Worship V Day 5 The Love Of God: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out The Love Of God!

The Questions

1) What is the main reason we do not perish? (Note the word “because” in verse 22).

2) What is meant by the author’s idea of “new morning mercies”?

3) How did the author maintain hope in God?

Lamentations 3:22-24

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.”

Original Intent

1) What is the main reason we do not perish? (Notice the word “because” in verse 22).
Although Lamentations does not specifically state its author, as a witness to the destruction of Jerusalem it is most likely the prophet Jeremiah (2 Chronicles 35-36) wrote “the lament”. Written during a time of anguish for the Jews, the book describes the pain Israel faced with Jerusalem’s fall. It also tells of God’s great compassion on them.
And that is the reason – the only reason – we do not perish. In his commentary on the book of Lamentations, Andrew Dearman writes of the great contrast in the tone of chapter 3 from the rest of the book. A shift occurs in verse 21 as the biblical author reveals the basis of hope in the midst of his depression (verse 20). “Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope…”
In the original language, the Hebrew word (hesed) translated “faithful love” is used over 200 times in the Old Testament and indicates the width and depth of God’s gracious consideration for His people. Amid their lament, they experienced His “grace, mercy, goodness, forgiveness, compassion, and faithfulness. It is the kind of act that is not required by civil law, but springs from the concerned character of the one who acts.” (The NIV Application Commentary, Dearman)

2) What is meant by the author’s idea of new morning mercies?
Throughout the Bible, God proves His mercy again and again. How He responds to disobedient people reflects His heart of limitless compassion. The “mercy” of God is defined and demonstrated by His constant withholding of deserved punishment.  It’s that gospel thread that runs throughout all the messages of the prophets. God’s justice and mercy are undeniably linked. Isaiah, too, rehearsed the great mercy of the Lord. (Isaiah 63:7)
The glorious perspective we see in verses 22-23 gave the prophet and the people hope. They needed the reminder that God’s mercies are indicative of His nature. He is an unchanging God whose mercies toward Israel were perfectly steady. Just as sure as the sun rises every day, the mercy of God is true and present. We live another day because of the tender compassion of a sovereign God. And each new day brings a new experience of His faithfulness. Before Moses’ death, he blessed the Israelites by rehearsing and repeating the attributes and actions of the God who would accompany them into the promised land. It was this God who had daily provided them with manna (Exodus 16) and guided them by day and night (Exodus 13). This is the God of each and every mercy provided to us daily. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

3) How did the author maintain hope in God?
In his depression (much like we see in the writing in Lamentations), the psalmist declares to his own soul: “Put your hope in God!” (Psalm 42) Here in the middle of Lamentations 3 we hear this same cry of hope. It’s gospel hope; the theme of all Scripture. It is this kind of hope we find in the New Testament books of Hebrews and Romans. Unlike the wishful thinking we often associate with the word “hope”, the biblical concept does not imply uncertainty or lack of assurance. The hope mentioned in Lamentations 3:24 is connected to God’s character and presence. Israel’s history with God had proven how their security and confidence could be solely based on who God is. The hope the writer spoke of was much more than “knocking on wood” or “crossing fingers”. It was based on his life’s journey with a promise-keeping God. The Message expresses it this way, “I’m sticking with God”. Just like the psalmist, the prophet was preaching to his own soul. And quite possibly, he was recalling what God had said to Aaron, “You will not have an inheritance in their land; there will be no portion among them for you. I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites.” (Numbers 18:20)

Everyday Application

1) What is the main reason we do not perish? (Notice the word “because” in verse 22).
Representing all sufferers, the prophet says, “we do not perish.” Similarly, the psalmist(s) often speaks on behalf of the children of Israel, reviewing their hope because of God’s intervention. The song of Psalm 107 commemorates the power of God in the redemptive history of Israel. His faithful love endures forever, therefore, His redeemed people will never perish. “Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the Lord’s acts of faithful love.” (Psalm 107:43) Both prophet and psalmist know that the source of every good thing Israel had ever known was God Himself. The God-Man, Jesus Christ, told Nicodemus this God was the One who “loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
There is only one reason we do not perish … because of God’s faithful love.
“We’ve forgotten about the Lamb who takes away our sin. It’s in these ways (and others) that we forget who we are: incalculably sinful men and women who are loved immeasurably by an infinitely holy God… If we don’t apprehend God’s love for us in the gospel, then the faith we need to fight against sin’s allurements will be absent, and although we’ll know that we should try to do better, we won’t believe that we can truly change. We’ll also doubt His love for us and wonder why He doesn’t give us what we think we need.”
(Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me)

2) What is meant by the author’s idea of new morning mercies?
Each new day, the light dawns. Our stumbling around in the darkness of the night is replaced with a clearer view of what is before us. Most of us have experienced what seems like a never-ending night. When the sun comes up, even if nothing has changed, there’s something about a new day that brings hope that had been lost in the darkness. In 3:23, the poet and prophet paints for us a word picture that most readers can deeply feel. The prophet Hosea was moved by the same thought: “Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.” (Hosea 6:3)
In our church, we encourage one another to look for the “evidences of grace” in our daily lives. Every single morning that I open my eyes and take a breath, it is a demonstration of God’s grace. It’s a new beginning that offers me another opportunity to command the darkness to flee. Maybe you stumble to the fridge in the morning only to find the milk or eggs have expired. What a wondrous thought that there is no expiration date on God’s mercy toward us! (verse 21) We have perpetual hope in the form of new mercies … every single day!

3) How did the author maintain hope in God?
The prophet was keenly aware of the source of his hope. He rehearsed the truth, speaking to his soul: “The Lord is my portion, therefore I WILL put my hope in Him.” The redemption message of God as the author of salvation rang loud and clear. In a way, he was preaching the gospel to himself. He was affirming what he knew about his God.
They say that desperate times call for desperate measures. Indeed, they do. And in our desperation, we look for the signs of morning mercies. The apostle Paul experienced such mercy, and he begs us to comprehend it:
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… THIS hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5 )
The words of a Steven Curtis Chapman song say it so well:
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do;
and every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

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Catch up with The Love Of God!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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