The Infinite Compassion

Day 318

Prayer for the day

My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.

Scripture for the day

Lamentations 3-5, Hebrews 10:19-39

How? How, in the midst of the absolute decimation and destruction the Israelites are experiencing, can they have hope? How can the writer of Lamentations possibly cling to hope when he clearly believes that everything that has happened to the people so far is a direct work of the hand of God?

It seems inconsistent, foolish, even downright ridiculous to believe that in the midst of being destroyed, anyone in the Israelite camp could continue to hope that the God who was persecuting and punishing would eventually save. Yet hope they do. And the writer gives the reason for his hope: the infinite compassion and faithfulness of God. It is not, he says, due to their righteousness, or even to their cries for mercy, but only due to the mercy and compassion of God that they will be saved from their current pain. In fact, the writer goes as far as to say that God really doesn’t want to have to do what God has had to do in order to bring the people to repentance. God’s hand, in a way, has been forced by the sin of the people, and when they return, his compassion will flow like a river.

The writer of Hebrews calls the audience of the book to the same kind of hope. The pain may be different, the suffering for different reasons, but the hope remains the same: that the infinite compassion and mercy of God would win out over and against the hopelessness of the situation in which they find themselves. The hope they have and hold lies in the character of the God they worship.

May your hope be the same, no matter what your situation.

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