Lamentations 5

Vs. 16, “The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned!”  Notice the corporate style of saying “We”.  This is a prayer of repentance and recognizing sin as a whole people group.  Though their crowns had fallen, that didn’t change the fact that God was still on His throne!  This beautiful prayer remembers what God’s people had done and what got them to this destruction in the first place.  Remember, Lamentations is Jeremiah “Lamenting” – passionate grief or sorrow…their sins.  Bear in mind…sorrow (Godly) is what leads us to repentance…it’s guilt and shame that led Judas to kill himself.  There is a diffence between the two.

 

Regarding application…God Restores.  “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we mayreturn; renew our days as of old.”  Amen to this!  It was a very touching service in the Youth Group today!  I am reminded how much God loves us and how much we love each other.  In the midst of our struggles and suffering…God is restoring us and bringing job back in our heart.  We will be going back to the New Testament in the Gospel of Mark.  Have a very blessed week and keep your eyes and heart on Him!  Jesus loves you so very much!

Lamentations 4

Vs. 1, “How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at the head of every street.”  How sad.  Yesterday at YG we were reminded of God’s refining fire making gold and now we see Israel’s once beautiful people now become like worthless pots of clay (vs. 2).  Yikes the picture that Jeremiah describes to us is graphic and gory!  Jeremiah even describes this as worse than Sodom’s destruction.  Question: Why?  Because, at least with Sodom it was instantaneus.  It got so bad that they were having to resort to cannibalism (vs. 10).  Sad times.  It definitely gives us some perspective on our own struggles and what tough times can bring when we harden our hearts.

 

Regarding application…Too Confident.  Vs. 12, “The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the world’s people, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem.”  The problem here was that God’s people had become too confident.  They remembered they were His chosen, they knew their city was well fortified…Jerusalem was a mighty fortress!  Who could possibly come in and take the land?  Question: How many times have we thought likewise?  It’s all good.  Nothing bad is going to come of me gossiping, turning to secular music, disrespecting my parents, drinking, drugs…it’s no big deal.  God is going to take care of me.  I’m not some kind of devil worshipper.  God is on my side.  Really…individually and corportately as a church…may we never get so overly confident that we don’t depend on God anymore.

Lamentations 3

Vs. 1, “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.”  This was a very difficult time for Jeremiah.  In the midst of all this devestation, Jeremiah is grieving…but we also see him have some hope.  Jeremiah in an incredilbe example for all of us.  I really don’t know how he was able to keep such faith in the midst of tragedy.  This is faith.  He took his eyes off the horizontal world and looked up veritically to God as his lament continued.  Noticed as the chapter continues, he then calls upon his people to turn back to the Lord because of their sin.

 

Regarding application…God’s Compassion.  Vs. 22, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”  Perspective.  That must be what it is.  Jeremiah had a bigger perspective.  All those years that God’s people had a chance to turn back, they didn’t care.  Consequences came, but God would promise Jeremiah that He would restore the very people He is disciplining.  God wasn’t just keeping a covenant, He had compassion.  So many of us want to blame God when bad things happen.  Yet, we should be thanking Him for His compassion that we even have air in our lungs.  Thank you Lord!  This is the God of Jeremiah and this is the of God today!

Lamentations 2

Vs. 1, “How the Lord has covered the Daughter of Zion with the cloud of his anger…”  Indeed, this is quite a fire and brimstone message upon God’s people!  How sad that so many would not listen to the truth and turn to false prophets.  They did not want to believe that anything could happen to them.  Though they turned from God, they took him for granted.  The scenes Jeremiah shares with us are things I hope to never see.  People strung out dead in the streets, children fainting in the streets and dying.  It is a graphic scene and one that is intended to remind us as readers not to forget.

 

Regarding application…God’s Wrath.  Vs. 6, “He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden; he has destroyed his place of meeting. The Lord has made Zion forget her appointed feasts and her Sabbaths; in his fierce anger he has spurned both king and priest.”  Yesterday, the application was on “Sin Seperates”…and today we are reminded of God’s wrath.  The Babylonians did not prevail…it was God’s wrath that brought the consequences to his people.  If we only looked at this chapter, we would have a very distorted view of God.  That is why it is very important to step back and look at the full context of the Bible.  Even in Jeremiah’s life…he spent 40 years sharing God’s love and mercy upon the people.  But they would not listen.  There was nothing else that could be done, but bring about punishment because their hearts were so hard.  Yet, unlike and enemies punishment…God’s wrath has love and promise to it.  God does not delight in evil.  He allowed such to happen so that his people would turn in repentance.  God is faithful and always will be.

 

Think back in your own life for a moment.  There have been valley’s and mountains.  Yet, God is doing everything he can to draw you nearer to Him.  Question: Are you like the people of Jeremiah’s time?  Ever hearing, but not doing?  Don’t be so complacent and lazy that such a thing could happen to you.  Turn your heart back to God TODAY!  His love and mercy is endless.

Introduction – Lamentations

Lamentations records five chapters of sorrow for God’s chosen city of Jerusalem.  Most biblical scholars point to none other than the prophet Jeremiah who would be an eye-witness of this event.  The fall of Jerusalem happened in 586 BC.  The very word (lament: passionate expression of grief and sorrow) pretty much explains what we are going to be reminded of.  Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and he would weep over God’s people and city.  When we turn our hearts away from the Lord, tough times will inevitably come.  But in the midst of the sorrow, there is a hope for repentance!

Lamentations 1

Vs. 1, “How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!  How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.”  The magnitude of loss was immense.  The destruction of God’s city and the deaths of many overwhelmed any who had witnessed such a thing.  Jeremiah had been preaching for over 40 years to God’s people about repenting from their evil ways.  But they would not listen.  Like the apostle Paul would tell us, “We reap what we sow.” (Galatians 6:7).

 

Regarding application…Sin Seperates.  Vs. 22, “Let all their wickedness come before you; deal with them as you have dealt with me because of all my sins. My groans are many and my heart is faint.”  I think it’s safe to say none of us like to think about the topic of sin in our life.  Yet, this very sin in God’s people would seperate them from Him.  They hid from their sin for years and now they are receiving their consequences.  By the grace of God, He would return them and all of us back to Him.  But, we should let this be a very impactful reminder that nothing can come good of the hardening of our hearts.  Dearest brothers & sisters, how is your heart today?