New Every Morning
Originally scheduled for June 5
Lamentations 3:21-23 KJV
(21) This I recall to my
mind, therefore have I hope.
(22) 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.
In the middle of one of the most discouraging books in the
Bible, Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah comes up with this little
gem. I think we can understand it. Have you had the sensation that
God just couldn’t forgive you one more time? Surely, he’s tired of
you and your sins? In this passage take hope.
Human beings get weary. God, however, is timeless — and
therefore does not change. As he does not change, therefore he does
not get weary (even of our sins.) It seems contradictory to think of
something that is timeless and yet ever new. Perhaps an analogy will
help. The Mississippi River, “Old Man River” just keeps rolling
along. The river looks the same every day. But we know that the
water in the river just keeps going on and on, so it’s always new.
God’s mercy is like that; always the same, always new.
“They are new every morning” — why morning? Electric lights
have changed this quite a bit, but in the day of the prophet
Jeremiah when the sun went down, it got dark. Human beings easily
weary in the darkness, fearful of the things we cannot see. But then
comes the dawn. It’s not that things have changed; it’s that we can
see them now. With the dawn, Jeremiah could see the mercies of God.
“Great is thy
faithfulness” — we think of human beings as being faithful (or not),
but God is the ultimate in faithfulness. He has promised us his
mercies, and by his very character he cannot lie. As the apostle
John told us,
1 John 1:9 KJV If we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God is not only faithful but righteous. By the
sacrifice of Christ on the cross our sins have been atoned for, and
therefore in justice our sins have been cleansed. Christ has paid
the price; we owe nothing. And because of this, we have hope. The
day will come when our salvation is revealed at the return of
Men need to be reminded much more often than
they need to be taught. CS Lewis remarked that Satan does his best
work by keeping thoughts out of our mind rather than putting
thoughts in them. Satan wants us to forget the nature of God’s
mercy, and succumb to hopelessness. This is one reason that Christ
gave us communion. We see in communion the same elements, cup and
bread, every time we partake. It reminds us of the sameness and
constancy of God’s mercy. It’s like that river: the form of
communion is always the same; the specific elements, like God’s
mercy, are ever new.