Saturday, 21 June 2014

Great Is Thy Faithfulness Part Two

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end they are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV ).

At the root of all of humanity’s predicament is a sin problem: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

However, where there is sin, the grace of God also abounds.

Let’s not lose sight of the background of the text “great is your faithfulness”. The writer didn’t write that piece of Scripture in the midst of fanfare. He didn’t write in response to a breakthrough or a great miracle from God. He wrote in the midst of adversity and great loss.

As previously expounded, Lamentation is a funeral song: a dirge. The question I asked myself was “if Jerusalem is the city of God, what could be the cause of its destruction to the point of warranting a whole book of Scripture?"

 If you will find the time to read through Lamentation, the cause of the destruction is explicit.

Let's sample a few verses from Chapter 1:
1 How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! 5 Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; FOR THE LORD HATH AFFLICTED HER FOR THE MULTITUDE OF HER TRANSGRESSIONS: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy. 8 JERUSALEM HATH GRIEVOUSLY SINNED; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.
Clear, self-explanatory words. At the root of Jerusalem's destruction is the sin canker: "...For the Lord hath afflicted [Jerusalem] for the multitude of [Jerusalem's] transgressions...Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore SHE IS REMOVED...."

SHE IS REMOVED. That sounds familiar. In Revelations, we see a series of rebuke to God's people, and a warning of been "removed": "...I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will REMOVE thy candlestick out of his place, EXCEPT THOU REPENT". (Revelations 2:4-5).

In His great faithfulness, God warns us of the ramifications of sin.

If you are living in any form of sin as a believer, repent! Until we have a good grasp of how God abhors sin in our lives, we will have a distorted view of God's great faithfulness, love and grace. Love that doesn't correct and discipline is no love.

A father who doesn't address His children's waywardness is either weak or apathetic to their wellbeing. Not God; His purposes concerning our lives has to be established and hence, in His faithfulness, He rebukes and disciplines us when we find ourselves in sin. That's great faithfulness; ensuring His best for us by correcting us, even if it means causing us pain to bring us back to Himself:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.(Hebrews 12:6-11).

To Be Continued