SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 2015
GOD’S MERCIES NEVER CEASES, THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING
‘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.
In reading the book of Lamentations, no author is identified as the writer. However, Jewish tradition ascribed it to Jeremiah possibly because at the time the book was written, Jeremiah’s ministry was flourishing. More so he shared similar themes with the book in respect to the conquest and destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
It has been suggested that Lamentations as a book was written to be sung. A worshipper is usually uplifted, as he notes with sense of pride God’s faithfulness and mercy, which is new every morning. It is in that attitude that believers of today can sing the praise of this God, Whose mercy endures forever. The thankfulness of the worshipper, therefore, is captured in this song: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The song helps one really to appreciate a good and a faithful God indeed.
But Jerusalem had a pain, as it was captured and destroyed by the Babylonian in 586BC. Its conquest was by the godless nation of Babylon. Why? It fell into sin and as we know, sin is a reproach to any person or nation that commits it. Of course, there are consequences attached to sin, which result into punishment. We recall the fall of man in Genesis chapter 3 as a result of sin and its attendant punishment. That Adam and his wife, Eve, indulged in blame game did not absolve them from punishment from God.
The Creator had warned them in the garden of a particular tree of which they were not expected to eat. But man’s curiosity and insatiable appetite put him into trouble. And so, God had this for him and his accomplice: “The Lord God said to the serpent, because you have done this, cursed are you above all and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:14-19).
When we sin, it is important we confess and repent of our sins. The scripture assures us: ‘if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 Jh 1:8).
Therefore, child of God, be happy and never lose hope. Please do not make the mistake of writing off yourself for the God you serve His mercy never ceases, it is new every morning. May the Holy Spirit keep your hope alive!VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.