Deuteronomy: Terms of the Covenant
These final sermons of Moses bring the Torah to a close.
When things are looking very bad, the one thing we perhaps fear the most is that they will never look good again. Diving into this bottomless pit of awfulness is is self-destructive. We have permission to rejoice. As long as we’re looking to the Lord for help, this worst case scenario will never be true.
Once again, Jeremiah leads the way in seeing light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel of gloom. If it was bad, he saw it. If it was difficult, he endured it. And he was no superman – he cried and griped often along the way. But when it was all over and he was right in the midst of a well-desevered lengthy lament, he just couldn’t help but observe the following, leaving us with a profound message of hope:
God’s compassion is inevitable.
“For the Lord will not cast off forever.
Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
For He does not afflict willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.”
– Lamentations 3:31-33 (NKJV)
Patience is produced in the Christian by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is His longsuffering “fruit”, as Galatians 5:22 informs us. If the Spirit didn’t develop this quality, it might never grow at all. No doubt the very existence of impatience among us is one of the many ways the Fall of the Human Race has adversely impacted our lives . When you see Adam punch him.
God understands well our need for this fruit patience and He knows best how to cultivate it. So He allows us to wait, while we simply have to put up with stuff. If there is one thing bad about this whole process it is that patience is produced while we’re waiting.
When it comes to waiting Jeremiah was an expert: waiting for someone to listen to him, waiting for the Lord to respond, speak or do something miraculous. Jeremiah’s vast crop of patience was watered by his tears. Still, he learned to appreciate it, and to see that waiting for God is good, precisely because God is good to those who wait for Him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.”
– Lamentations 3:25-26 (NKJV)