Dear Grandparent: This is #25 in a series of 66 Bible Faith-building Bible Verses to Memorize With Your Grandchildren. The thread that weaves itself through these verses, one from each book of the Bible, is designed to create a heart of strong faith in you and your grandchild as you commit them to memory together. May God add his blessing to every word.
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed. His compassions never fail; his mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
In this book, Jeremiah laments the destruction of Jerusalem in descriptive phrases that give his reader a graphic picture of the day. The prophet had done that which prophets do. He faithfully forecasted what would occur if the people did not turn back to the one true God. What God told Jeremiah to tell, he had told: however, the people did that which people often do. They persistently pushed back on what God said, and did the very opposite thing. They worshiped other gods.
Now, the prophet Jeremiah is experiencing utter destruction right along with the people he tried to warn of its sure coming.
For Jeremiah, this writing was almost journalistic. It was like being a news correspondent who writes from the field of battle. Current events. Real time. For us, however, the report of Jeremiah is a history lesson in a book, and on this side of the timeline, we look back and find ourselves asking the big question.
Why did the nation of Israel not listen to the warnings of Jeremiah?
What’s up with that? Had they completely forgotten the parting of the Red Sea? And good grief – did bedtime stories make no mention at all of Noah nor his ark? As God’s children persisted in their rebellion and refused to listen to the prophets, he was forced to mete out discipline. They needed it. Otherwise, they were doomed to self-destruct, and God loved his people far too much to allow that to happen.
There are two reasons why we’re memorizing this passage:
- so that we will remember what happened to the Israelites; and
- so that we will be grateful for the discipline of a loving God.
When I was growing up, I and my siblings and all my friends feared the discipline of our dads. My stepdad was a very fair disciplinarian, and we knew that if we crossed the line into blatant disobedience, we were gonna get “swats.” I remember once when my brother and stepbrother found some cans of spray paint lying around and decided to doodle with them out in the back yard – on the side of the house! They were old enough to know better, and they got definitely got swats, plus all manner of extra chores.
And then we ate dinner, took our baths, did our homework and went to school the next morning. Life went on. Our dad didn’t stay angry, and the boys were little angels, until the next time they did something dumb enough to get swats again.
In the way my dad disciplined us, I see a lot of the character of God.
- Because of the Lord’s great love for us – He is not a God who swoops down to discipline his children and then disappears. The God who created us (Genesis 1:1) is abounding in love (Numbers 14:18).
- We are not consumed – The discipline of Almighty God is like the punishment of a loving dad. God’s children are never completely overwhelmed, because the punishment always fits the crime. The Lord is slow to anger, and we can always start over. My brothers were not done in by the punishment they received; in fact, they were done right by it.
- For his compassions never fail – Sometimes, we’re about as smart as a sheep, but He’s the Good Shepherd (Psalm 23:1) and makes sure we don’t fall off the cliff.
- His mercies are new every morning – Just when we think all is about to be lost – just when it looks like we’re about to be go under, God reminds us that he has placed us right where we are for a royal purpose (Esther 4:14). He gave us his Son, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and his plans are always for our good (Jeremiah 29:11).
- Great is your faithfulness – My brothers could count on our dad to be there with discipline that kept them off the path to delinquency. They also went to bed every night knowing how much their dad loved them. In the same way, God is faithful to be there for us even after we have sinned, with patient reproach and unconditional love.
When my granddaughter recites this verse, I pray she will remember what happened to the people of Jeremiah’s day, and that she will be glad in her heart for the loving discipline of God in her own life.
(Younger kids) Draw a big heart on a piece of colorful construction paper. Let your grandchild cut pictures out of magazines that might symbolize some of the big words in these verses, i.e., consumed, mercies, faithfulness. Use glue sticks to attach the pictures inside the heart, and write the Scripture across the bottom of the page. Then take pictures of your grandchild holding it and text them to his or her parents.
(Older kids) Older grandkids might want to write a narrative describing a time they got in trouble and received loving discipline from their parents. As you lead them to see the connection between God meting out discipline to his people Israel and their own parents’ desire to keep them on the straight and narrow, they may want to write the story as a thank you note to mom and dad. Encourage them to include the main words in the memorized passage: love, compassions, mercies, faithfulness.
Video and add to your grandchild’s YouTube channel or add pictures to a scrapbook.
Encouraging intentional adventure and the building up of our faith in the One who is completely faithful to us,
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