“‘Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!’
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
‘Great is Thy faithfulness,’ Lord unto me!”
— Thomas O. Chisholm (1866–1960)
Out of the shadowy chasm of the exile—the people of God rushed out of their homeland and into secular and wicked Babylon—comes the book of Lamentations, which we presume Jeremiah wrote. The Scripture in this Old Testament book of seven Hebraic acrostics (hinged by three in chapter 3) takes us to a dearth of human experience. Can we imagine the sorrow in the people of God for the thought that Zion had been annihilated?—that the Lord was ‘no more’. We would struggle in our culture to understand the magnitude and depths of loss that that community had suffered.
Out of this grim backdrop comes an ode to God—verse 3:23 of Lamentations—for remembrances of God’s consummate faithfulness to carry the people of God through many bitter torments.
The Measures of God’s Faithfulness
We know that God’s faithfulness is great—so great we cannot measure it. That is, God’s general faithfulness through the provision and sustenance of creation.
But then God’s faithfulness gets personal.
We live and breathe because of God. In creation we have our reasons for existence—some of which are determined through science and others of which are still a mystery to humankind. This is a measure of God’s greatness.
Notwithstanding how difficult our lives often are, there are still many varieties of compassion that God has blessed us with. The nature of God, and the many blessings of God, all attest to the fact that these compassions fail not. God never changes; in the Lord is the nature of faithfulness. This is a measure of God’s greatness.
Despite the changing seasons, God never changes. The system of the cosmos runs like clockwork, seemingly so well-designed it requires no divine maintenance, yet its complexity is mind blowing.
And when all measures of God’s faithfulness are drawn together, the top of the crop is this “pardon for sin” which profits us to a peace that endures. This peace is strength for today; a bright hope for tomorrow.
The measures of God’s faithfulness are incomprehensible and awesome. When we consider such things as God’s faithfulness from creation to our interpersonal and personal lives, we gain even more of a grasp on how little we can grasp.
Possession of divine knowledge is a worthy acquisition. The beginning of this knowledge is the consummate faithfulness of the Lord throughout eternity. And to think that God would lower himself to become one of us, to save us through his death no less, and bring us new life through his resurrection, is the principal faithfulness.
Truly, great is God’s faithfulness—a measure beyond measure.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.