Hi dearly beloveds,
Below is a comment I gave on a friend's blog with regards to Lamentations 3:32,
"But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies."
and other stuff relating to it.
Enjoy and be blessed!
You've quoted some really good verses to help someone who is in grief. I did notice you quoted Lamentations.
It is ok to quote verses such as these but we need to know the context of the verses.
Especially Lamentations 3:32:
"Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love."
This verse can be very misleading for many believers. It seems from the onset that God Himself will bring you grief, then all of a sudden He will show His compassion and love. This verse is not in line with New Testament truth because the context of the entire book of Lamentations is not directed to the New Testament believer.
The grief that the author(tradtionally thought to be Prophet Jeremiah) of this book was talking about was the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians led by King Nebuchadnezzar. (verse ref. Jeremiah 39:1-18)
Jeremiah saw that the idolatry of the people of Israel will cause the nation to fall. This was the main theme of the Book of Jeremiah from Chapter 1 all the way to Chapter 39 when Jerusalem is finally conquered by the King of Babylon.
Because the people of Israel have forsaken their God/YHVH and turned to idolatry, God could not afford His protection for them (therefore in the original Hebrew it is in a permissive tense-allowing something to happen but not coming from the person himself. In this case, God has no grief to give His people because there's no grief in Heaven, so the grief was allowed to come on the people of Israel through an external source, the Babylonians).
We can rephrase Lamentations 3:32 if read in the original Hebrew as:
"Because of that situation(Israel's idolatry), affliction and grief happened(when God could not place His protection because He is righteous). Though that happened, His compassionate love still comes in abundance because of His goodness and faithfulness.
With this in light, we can see that the Babylonians took quite a while before they conquered Jerusalem because the Lord is slow to anger. (Psalms 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and rich in mercy.)
We must also understand that this is still in the Old Covenant where God has to mete out His judgment by allowing calamity to fall on the unjust. God is a just God, He has to judge even His own people, if not, He is an unfair God. But God is ALSO a SAVING God.
Jeremiah 50 talks about God destroying Babylon because Babylon has oppressed His people and He will also forget their sins against Him!
18 So the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says this: Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.
19 And I will again bring Israel to his home, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied on Mount Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days, and at that time, says the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and it shall not be found; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
But we're now in the NEW covenant where our Peace is paid in the holy blood of God, Jesus Christ Himself. There WILL no longer be any grief coming from God to the New covenant believer now.
Why? Just as you have quoted, John 14:27,
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
So, in order for us to appreciate ALL His treasures in His Word, be it in the Old Testament or New Testament, we have to put on a very special contact lens.
I call this lens the JESUS LENS. Everything that we read in the bible have to be filtered and seen through the Jesus lens, and the Jesus lens represents the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross, His Victory over sin, death and of course, satan.
Because God paid the eternal and most precious price by giving Jesus up to be punished in our place, we will NEVER be punished by God ever again. Not even a single dot.
Also, the LORD does not abandon us at all. Never for a single moment, even though in our circumstances we "feel" like He did.
How we feel does not affect the Truth. A good illustration i gave to a friend was this:
When i switch on the light of my room, the room will light up, so will i. But for that moment, I can have a range of emotions. Maybe I was feeling sad because i quarrelled with my wife, or I’m still angry at that stupid driver just now, or I'm depressed from a lousy day at work etc.
But the truth of the matter is that no matter how I’m "feeling" the Light IS still shining on me! That's how it is concerning God's love for you.
So we can be rest assured when Paul quoted in the book of:
...For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
It is a definite Yes & Amen! Paul was actually quoting what God told Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6 before the Israelites entered Canaan to fight for their land.
Be strong and of a good courage. Do not fear nor be afraid of them. For the LORD your God is He who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
God also spoke to Joshua who took over Moses' leadership after his death just prior to entering Canaan, Joshua 1:5;
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
Be of good cheer! Moses and Joshua were in the Old covenant yet they still received this eternal promise from God. What more us? Born in again in the royal blood of Jesus, Son of the most High!
Hallelujah! Praise the LORD. : )
I hope this comment has blessed you in some way.
You are the righteousness of God in Christ! : )
Your Brother in Christ,