Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?”┬áLamentations 3:39

Without having their spiritual understanding awakened, the unsaved are unable to assimilate basic Bible truth. The natural man does not understand spiritual reality. For instance, he does not understand the holiness of God, nor God’s righteous demands. He cannot understand the authority or supreme lordship of the Almighty. He does not comprehend the innate rebellion or willful wickedness of man. The consequences of man’s disobedience are not usually considered by the unsaved. This is the condition of most, especially in an environment where there is a very limited exposure to the Bible or the fear of God.

Outside of the framework of foundational truth, people are left to their own notions or opinions. Thus, they feel like they have been mistreated or neglected when things do not go their way. This lack of understanding gives us, at least in part, an answer for the question: “Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?” Living men complain about the punishment of their sins, when in reality, the very fact that we are alive is evidence of God’s mercy, and much more than we actually deserve.

As those enlightened by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, we realize that if God gave us what we deserve, we would be banished from the realm of the living and confined to the eternal damnation of hell. We know that we have been in direct rebellion against God and that we had no hope of forgiveness or reconciliation to our holy Creator. We also know that it is only because of the perfect and divine sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as well as the mercy and grace of our loving Father, that we are forgiven and restored to fellowship with God.

We live today and breathe God’s air because He has been good to us. When we experience chastisement for our sins, we know that it is because God cares for us. We know that it is less than our sins deserve. People complain because they think they deserve better treatment than what they are receiving. This is because their carnal minds cannot comprehend either the holiness of God or the depraved condition of man. On the other hand, we know that anything that we receive other than the just reward of our rebellion is evidence that God is merciful and kind.