Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:22-26)
It Is Good
The book of Lamentations is a series of five lyric poems lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem yet interspersed with the abundance of hope for Israel. There will be terrible calamities that fall upon Israel because of their disobedience and disloyalty to the Lord God as He brings judgments against the rebellious nation. The language is hard, the message unyielding and the consequences are written in the stone of God’s wrath. When the Chaldeans come against Israel it will be the terrible day of the Lord. While the immense power of the anger of the Lord is brought to bear against His people, a kernel of hope is always found in the message to remind the people of the love, mercy, and grace of a kind Father. Israel will spend seven decades in captivity but it will come to an end because God will bring His people back. The wrath of God is poured out but measured by the hope in the salvation of the Lord for those who trust in Him.
Jeremiah is called the “weeping prophet” for good cause. There was much to mourn as the people of God plunged deeper into idolatry, rebellion, and a stubborn refusal to return to the Lord. The message of hope also abounds in the writings of the prophets. God was not a cosmic bully that reveled in destroying what He had created for His glory. Israel was going to suffer many things from the hand of God for their disobedience and through that destruction, the love of God would be shown to the world. The mercy of God was everlasting in sparing Adam and Eve from destruction, saving Noah and seven others from the flood, and redeeming Israel from total annihilation. God is a compassionate Creator as much as He is a wrathful avenger against unrighteousness. Each day is a fresh dawn of God’s mercy and love. It the midst of trials and turmoil, there is hope in God.
God never fails His people but His people often fail Him. When they refuse to put their trust in Him alone relying on their own wisdom, they will find no hope. Making God the inheritance of the heart is establishing the will of God as the portion of life that will give hope in the time of despair. Hope comes from putting the Lord first in life. Life becomes good when the heart trusts in the way of the Lord. Faithful people will search for the Lord in every part of their life. During the dark days of Israel when Babylon took them off to a foreign land, God was still among His people. Men like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah knew the Lord was good and they put their trust in Him. They waited on the power of God to work in their lives. Every part of their life sought to understand the word of the Lord. They were in a captive land but they lived in hope with the promise of God.
Jeremiah reminds the people of God that it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. This will come about in His time, in His way, and according to His will. Hope is built upon the patient endurance of a soul at ease with the salvation from the Lord. In a world of chaos, the soul of God’s children can rest assured that He still reigns, He still rules and all the affairs of life are measured by the hand of Him who spans the universe with ease. There is nothing to fear. The world cannot change the will of God. No man will find peace outside of Christ. The joy of salvation is waiting for His will to be completed. This is a good thing. It is good to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.