“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
This whole chapter is an acrostic in three parts with three verses allotted to each of the 22 letters of the Heb. alphabet. The prophet Jeremiah identifies himself with the chastened people, and in agony and distress, he pours out his heart to the Lord in faith. His laments recall Job’s exercise of soul before the Lord: verse 1 (Job 9:34); 2 (Job 19:8); 3 (Job 7:18); 4 (Job 7:5); 5 (Job 19:6, 12); 6 (Job 23:16–17); 7, 9 (Job 19:8); 8 (Job 30:20); 10–11 (Job 16:9); 12–13 (Job 16:12–13); 14 (Job 30:9); 15 (Job 9:18); 16–18 (Job 19:10; 30:19). We note that Jeremiah likely did not have s readable copy of the Book of Job, but he almost certainly knew of Job and likely was familiar with Job’s story and account that is there contained.
Our verse marks a change in the speaker’s attitude. The contentment he remembers renews the hope lost in v. 18. In view of vv. 22–23, 32, he may be reflecting on Ex. 34:6–7, which these verses echo.
All the way through V33 the relentless sorrow over Judah’s judgment drove Jeremiah to consider the grace, mercy, and compassion of God. The tone of his thinking changed dramatically.
Notice in V22 the word mercies. This Heb. word, used about 250 times in the OT, and almost always refers to the exercise of God’s gracious love. It is a comprehensive term that encompasses love, grace, mercy, goodness, forgiveness, truth, compassion, and faithfulness.
Notice in 22 the phrase “His compassions fail not”. It is a verse that gave some content to the Christian hymn we know as “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. A man named Thomas O. Chisholm wrote that great hymn toward the end of his life in order to express the great sense he had of this wonderful truth.
As bleak as the situation of judgment had become, God’s covenant lovingkindness was always present (cf. vv. 31, 32), and His incredible faithfulness always endured so that Judah would not be destroyed forever (cf. Mal. 3:6).
3:23 Great is Your faithfulness. The bedrock of faith is the reality that God keeps all His promises according to His truthful, faithful character.
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