Lamentations 3

Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Lamentations chapter three. As the book name would indicate, these are the laments of Jeremiah as he laments over the tragedy that has befallen the Southern Kingdom, the Nation of Judah, because of their persistence in sin. Their rebellion against God, their turning to idolatry and to other gods as a source of help and strength and the forsaking of the true and the living God. As God in chapter one of Jeremiah said concerning the people that they had done two evils. First of all “they had forsaken Me” God said, “the fountain of living waters. Then they had carved out for themselves cisterns” a reservoir system whereby you carved out a big cave in the rock. He said, “they were broken cisterns” in that they could hold no water.
When man tries to eliminate God out of his life he finds that he must worship something. It’s innate within our nature and our character. You can’t help it, it’s just a part of being human, that necessity to worship. God has created it in every man. If you don’t worship the true and the living God you are going to worship something, usually yourself. Your God becomes a projection of yourself. So man carves out a religious system and so we see the world that is filled with religious systems.
The attempt to have water. You see water is an essential for life. You can’t live without water. “They have forsaken me,” God said, “the fountain of living water” running water and created their own religious systems. He said, “They are broken cisterns in that they can’t hold water”. One thing about the religions is that they cannot sustain you in the day and the hour of crises.
This was the sin of Judah. They had forsaken the living God, they’d carved out these religious systems actually they borrowed them from the heathen around them and began to worship Ashtoreth, Baal, Molech and Mammon and these other religious systems. When it came right down to where the rubber meets the road these religious systems could not sustain them and could not hold them. Because their gods were false they became false and because their gods had no morals or were immoral, it was in some cases the worship of immoral principles they became immoral and thus a nation collapsed, the nation fell and great was the fall thereof.
Now Jeremiah sits in his cave looking over the ruins of Jerusalem. As he considers first of all the tragic condition of the nation, the circumstances around him, we hear this dirge, the sorrow, the pain and the hopelessness. It’s amazing when you look at the world and world conditions how hopeless you begin to feel. When you begin to study the social patterns, the graphs that speak of the number of crimes that are being committed and when you look at the number of banks that are failing and the way the national debt is rising, it could just destroy a good day. You could end up feeling hopeless and miserable. That was the case of Jeremiah. He’s looking now at the conditions, the physical conditions, the ruin, the desolation, the destruction and he goes down to rock bottom.
I AM the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath (3:1).
I have seen the wrath of God at it was meted out against the people that were once the people of God but had turned their back against God and refused to come back in spite of God’s continual pleading. I’ve seen first hand the wrath of God as he poured out that wrath upon the people of Judah.
He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light (3:2).
His soul was overwhelmed. He can’t see any future, can’t see any hope. It’s all dark around him. I don’t see any light and light always represents hope but I don’t see light. I’m covered with darkness.
Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day (3:3).
The prophet feels that God has actually turned against him. All day long he sees no way out.
My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones (3:4).
I’m a broken man. I’m wearied and prematurely aged because of what I have experienced, what I’ve been through, that horrible, horrible siege. Jeremiah was many, many, many days probably as much as a year on short rations of just bread and water as he was there in the prison. It had an effect upon him. It made him look wrinkled and old. He was a broken man.
He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail (3:5).
Gall is bitterness and this travail, the pain. So God has just encircled me, he’s actually fenced me in. I see no escape, I see no way out. He’s encircled me with this painful situation, bitter situation. Then the repeat.
He hat set me in dark places, (3:6).
This is a little different in that he is referring here to death.
as they that be dead of old (3:6).
A couple of suggested interpretations of this by the commentators. The first is that it should read, “That he has set me in the dark places of the dead who do not return or of which there is no escape”. Talking about the Sheol of the Old Testament, men don’t escape out of it and God has placed me there. The other is, “That he has set me in these dark places as they that be dead of old” how that a person who has been dead for any period of time “soon is forgotten”.
You go over to the Fairhaven cemetery and read the tombstones in the older part of the cemetery. You could go through and read row after row of tombstones people who died back in the eighteen hundred and nineties or so and you wonder who were they. They are forgotten. Memorial Day there are no flowers on their graves. After you have been dead a while everybody forgets you. I don’t want you to feel bad about it, it just so happens that way. Because a person who has been dead any period of time is forgotten, in Rome they don’t sell you a plot as they do here. You lease your plot for fifty years and then the plot is leased to somebody else because they figure by fifty years everybody has forgotten you. No one is going to visit your site anymore of where you were buried. It really is very practical in that so what after fifty years dig it up and put someone else in it. Jeremiah is speaking of being like one who has been forgotten.
He hath hedged me about, (3:7).
That is again the idea of verse five, he has builded against me and encircled me and now he has hedged me in. There is no escaping.
He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy (3:7).
The heaviness of his experience, I’ve been hedged in and cannot escape.
Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer (3:8).
Though I have cried unto God it is though God does not hear. Though I even shout unto the Lord it’s as though God doesn’t hear me when I pray. People often speak of those experiences where the heavens have become as brass. That is, you pray but it seems like your prayers really aren’t rising above the ceiling. There is no life or joy or excitement in the prayer time. It’s as though there is an exercise that is of no value. Jeremiah was feeling that. It was as though God had removed himself.
He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, (3:9).
So he has build a hedge around me, he’s encircled me with gall and bitterness and now he’s even built a wall around me with his hewn stone.
he hath made my paths crooked (3:9).
In other words, I’m in this bottled up position and there is no place to escape. I am bound to just walk back and forth in this small area. I can’t escape from the circumstances.
A lot of times a person does feel trapped by the circumstances of lying. There seems to be no way out of your dilemma. You’ve planned, devised and schemed but there seems to be no escaping and you feel very trapped. That’s a helpless feeling when you feel trapped to your situation. You can’t see any possible way out of the problems.
He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places (3:10).
That is ready to attack, ready to tear apart, ready to destroy.
He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: (3:11).
Like a lion pulling its prey in pieces.
he hath made me desolate. He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow (3:11-12).
It seems like God is using me now for the target and his arrows are being shot my direction.
He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins [heart] (3:13).
Every one of them hits their mark.
I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day (3:14).
Jeremiah had been warning the people of this calamity that was coming for forty years. Jeremiah had been warning them that unless they repented and turned to God that they were going to be destroyed by the Babylonian army. God was stirring up the heart of the Babylonian king. He was going to come and he was going to defeat them because without God they could not stand against the Babylonian army. Rather than repenting and turning to God, they sought by devices and schemes to escape the judgement of God.
What they did was they sent down to Egypt and made a mutual defense treaty with the Egyptians. They were hoping that with the combined strength of the Egyptian army and their own armies they could defeat the Babylonians. Jeremiah told them that this league with Egypt wasn’t going to help them. “The arm of flesh will fail you” your fleshly devices are not the answer. So many times we face the situation, the problem and we try to devise means and methods. We begin to scheme and plot how we might be able to evade and escape the issues. There is no escape when God has set you as the mark for judgement. The only way is to turn to God, cast yourself upon his mercy and receive his help.
They refused to turn to God so they mocked Jeremiah the prophet of God. They began to make fun of him. For forty years he had been telling them this. So now they started with, “Come on man, you’ve been saying that for forty years. Say something different, something new”. They began to make him the brunt of jokes. Little songs of derisive type that they invented against him. He was a lonely man, he was an unpopular man, he was a man who sought to warn the people and to turn them from the destruction but they would not listen.
He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood (3:15).
Wormwood was a very, very bitter plant. It actually was poisonous but it was extremely bitter. In the Bible the most bitter of experiences are liken unto drinking wormwood. It was a concoction that was made from this plant. It is the essence of extreme bitterness.
He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes (3:16).
Have you ever bite down on rice and found there was a piece of gravel it and chipped our tooth? He speaks about how he has broken my teeth with these pieces of gravel. A person who was in deep mourning would cover himself with ashes. It was a sign of extreme sorrow and grief to cover yourself with ashes.
He hath removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (3:17).
The prophet speaks of these tremendous depths of hopelessness that he was in. He was in turmoil and he was destitute.
And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me (3:18-20).
When I think about these things, when I remember these things, the desolation, the screams and the cries of the children as they were trying to escape but were being slain in the street. All of these things were haunting him. It had been a horrible experience. For over a year the Babylonian army had cut off all supplies. About eighteen months the siege lasted until the people were killing each other for food until within the city there was anarchy, the gangs had begun to rule in the streets. When the Babylonians finally came and took the city the bloodshed was horrible and the cries and screams was just a vivid horrible memory that he couldn’t free himself from.
My soul hath them still in remembrance, (3:20).
I can’t get them out of my mind.
and is humbled in me (3:20).
It brings me down. It’s so horrible.
You can’t get much lower than this. This is about as low as a person can go and still be alive. He’s at the very, very bottom. At this point there’s only one direction in which he can look because he’s at the bottom he can’t look down. It doesn’t get any deeper. You’re at the bottom. At this point there is only one way he could look and that is up.
I have found that sometimes God allows us to go to the very bottom in order that we will look up. He lets us struggle, he lets us do our best and he lets us fail. He lets us go deeper and deeper into the mire until we get to the very bottom. Friends and family have all forsaken us. We might even be out on the street lost our job, our house and our car. You borrow a little grocery cart and put your junk in it and push it around the streets, you are at the bottom. At that point look up.
Remember Jesus told the story about the young fellow who came to his dad and said, “Hey dad I want my share of the inheritance. I’m taking off”? So the dad gave him his share of the inheritance and he went to a far country, left the home and began to live a riotous life until he had spent his inheritance. Having spent his inheritance he found out that all those fair-weather friends who were around while he was picking up the tab had all left. He was destitute, he was hungry and he was ready to do anything. He got a job feeding pigs. As he was feeding the cornhusks to the pigs he came to himself and said, “This is stupid. My dad has servants that live better than this. I’m going to go home and ask to be a servant, at least I’d be better off”. He came to himself, he was at the bottom and he came to himself.
It’s better to come to yourself before you get to the bottom. It’s better to wake up to the fact that you’re going down and to call upon the Lord. You don’t have to get to the bottom before you call on the Lord. You can call on the Lord anytime and he’ll lift you out. There are some who just wait until they get to the bottom.
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope (3:21).
Jeremiah who is in this depressed bitter state had a change of mind. Rather than calling into his mind all of the bitterness and horrors of this siege he had a change of thoughts that brought him home. He began to think of the Lord and first of all of the Lord’s mercies.
It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, (3:22).
I am still here. I’m still alive. Where there is life there is hope and if it weren’t for God’s mercies I would have been destroyed. I would have been consumed in that siege of the city. Things could have been worse.
because his compassions fail not (3:22).
He began to think of the mercies of God and the compassions of God. God has been compassionate towards me; God has dealt with me in faithfulness and in love. God always deals with his children in love. There are times when it is necessary that God inflict pain in order to keep us in line. Whenever God inflicts pain he never does it willingly. God is, in a sense, a poor disciplinarian in that he’ll let you get by with an awful lot before he really comes down on you.
I was a poor disciplinarian. I hated like everything to spank my kids. I would do anything to get out from spanking them. “Say you’re sorry”. “Nope”. “Please say you’re sorry”. “I’m not”. “Say you’re sorry!” They were defiant and they don’t leave you any options.
God is dealing with us. He doesn’t strike willingly. It is always in love. When I was growing up my dad used to say, “Son, this hurts me worse than it hurts you”. I never believed that. I thought, “Who are you trying to kid?” I thought that was just a lie until I became a parent and then I understood because it really did hurt me I’m sure worse than it hurt them when I had to administer proper and appropriate actions for what they had done. God doesn’t afflict willingly.
They are new every morning: (3:23).
How I love it. A new day, a new opportunity for God to demonstrate his love for me. Every morning when I wake up it is with excitement of what the day may hold of the revelation of God’s love, God’s goodness. They are new every morning.
great is thy faithfulness (3:23).
He saw the faithfulness of God even in the judgement of Judah because God had promised that he was going to do it. God is always faithful. He always keeps his promises. He had promised judgement upon them if they did not repent, if they did not turn to him. If they continued in their evil practices he promised that he would judge them.
Even the judgement of God was a sign to the prophet of the faithfulness of God. Great is they faithfulness, “that which you have said you have fulfilled”. It is true God is faithful to keep his word. You can count on that. God will keep his word. Heaven and earth may pass away but his word will never pass away and God will keep his word. That’s why the Greeks had a saying, “The dice of the gods are loaded”. That is you just don’t go against God and win. You try to go against God and you are sure to loose. God is faithful in keeping his promises.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him (3:24).
He’s got his eyes off of the circumstances and has his eyes upon the Lord and immediately there’s a change within his whole attitude, within his whole outlook there comes a change. Now there’s hope. Before it was just darkness, hopelessness, hedged in, trapped, no way out but now that he gets his eyes on the Lord things are different. Now there is hope. The word of God is true, God is faithful and God is compassionate. Now he begins to get a totally different outlook.
A part of our problem is that we have our eyes on our situation, on the conditions and on the world and we get our eyes off of him. That is a sure path to discouragement and to despair. What you need to do is get your eyes off of yourself, off of your condition and get your eyes on the Lord. The Bible says, “Rejoice in the Lord”. It doesn’t say to rejoice in your circumstances. You may be weeping over your circumstances and as you look at your circumstances you may begin to sob. As you look to the Lord there is always a cause for rejoicing. “Rejoice in the Lord always,” Paul said “and again I say rejoice”. So in looking at the Lord.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him (3:24-25).
If you’ll wait upon God and seek God you’ll discover that God is good. To those who seek after God and to those who will wait upon the Lord, God is so good.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD (3:26).
So many times in the history of the nation when they were faced with insurmountable problems, attacks from their enemies who were stronger, the Lord would give the command to just wait upon the Lord. “Stand still” he said, “see the salvation of the Lord. The battle isn’t yours but God’s”. It’s good to just hope in the Lord and to wait on his salvation, to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. The battle isn’t yours it’s God’s. Let God fight your battles, he’s able. Many times we are overwhelmed by the foe, by the circumstances that we are facing and we are just totally overwhelmed. O how good it is that a man should both hope and quietly wait for God’s salvation.
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth (3:27).
That when you are young you commit and learn to commit your lives. So many people say they will do it when they get old and ready to die. It’s a good time to jump on the bandwagon and go the heaven, no wants to go to hell. Have fun first. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you”. It’s good to bear that yoke in your youth. It’s good while you are still young and have the energy and strength to give that energy and strength for God to use for his purposes. How thankful I am that I made my commitment to the Lord while I was still young. Good to bear the yoke in his youth.
He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope (3:28-29).
Here is one of those little bits of prophecy as the prophet is speaking. The Holy Spirit can interject at anytime. A prophecy concerning Jesus, concerning the future, future things and at this point he gives a prophecy concerning Jesus. It’s quoted in the New Testament as regards to being fulfilled by Jesus.
He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: (3:30).
Matthew twenty-seven speaks about the smiting Jesus that the scripture might be fulfilled, “He giveth his cheek to him that smite him”.
he is filled full with reproach (3:30).
They were reproaching Jesus as they crucified him. They put on the purple robe, they put on a crown of thorns, they put a scepter in his hands and mockingly they knelt before him and said, “Hail King of the Jews”. O the reproach that he bore giving his cheek to those who smote him. Then the prophet realizes that the nation has been cast off by God.
They had turned their backs upon God, they were obdurate in their rebellion and now God has turned his back on them.
For the Lord will not cast off for ever: (3:31).
The Lord is merciful and compassionate. Though he has turned his back and allowed this horrible siege and desolation the Lord will not cast off forever.
But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies (3:32).
Surely God’s mercies and compassion are the key facets to God’s nature. It is only those who reject the love and mercies of God that ever need to be concerned about the judgement of God. The judgement of God is only upon those who have rejected his mercies and his love. People say, “Why don’t you preach more on help?” because you don’t need it. If you have received the mercies and love of God you don’t have to worry about the judgement of God and the future. For the most part I’m talking to the saints. If you’re not a saint you should be. Wisdom dictates that.
For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men (3:33).
God is pained by the suffering of mankind. Jesus, when he saw that Jerusalem was rejecting him, he knew the consequences of their rejection upon them, and the consequences they would experience. He knew that their rejection of him was going to cost them their national life. He knew that their rejection and rebellion against his authority was also to be manifested in a few years in a rebellion against the authority of Rome. As he looked at the city of Jerusalem, the temple, he began to weep

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem thou that killest the prophets and all that God has sent unto you. How often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathers it’s chicks under its wings. But you would not and now your city is left unto desolate and they are going to come and set a siege against the city and they are going to destroy the walls, they are going to kill the children in the streets. Not one stone of the temple will be left standing on another.”

He weeps as he can see what is going to happen to them as they face the judgement of God because they have rejected the mercy and love that God offered through Jesus Christ. He doesn’t afflict willingly, he weeps when that moment comes that justice must be administered.
For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth. To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High. To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not (3:33-36).
It is interesting to me that in this third lamentation he begins by taking the dive down to the bottom. For a moment his perspective is changed and he no longer is looking at the circumstances. He begins to look and the Lord and he begins to be lifted out of this pit of despair and is brought into a place of hope and waiting upon God. He doesn’t stay there too long. Somehow his mind gets turned again back to the circumstances and he takes another dive to the bottom. Isn’t that a tragic?
It’s even more tragic in that I see that repeated so many times. People will come and they’ll be in the depth of despair and just total hopelessness. The spirit of God will minister to their hearts and they’ll get their eyes on the Lord and they’ll begin to get the whole situation in perspective, “If God be for us who can be against us? Praise the Lord, God is on our side and we’ll have the victory through him”. Then they go out and face the problem again and varoom back down in the nosedive. O that we would just keep our eyes on the Lord, that we would see above our circumstances to God who is in control. So the prophet unfortunately begins to dip again into this valley of hopelessness.
Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the lord commandeth it not? (3:37).
Who can say something and really have it come to pass if the Lord didn’t command it. God’s in control. No matter what you say you are going to do if God isn’t in it it’s not going to happen. If it does happen it’s because God was in it is basically what the prophet is saying.
Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? (3:38).
The King James has a question. Some of the commentators believe that it is a statement and not a question. They referred to James where good and bitter water can’t come out of the same spring. Whether or not there be a question I can’t really tell you. You have to read it the way you want.
Wherefore doth a living man complain a man for the punishment of his sins? (3:39).
In other words, if God is punishing you for your sins what right have you to complain? You are getting what you deserve and there really is no right to complain when God is punishing a man for his sin.
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned (3:40-42).
The only reason why he didn’t pardon was that they didn’t ask for it. So the prophet is encouraging them to search and try their ways and turn again to the LORD. Let’s lift up our hearts with our hands unto the God of heavens. He puts the blame on us. You can’t complain when God’s punishing us for our sins.
Peter tells us that we should be rejoicing in all things and that we should except things that happen. The Christian life is one of learning to accept the good and the bad that come our way. Knowing that all things are working together ultimately for God if you love God and are called according to his purpose. So you learn to accept what comes across your path. Even if you are being mistreated or maligned wrongly you should still take it well. Again waiting on God’s salvation.
Now Peter said, “If someone maligns you and you deserve it [you were guilt] and you take it well that doesn’t prove anything, you are still guilty. If you are innocent and you are maligned and take it well then that’s good proof that God’s love is dwelling in you. Jesus said, “If you love those that love you, so what? It doesn’t prove anything”. You could go out to the Crazy Horse and find people who do that but he said, “Love the unlovely. Do good to those who spitefully use you”. So you are to be different as a child of God. Now the prophet looks at what’s happened. We’ve transgressed and we’ve rebelled and you did not pardon.
Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied (3:43).
He saw the hand of God. Again, it’s sort of a war shock. He has seen such horrible things and he can’t get them out of his mind.
Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, (3:44).
That is we can’t see you, we can’t see God in these things.
that our prayer should not pass through (3:44).
It’s as though God has deserted us.
Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people (3:45).
We are cast off, we are like garbage.
All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction (3:46-47).
Here he is diving back to the bottom. He came up for air, got a good breath and boom, back down.
Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people (3:48).
That weeping and now back into the sorrow and into the melancholy of that despair that he feels.
Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, (3:49).
I am constantly crying and tears are constantly rolling down my cheeks as he is suffering from the memories of the horror.
Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven. Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city (3:50-51).
These beautiful young girls, ravaged, murdered, slaughtered by the Babylonians.
Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause (3:52).
They were chasing me like I was a bird. As David said to Saul, “You chase me as though I was a partridge over these mountains”.
They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me (3:53).
He was thrown down in the dungeon and sinking down in the mire about to drown in the mire.
Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off. I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry (3:54-56).
The panting, Lord hear me. Don’t hide.
Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life. O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause (3:57-59).
The prophet again is getting his eyes back to the Lord. He’s going through these feelings of ambivalence, up and down.
Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me. Thou hast heard their reproach, O LORD, and all their imaginations against me; The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day. Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick (3:60-63).
They are mocking me and they are making fun of me. Listen to the lyrics of their songs.
Render unto them a recompence, O LORD, according to the work of their hands (3:64).
Here Jeremiah gets a little bit like David when he begins to say, “take care of them Lord”.
Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them. Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD (3:65-66).
Unfortunately the prophets of God are not always as compassionate as God is. I find myself not nearly as merciful and compassionate as God. If I were in God’s stead, in his position, there are a lot of things that I wouldn’t tolerate or allow to go on that are going on in the world today. I mean, that’s just me. Many times the prophets of God lack the same compassion as God. David, boy he was really out after his enemies. “God break their teeth in their mouth, smash their noses against their face. Deal with them Lord.”
God is so compassionate and so merciful. He’s the God of the second chance, third chance, fourth chance, fifth chance and last chance. It’s tragic when a person presses him to that last chance. May we not be guilty of doing that. May we receive God’s love, may we receive God’s mercies and may we walk in fellowship with God that he may have the opportunity to do those things for us that he desires to do because he loves us.
The little book of Jude, tucked in right there at the end of the New Testament just before you get to Revelation, Jude has a word of advice and exhortation. He said, “Keep yourself in the love of God”. Now he didn’t mean to keep yourself so sweet and kind and generous and loving and beautiful that God can’t help but love you. Everytime God looks down and says, “O my look at that. How wonderful, how sweet, how perfect they are. O I do love them”. Thank God that’s not what he means because God’s love for you is unconditional love. God doesn’t really love you because you’re lovable. God loves you because that’s his nature. He is a God of love. He manifested his love while you were yet in rebellion against him. He sent his Son to die for you.
What does he mean to keep yourself in the love of God? Just this, because God does love you he wants to manifest his love to you. He cannot always manifest that love to you because it would be inconsistent with his nature of holiness and purity. So keep yourself in that place of fellowship with God so God to do for you the things he desires to do for you. If you only knew what God desires to do for you to demonstrate his love. Those things that God would do for you just to demonstrate his love. “Keep yourself” Jude said, “in that place” where God can manifest his love that he has for you. It’s good for us to wait upon God and to hope in his love.
Father we just thank You tonight for Your love, unfailing love, unceasing love, that flows from Your heart to our lives. That love that transforms us and changes us draws us unto You and melts the resistance that we have built up and finds itself at Your feet worshiping. Lord enfold Your children in Your arms tonight. Draw them close to Yourself and may they experience Lord the beauty and the glory of Your love. In Jesus name we ask it, Amen.
Shall we stand?
May the Lord be with you and may you experience this week the touch of God’s love upon your life as you walk in fellowship with Him. Keep yourself in the love of God. Find out just what God does want to do for you in demonstrating His love.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7311
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