Bodies lay in the streets like garbage. New mothers ate their own children because of the shortage of food. The sound of weeping and wailing rang throughout the city as it languished from the Babylonian siege and invasion. Even the Holy City of Jerusalem was a shadow of its former glory. Such was the price Judah paid for her rebellion against God.

If you read through Lamentations 2 and 3, you will see the extent of God’s fierce judgment upon His people. Lamentations 3:1–19 shows us the awful consequences of our sin. Bondage, bitterness, and shame are the natural byproducts of attempting to live on our own terms. But if we stop reading in verse 19, we will miss a very important point. Verses 21–22 in this chapter are a turning point which gives us hope: Yes, it hurts when we reap what we have sown, but we cannot overlook the mercies of God, even in His judgments. God is still merciful to spare us from the eternal Hellfire we deserve.

When we sow evil things, we will reap evil things — it always comes again. But God’s judgment is not the end of the line for His children. Once we have reaped what we have sown, God encourages us to find hope in His mercies. There is restoration and an endless supply of forgiveness available to His children.

Have you seen the evil you have sown reach maturity and come again? Perhaps you have been suffering from poor decisions you made in your childhood or teen years. Now you have emotional and physical scars which can never be erased. Painful as the consequences for your past sins may be, remember God’s mercies — and thank Him. He has completely forgiven you, so go and sin no more.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.