How Then Shall We Live?
Devotions on Living the Deeper Christian Life
“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.” – Lamentations 3:22-23
Mercy from The Lord
According to French historians, a mother visited Napoleon on behalf of her condemned son. The Emperor told her the young man had committed the same offense twice, and justice demanded the death penalty.
“But Sire,” she pleaded, “I don’t ask for justice…only for mercy.”
“He doesn’t deserve it,” Napoleon replied.
“No, he doesn’t,” she replied sadly, “but it would not be mercy if he deserved it.”
“You’re right!” said the ruler with compassion. “I’ll grant your request and show him mercy!”
The mention of the word “Mercies” in Lamentations 3:18-23 was written by the prophet Jeremiah when he was at a low point in his life. In verse 18, he cries that his strength and hope had perished within him. Maybe you can remember crying out to God from a place like this. Jeremiah was 17 years old when he went into captivity for seventy years.
The tense of these verses changes dramatically in verse 21. Jeremiah brings remembrances to his mind of the works God has done in his life, and he declares, “Therefore, I have hope.” The word used for “Hope” is the Hebrew word “Yachel,” which means to wait with an expectant hope. A modern day example of this would be the way a child waits for gifts on Christmas Eve with excitement and hope of what the morning may bring.
Jeremiah reminds us that it is only by the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed; His compassion(s) are new every morning. Jeremiah lived to see the Lord’s restoration of the Nation of Israel from captivity.
One can never be reminded enough that the Lord’s mercies and compassions (both words are in the plural tense, because they are inexhaustible) are new every morning. That means when you awoke this very morning from your pillow, God’s mercy and compassion towards you were NEW this day. This very day, God lays before you a different opportunity to live than yesterday. Let us embrace THIS day and rejoice in it, no matter what our circumstances, this is truly a way that God provides for us an opportunity to begin again.
<>–ON SECRET HISTORY—-<>
“If only we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Know all, and you will pardon all.” – Thomas a Kempis
“It is impossible to righteously govern the world without God and the Bible.” – George Washington, First American President