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Lamentations

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Lamentations 1:1–3 KJV 1900
1 How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, And princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! 2 She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: Among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: All her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. 3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: She dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: All her persecutors overtook her between the straits.
alm 1:1-3

LAMENTATIONS

INTRODUCTION

1. This book has been called the “wailing wall” of the Bible.
And Jeremiah the “weeping prophet”
2. Jeremiah had warned Judah for forty years that their sins would find them out. () This book is the eye‑witness account of a broken‑hearted preacher who saw his own prophecies of judgment being fulfilled.
Jeremiah 4:5–10 KJV 1900
5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. 6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. 8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the Lord is not turned back from us. 9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the Lord, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
Jeremiah 4:5–7 KJV 1900
5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. 6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
jer 5:
3. The amazing thing about this book is that after Jeremiah was persecuted and imprisoned as a traitor and false prophet for warning the people of coming judgment, when judgment came, he was not glad because he was right, but rather wept much for the sorrow of his people.
4. Few other books in the Bible give a better picture of God’s heart when He is forced to chasten His people. Jeremiah’s tears and weeping are a mere shadow of the broken heart of a loving God.

I. THE PROVOKING OF GOD! ()

The people of Judah provoked God with their actions. They pushing against the very things that were there to help them and bless them.
Jeremiah preached for a change of action, but the nation did not listen.

A. They ignored His mercy.

1. From the time that David established Jerusalem as his capital, God had blessed this city for almost four hundred years.
2. In spite of His protection and care, the people turned to the false gods of their neighboring heathen countries.
His mercy is withholding what they truly deserved!
They mocked his MERCY by disregarding it!

B. They ignored His longsuffering. ()

1. God permitted the northern kingdom of Israel to be carried into captivity by Assyria. That served as a warning to Judah!
They did not listen.
2. God allowed Judah to continue their rebellion and wickedness for 115 additional years before permitting their captivity.
additional years before permitting their captivity.
() - “Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.”
2 Peter 3:9 KJV 1900
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

C. They ignored His demonstrated love.

1. God does not desire to afflict His people, in fact, God’s judgment of sin is called His “strange work.”
1. God does not desire to afflict His people, in fact, God=s judgment of sin is called His “strange work.”
() - “For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.”
They dismissed God’s love! How did he demonstrate his love?

1. Love demonstrated through Moses. ()

a. By His personal warnings given through Moses. ()

2. Love demonstrated through prophets. ()

2 Chronicles 36:15–16 KJV 1900
15 And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

3. Love demonstrated through chastening. ()

“Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.”
Hebrews 12:6 KJV 1900
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

II. THE PUNISHMENT FROM GOD! ()

A. God’s punishment is delayed to the last possible moment ‑ to allow time for repentance. That is longsuffering!
B. When it does finally arrive, it is complete. Notice that God’s chastisement was upon:

A. God’s punishment affected their homes. ()

a. () - “The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.”
b. The very homes were brought to piles of rubbish.
That affected them in a very personal way.

B. God’s punishment affected their city. ()

a. () - “The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.”
b. The walls of Jerusalem, which had received more trust for protection than God had received, had been demolished and allowed easy access to all foreign armies.
Jerusalem was destroyed.

C. God’s punishment affected their temple. ()

a. () - “And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.”
b. When the people had fallen into ritualism, God allowed His dwelling place to be removed from His people. The “pleasant things” mentioned in () probably refer to the ark and altar in the temple.
Lamentations 1:7 KJV 1900
7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries All her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, When her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: The adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.
Lamentations 1:7 KJV 1900
7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries All her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, When her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: The adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.

D. God’s punishment affected their people. ()

a. () - “The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword; thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed, and not pitied.”
b. God allowed the invading army of Nebuchadnezzar to kill many of the Jews, whose bodies littered the streets of Jerusalem.
Complete destruction.

III. THE PROPHET OF GOD! ()

What about Jeremiah, the one that had to preach the demise of his beloved nation.

A. Jeremiah’s suffering. ()

1. Jeremiah's life was such a vivid picture of the life of Christ. He who was innocent, became the object of divine wrath.
2. Through Jeremiah, God illustrated the certainty of judgment upon sin. Notice that he was:

1. Brought into darkness. (,)

Lamentations 3:2 KJV 1900
2 He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.
Lamentations 3:6 KJV 1900
6 He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.
This is picturing the spiritual darkness which Judah would endure as part of her chastening.
Lamentations 3:8 KJV 1900
8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.
() - AAlso when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.@

2. Brought into bondage. (Lam 3:6-7)

b. Led into bondage. Jeremiah was cast into the dungeon as a shadow of the approaching captivity in Babylon. () - AHe hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.@
Jeremiah was cast into the dungeon as a shadow of the approaching captivity in Babylon.
Lamentations 3:6–7 KJV 1900
6 He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. 7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.
() - “He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.”

3. The object of hatred. (Lam. 3:14)

c. The object of scorn and hatred. Judah soon discovered that the nations whom she thought friendly were the first to rejoice at the downfall.
Judah soon discovered that the nations whom she thought friendly were the first to rejoice at the downfall.
() - “I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.”

B. Jeremiah’s security. ()

1. Jeremiah was of no comfort to anyone until he quit thinking of his own problems and began looking at the compassion and mercy of God.
2. Jeremiah does not assure the people that God will stop His judgment if they will repent because he knew that it was too late. Instead, he reminds them of God’s mercy.
() - “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”
His assurance and security did not come from results, but rather from God’s nature!
He what GOD was like!

C. Jeremiah’s advice. ()

“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.”
Lamentations 3:40–41 KJV 1900
40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
1. Jeremiah does not promise the people what will happen if they repent ‑ he simply encourages them to do so because it is right and God is just.
1. Jeremiah does not promise the people what will happen if they repent ‑ he simply encourages them to do so because it is right and God is just.
2. Jeremiah’s advice is two‑fold:

1. Repent of sin. ()

“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.”

2. Be patient. ()

“For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.”
b. To wait. () - AFor the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.@

IV. THE PEOPLE OF GOD! ()

In the midst of all of this turmoil. What happened to God’s people?

A. The children. (Lam. 4:4)

1. Sin never affects only the sinner, but will hurt and destroy all those near it. () - “The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.”
2. While these children would never have to stand before God and suffer eternal punishment for the sins of their fathers, they did suffer the consequences of national sin.
() - “Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.”
Sin always affects those around you! Parents, your sins have a direct consequence on your children.

B. The rich. (Lam 4:5)

Those who thought themselves immune from trouble were turned into penniless vagabonds who searched manure piles for food.
() - "They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.”
Money, although powerful, is not match for God.
If you trust in riches - you will be disappointed every time.

C. The women. (Lam. 4:10)

The mothers were brought to such a pitiful state that they were forced to eat their own children ‑ or starve.
() - “The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
Wow.

D. The false prophets. (Lam 4:13-14)

The very preachers who allowed the people to live comfortably in their sins were now treated as lepers and not allowed to even dwell among the people.
() - "For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her, They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.”
They opportunity to support Jeremiah, but did not! Now it was too late.

E. The king. (Lam. 4:20)

King Zedekiah, the anointed of the Lord (though wicked) was captured only a few miles outside of Jerusalem. He wanted to shelter his people while living among the defiled heathen. Instead, he was forced to watch the execution of his sons, then his eyes were gouged out.
Jeremiah 39:6–7 KJV 1900
6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. 7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.
() - “The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.”
() - “The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.”
taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.@

V. THE PRAYER TO GOD! ()

What was the prayer of Jeremiah after this capture.

A. A prayer of remembrance. ()

For God to remember his people and his promise! He has never forgotten both, but the people need to be reminded.
Knowing of God’s great mercy, Jeremiah pleads for Him to remember the agony of His people.
() - “Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.”

B. A prayer of repentance. (Lam. 5:16)

The quickest way to forgiveness is to leave off making excuses and begin confessing sin.
() - “The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!”
Agree with GOD and change your mind about what you are doing or not doing!

C. A prayer of renewal. ()

Jeremiah was not requesting for a renewal of things, such as their homes, possessions, or even their land. Rather, he was requesting for God to renew their walk with Him.
() - “Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.”
James 4:8 KJV 1900
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

CONCLUSION

1. God’s anger is extremely slow while His judgment is extremely swift.
2. When God’s deadline of repentance is passed, our only recourse is to repent of our sins and to wait upon the Lord to finish His chastisement.
There is a deadline.
What is that thing in your life that you need to adjust quickly in your life? If there is something that you know needs attention, why delay?
Do it today!

Prayer

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