Great Is Thy Faithfulness

The Next Step Podcast
Season 2: Ponder Anew
Episode 3: Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Date: 9 September 2020
Guest: Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing, Concordia University, St. Paul
Also available on: iTunes

When Season 2 of The Next Step Podcast was first released, we skipped hymn 3 in Ponder Anew: A Hymn Journal of Trust and Confidence. At the time, our guest was unavailable, so this Episode 3 was recorded months after the original intended release date.

Our guest, Dr. Reed Lessing, served as Professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary before going back into the parish ministry. He was unavailable back in June because he had just taken a call to serve as Professor of Theology at Concordia University, St. Paul.

Dr. Lessing, a pastor and Hebrew scholar, has written scholarly commentaries on Jonah, Amos, and Isaiah, and just finished writing a commentary on Jeremiah. He joins author Justin Rossow to talk about he hymn, “Great is They Faithfulness,” and especially the verses in the Old Testament book of Lamentations on which the hymn is based.

After a brief orientation on where exactly we are in the Old Testament Story, you’ll hear Dr. Rossow pray and Dr. Lessing read the verses from Lamentations found on page 25 of the hymn journal. The ensuing conversation covers quite a bit of Scriptural territory, and is focused on God’s compassion.

After that deep dive on the theology of God in the Old Testament, Justin will read the devotion on page 26, Reed talks about God’s faithful character. Because God’s character doesn’t change, God actually can change from Law to Gospel when it comes time to relent from bringing calamity.

In another scriptural tour de force, Lessing and Rossow explore the Hebrew for repent (shuv) and relent (nacham) and how God invites us to repentance, relents from judgement, and refuses to relent from the promise we have in Jesus.

Before the interview is done, Justin asks Reed about any small next step Jesus might be inviting a theology professor to take as a new school year starts. Lessing’s answer is a study in dependence on Jesus.

This recording was made possible in part by the generous support of Next Step Patrons. If now is the right time for you to make a commitment to the mission of resourcing next step discipleship, please consider becoming a Next Step Patron today. To see different options for support, visit

The intro and outro music for Season 2: Ponder Anew was arranged and performed by Brendan Knorp. All rights reserved.

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