives us new and fresh mercies and compassions that are just what we need for each day.

--For example, I have a father in ICU, maybe at the point of death, in PA today, so I need God’s mercies and compassions for that situation today—I didn’t need it a week ago and only God knows if I will need it tomorrow. 

Well, as if the mercy & compassion of God aren’t enough to give us hope, we also have His faithfulness.

3.     Faithfulness of God—God’s steadfastness, firmness, commitment

The word faithfulness comes from a root meaning “be permanent, secure, reliable.” …The word here is often translated “faith” but literally means “firmness” or faithfulness. Thus, it is used of the faithfulness of God Himself (Ps. 36:5; 40:10; Lam. 3:23),[11]

530 אֱמוּנָה [’emuwnah, or (shortened) ’emunah /em·oo·naw/] n f. From 529; TWOT 116e; GK 575; 49 occurrences; AV translates as “faithfulness” 18 times, “truth” 13 times, “faithfully” five times, “office” five times, “faithful” three times, “faith” once, “stability” once, “steady” once, “truly” once, and “verily” once. 1 firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness.

The steadfastness of God is great—meaning that it is not just a little firmness, but it provides us a whole lot of stability.  When the storms of life are blowing around us, we can know that God will be there in all of His power as solid as a rock.  He is the anchor that we can hold on to no matter high the waves crash or how hard the winds blow.

The faithfulness of God is a tremendous encouragement in these days when people’s hearts are failing them because of fear.  If you build your life on people or on the things of this world, you will have no hope or security; but if you build it on Christ, the Faithful One, you will be safe forever.  He is faithful to finish the good work that He has started in us! (Phil 1:6; 2:13)   He is faithful to chasten (Ps. 119:75; Heb 12:5-11); Lamentations itself teaches this lesson.  He wants to bring us to the place of repentance and confession (Lam. 3:39-41). He is faithful to forgive us when we do confess our sins (1 John 1:9). He is faithful to sympathize when we have burdens and problems (Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16). We never need fear that He is too busy to listen or too tired to help.  He is faithful to deliver when we cry out for help in a time of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).  He is faithful to keep us in this life and unto life eternal (1 Tim. 1:15; 1 Thes. 5:23-24). Yes, we can commit our lives and souls into the hands of our faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19) and know that He will always be faithful.

In times of trouble we need to imitate Jeremiah who looked away from himself to the Lord, and who waited on the Lord in patience and faith (3:24-26). Too often we look at ourselves and our problems and become so discouraged that we quit. Instead, we must “look unto Jesus” (Heb. 12:1-2) and let Him see us through the troubles.

When your heart becomes overwhelmed by the circumstances of life, and you feel that even God has deserted you.  Remember, His mercies, His compassions, and His faithfulness and you will be able to have hope in the midst of any storm.  

Jeremiah’s expression of God’s faithfulness and compassion is the basis for the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Let’s sing it now to praise God for His never-failing mercies, compassions, and faithfulness.  As we sing it I want you to think about all the fresh blessings that God has given you today.

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 for ever wilt be.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth;
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for to-day and bright hope for to-morrow:
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father,
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided,
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.


----

[1]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (La 3:22-23). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

a Ps 78:38; Jer 3:12; 30:11

1 Or that we are not consumed

b Mal 3:6

a Is 33:2; Zeph 3:5

b Heb 10:23

[2]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (La 3:22). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[3]Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997 (La 3:21). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.

[4]Jewish Publication Society. (1997, c1985). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures : A new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the traditional Hebrew text. Title facing t.p.: Torah, Nevi'im, Kethuvim = Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim. (La 3:22). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

[5]The amplified Bible, containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. 1987 (La 3:22). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[6]None. (.). Good New Translation - Second Edition (electronic ed.) (La 3:22). :: ,.

[7]Peterson, E. H. (2003). The Message : The Bible in contemporary language (La 3:22-23). Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.

n n: noun

m m: masculine

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger

AV Authorized Version

[8]Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the test of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (H2617). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

n. noun, or nouns

masc. masculine

Str Strong’s Lexicon

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

LN Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon

interp interpreted

EB English Bible versification

[9]Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.) (HGK2876). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[10]Hughes, R. B., Laney, J. C., & Hughes, R. B. (2001). Tyndale concise Bible commentary. Rev. ed. of: New Bible companion. 1990.; Includes index. The Tyndale reference library (Page 291). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

n n: noun

m m: masculine

pl pl: plural

intens intens: intensive

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger

AV Authorized Version

v v: verb

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger

AV Authorized Version

[11]King James Version study Bible. 1997, c1988 (electronic ed.) (La 3:22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

n n: noun

f f: feminine

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger

AV Authorized Version

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