This is what God gave me today in his word:
let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; (Lamentations 3:30-32)
“We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven. “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; (Lamentations 3:42-43)
The author seems to be contradicting himself. In the space of 10 verses, he went from talking about God’s steadfast love, to talking about how God is a pitiless God. Is that the God we have? A God always changing from gentle to cruel (or vise versa) in an instant? Well we can see God isn’t a constantly changing and fickle God in Hebrews 13:8. – Yes the Lord will return and grant mercy, but it seems he first wishes to kill all but a few of the Israelites! So now we have a different picture of God, arguably, a slightly worse one. Is God truly so unforgiving and pitiless that he would slaughter his chosen people without cause or justification? No! All of this was happening because Israel had made its bed, and it was now time to go to sleep. They had “transgressed and rebelled” against God, and God hadn’t forgiven them. Which reminds me, I thought, according to the Bible, that God was a forgiving God?
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; (Daniel 9:9)
O LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. (Psalm 99:8)
It seems to me God has gotten stuck on the punishing bit. – This leads me to another question: we don’t offer sacrifices anymore, and some worship items and ideas more than God. So why aren’t we a bug-splat against the world? God poured his wrath out on Israel, why not do likewise to us? We sure deserve it.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
He doesn’t “do likewise to us” because he’s already forgotten our sins! There is a difference between Israel’s time and now. Back then sacrifices were required, to try to “appease” God. And the moment they started to worship an idol or something else, God’s wrath would fall upon them. But now, because Jesus actually became sin for us, God’s wrath falls on him instead of us! – The veil separating us from God has been torn from top to bottom, and God now hears our prayers.
You are loved!