READ LAMENTATIONS THREE
The Man of Suffering is recounting the attributes of God. He is doing this intentionally, willfully, deliberately. He is setting his mind on who God is, and … the result?
What does the poet say is the result of this intentional mind-shift in verse 21?
Hope is an elusive concept for many of us westerners. We think of hope as possibility, not reality. But the hope in view here takes the long view. Israel consistently proclaimed to God that He was their hope. The word used here is אוֹחִֽיל׃. Let’s do a quick word study to help understand this word in context.
Read the following verses. Identify where the word אוֹחִֽיל׃ is being used. Make a note of how it is being used and what it means in context to help yourself build out a definition of the word “hope.”
Hope is not a thing to shrug off in the Scriptures. It is not optimism or possibility. It is a sure and solid eternal reality! In each of these verses we see the long view: eternity! אוֹחִֽיל׃ is ultimate, it is eternal, and it is steady and sure.
Look back at Lamentations 3:21-22. What is the first thing the poet calls to mind that gives him hope?
Do you recognize this word? What have we learned about the phrase “steadfast love”?
It is God’s covenant-keeping character that gives the poet this kind of eternal, long-view hope. Even as his memories are flooded with his past and present suffering, he has turned his mind to the ways God has been faithful to keep His promises in the past. The steadfast love of the Lord reminds Him that God promised to establish a relationship with his people, to care for them, to punish their sin, to bless their obedience, to forgive their disobedience, and to lead them into eternity. God has kept every single one of His past promises, and the poet is left with sure and steadfast hope: God will be faithful in the future.
How do you need to embrace the promises of God in your own life? Prayerfully read though the following list of promises made to you and me in the Word. Which has God kept? Which are yet unfulfilled? How can past promises kept remind you that the steadfast love of the Lord will keep His promises in the future:
God promises to establish a relationship with His people in Christ:
God promises to care for His people:
God promises to punish our sin for our benefit and His glory:
God promises to bless our obedience (in seen and unseen ways):
God promises to forgive our disobedience through Christ:
God promises to lead His people into eternity in Christ:
PRAY & REFLECT
Thank God for keeping His promises. Ask Him to build your faith in His character and to help you to trust Him to keep every promise He has made in His Word.