God Will Build a New Palace


"Jerusalem, once so full of people, is now deserted. She who was once great among the nations now sits alone like a widow. Once the queen of all the earth, she is now a slave." - Lamentations 1:1
"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!'" - Lamentations 3:22-24

This verse in Lamentations chapter one, and the verses following are among the most depressing in the Bible. The mighty city, Jerusalem, Zion, the spiritual center of the earth, lies in rubble and ruin, crushed underfoot by the sword of pagans.

What makes this scene truly dark is remembering what led to these circumstances. The people of Israel were the pride of God, His treasured possession. He promised safety and protection if they would follow Him and be obedient to His commands. He promised judgment if they turned aside to pagan ways.

The Israelites turned. With much patience and many warnings God called the people to repent and return to Him. The people responded by plunging deeper into sin. The end result was judgement and downfall, a picture of desolation beginning with the words of Lamentations 1:1.

But the writer of Lamentations continues to write. As he reflects on the destruction of Jerusalem and the sin of the people he also remembers the mercy and faithfulness of God. In Lamentations 3:22-24 we emerge from the darkness of despair to the light of God’s hope: "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness, His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ' The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.' "

Sometimes when I remember my past I feel as though I am looking over my shoulder and looking at the rubble I have left behind me. Bad living and terrible mistakes have left a desolate city behind me. Forgiven child though I am, I have sinned and have often strayed from God. But God is faithful. He does not excuse or smooth over our sins, He nails them to the cross. He calls us to live in the forgiveness of sin, and to go and sin no more.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. No matter what ruins lie behind you, the Lord’s mercies for you are new every morning. Repent! Then, go and sin no more! From the rubble of your forgiven past God will build a palace.

"Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen." - The Book of Common Worship, 1946
May 25 2019