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“May you and I trust in the Lord.” <>< Dona (11/06/20)

Please read Lamentations 1 through 5.  If you don’t have a Bible handy just click here -> Biblegateway.com. The Biblegateway website should open for you to use. Type in the chapters you want to read and select the translation you want to read them from. Click search and the chapters should appear. Once you read the suggested chapters close the screen and you should return here.

Lamentations 1 Theme

Mourning over Jerusalem.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jeremiah was saddened by Jerusalem’s situation (v. 1-4).  

Something to think about

God was rejecting the Israelites because they had rebelled against Him (v. 5). The Israelites were experiencing affliction and destruction (v. 7).  Because they had sinned greatly (v. 8).  Though Jeremiah had lived his life in obedience to God, he was still suffering along with the sinful nation of Israel (v. 12).  Jerusalem’s allies couldn’t help her (v. 19).  Because God was not with them.   

Something to experience

We can ignore God for only so long before judgment has to come (v. 22).

Scripture to hide in your heart

Lamentations 1:1-4 1How the city sits solitary, that was full of people!  She has become as a widow, who was great among the nations!  She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave!  She weeps bitterly in the night.  Her tears are on her cheeks. Among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her.  All her friends have dealt treacherously with her.  They have become her enemies.  Judah has gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude.  She dwells among the nations.  She finds no rest.  All her persecutors overtook her within the straits. The roads to Zion mourn, because no one comes to the solemn assembly.  All her gates are desolate.  Her priests sigh.  Her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness.

Lamentations 1:5 Her adversaries have become the head.  Her enemies prosper; for the Lord has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions.  Her young children have gone into captivity before the adversary.

Lamentations 1:7 Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that were from the days of old; when her people fell into the hand of the adversary, and no one helped her.  The adversaries saw her.  They mocked at her desolations.

Lamentations 1:8 Jerusalem has grievously sinned.  Therefore she has become unclean.  All who honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness.  Yes, she sighs, and turns backward.

Lamentations 1:12 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?  Look, and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me, with which the Lord has afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.”

Lamentations 1:19 “I called for my lovers, but they deceived me.  My priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city, while they sought food for themselves to refresh their souls.”

Lamentations 1:22 “Let all their wickedness come before You.  Do to them as You have done to me for all my transgressions.  For my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.”

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Lamentations 2 Theme

God’s attitude toward sin.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, You withdrew Your protection from Israel (v. 1-3).

Something to think about

Jerusalem lost four sources of security: the protection of a gate, their leadership, their law and their prophets’ visions (v. 9). Jerusalem could have chosen to repent and return to God but they didn’t. The prophet Jeremiah though sincerely cried out for help (v. 11).  False prophets were lying to the people about what God was saying (v. 14).  Jerusalem’s enemies were gloating about what was happening and what would happen (v. 15-16).  Jeremiah encouraged the people to cry out to God for their children’s welfare (v. 18-19).  Jeremiah knew if the people didn’t repent and turn to God, that their actions would bring destruction (v. 20-22).  MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS: I believe the repercussions from the sin of some caused the devastation that came upon even the innocent. If they had repented and turned back to trusting in the Lord, I believe all their lives would have been different.

Something to experience

We too need to cry out to the Lord because many in our nation have moved from following God to following whatever they believe will benefit them personally.  But as a nation we all will feel the wave of devastation that may come upon America.  There are people today, just like in Jeremiah’s time, who have turned their back on God and in the process are destroying America.  Other people’s sin causes grief for even the innocent.  MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS: I believe the Lord has a plan though to save us, that He decreed long ago, that cannot be thwarted by any human (v. 17).  See also II Chronicles 7:14.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Lamentations 2:1-31 How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger!  He has cast the beauty of Israel down from heaven to the earth, and hasn’t remembered His footstool in the day of His anger.  The Lord has swallowed up all the dwellings of Jacob without pity.  He has thrown down in His wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah.  He has brought them down to the ground.  He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.  He has cut off all the horn of Israel in fierce anger.  He has drawn back His right hand from before the enemy.  He has burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around.

Lamentations 2:9 Her gates have sunk into the ground. He has destroyed and broken her bars.  Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not.  Yes, her prophets find no vision from the Lord.

Lamentations 2:11 My eyes fail with tears.  My heart is troubled.  My liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city.

Lamentations 2:14 Your prophets have seen false and foolish visions for you. They have not uncovered your iniquity, to reverse your captivity, but have seen for you false revelations and causes of banishment.

Lamentations 2:15-16 15 All that pass by clap their hands at you.  They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, “Is this the city that men called ‘The perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth’?”  16 All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you.  They hiss and gnash their teeth.  They say, “We have swallowed her up.  Certainly this is the day that we looked for.  We have found it.  We have seen it.”

Lamentations 2:17 The Lord has done that which He planned.  He has fulfilled His word that He commanded in the days of old.  He has thrown down, and has not pitied.  He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you.  He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.

Lamentations 2:18-19 18 Their heart cried to the Lord.  O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night.  Give yourself no relief.  Don’t let your eyes rest.  19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.  Lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.

Lamentations 2:20-22 20 “Look, O Lord, and see to whom you have done thus!  Should the women eat their offspring, the children that they held and bounced on their knees?  Should the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?  21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets.  My virgins and my young men have fallen by the sword.  You have killed them in the day of your anger.  You have slaughtered, and not pitied.  22 You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side.  There was no one that escaped or remained in the day of the Lord’s anger.  My enemy has consumed those whom I have cared for and brought up.”

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Lamentations 3 Theme

Punishment balanced with love.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, if only we could all understand that sometimes punishment has to come in our life for us to experience Your love.

Something to think about

Jeremiah experienced God’s judgment and God’s love. Because he knew God loved him, he was able to persevere during the times of affliction (v. 19-21). God will respond when we call out to Him for help (v. 22-26).  Jeremiah knew God would rather not bring affliction upon His children.  He knew God could show compassion and unfailing love (v. 31-33).  But He would allow His children to experience punishment for their sins too (v. 37-39).  Jeremiah encouraged the people to examine and test their ways and to return to God and repent (v. 40-42). Jeremiah’s actual experience in a muddy pit is similar to the nation sinking into sin.  He was rescued from the pit when he called out God.  And the Israelites could be saved if they would turn to God for help (v. 55-60).

Something to experience

God loves us and wants only good for us.  But some of us have other ideas.  When we step outside God’s plan for our life we begin walking in sin.  And sin can lead to pain in our life and in the lives of those around us.  Or we can seek God’s correction and learn to live in ways that please Him.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Lamentations 3:19-21 19 Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the bitterness.  20 My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me. 21 This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope. 

Lamentations 3:22-26 22 It is because of the Lord’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because His compassion doesn’t fail.  23 They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness.  24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul. “Therefore I will hope in Him.”  25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.  26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:31-33 31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.  32  For though He causes grief, yet He will have compassion according to the multitude of His loving kindnesses.  33 For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

Lamentations 3:37-39 37 Who is he who says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord doesn’t command it?  38 Doesn’t evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?  39  Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

Lamentations 3:40-42 40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. 41 Let’s lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.  42 “We have transgressed and have rebelled.  You have not pardoned. 

Lamentations 3:55-60 55 I called on Your name, O Lord, out of the lowest dungeon. 56 You heard my voice: “Don’t hide Your ear from my sighing, and my cry.” 57 You came near in the day that I called on You.  You said, “Don’t be afraid.” 58 Lord, You have pleaded the causes of my soul.  You have redeemed my life. 59 O Lord, You have seen my wrong.  Judge my cause.  60 You have seen all their vengeance and all their plans against me.

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Lamentations 4 Theme

The before and after of Jerusalem.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, the Israelites had become heartless (v. 3).

Something to think about

Jerusalem’s sin was even greater than the sin of Sodom (v. 6). The spiritual leaders were responsible for leading the nation into sin.  They were responsible for the downfall of the nation of Israel and its capital Jerusalem (v. 13-15).  No nation could save the Israelites (v. 17). King Zedekiah, the one the people were following and trusting, was captured (v. 20). Jerusalem’s punishment would end. God would not prolong their exile.  But Edom (an enemy of Jerusalem) would be punished and their wickedness would be revealed (v. 22).

Something to experience

We, too, as individuals and as a nation, should ally ourselves with God.  No person or nation can provide what God can.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Lamentations 4:3 Even the jackals offer their breast.  They nurse their young ones. But the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

Lamentations 4:6 For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment.  No hands were laid on her.

Lamentations 4:13-15 13 It is because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the middle of her.  14 They wander as blind men in the streets.  They are polluted with blood, So that men can’t touch their garments.  15 “Go away!” they cried to them.  “Unclean! Go away! Go away! Don’t touch!”  When they fled away and wandered, men said among the nations, “They can’t live here anymore.”

Lamentations 4:17 Our eyes still fail, looking in vain for our help.  In our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save. 

Lamentations 4:20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their pits; of whom we said, under his shadow we will live among the nations.

Lamentations 4:22 The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, daughter of Zion.  He will no more carry you away into captivity.  He will visit your iniquity, daughter of Edom.  He will uncover your sins.

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Lamentations 5 Theme

Jeremiah interceded for the Israelites (v. 1).

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jeremiah asked You to restore the people (v. 21).

Something to think about

Jeremiah saw the Israelites as orphans, fatherless, and widows (v. 3). What once was theirs was theirs no more (v. 2). They were weary (v. 5).  They were bearing the punishment of their fathers’ sins (v. 7). Nothing seemed to be going right for them (v. 8-14)  They had no joy in their hearts (v. 15). Their hearts were faint (v. 17).  Jeremiah said the Lord reigned forever and His throne endured from generation to generation (v. 19).  Jeremiah asked the Lord to restore and renew them to Himself (v. 21).

Something to experience

When we find ourselves like Jeremiah, discouraged and wondering if God will restore and renew us, we need to turn to Him and ask as Jeremiah did.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Lamentations 5:1Remember, O Lord, what has come on us.  Look, and see our reproach.

Lamentations 5:2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our houses to aliens.

Lamentations 5:3 We are orphans and fatherless.  Our mothers are as widows.

Lamentations 5:5 Our pursuers are on our necks.  We are weary, and have no rest.

Lamentations 5:7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more.  We have borne their iniquities.

Lamentations 5:8-14 Servants rule over us.  There is no one to deliver us out of their hand.  We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness.  10 Our skin is black like an oven, because of the burning heat of famine.  11 They ravished the women in Zion, the virgins in the cities of Judah. 12 Princes were hanged up by their hands.  The faces of elders were not honored. 13 The young men carry millstones.  The children stumbled under loads of wood. 14 The elders have ceased from the gate, and the young men from their music.

Lamentations 5:15 The joy of our heart has ceased.  Our dance is turned into mourning.

Lamentations 5:17 For this our heart is faint.  For these things our eyes are dim:

Lamentations 5:19 You, O Lord, remain forever.  Your throne is from generation to generation.

Lamentations 5:21 Turn us to Yourself, O Lord, and we will be turned.  Renew our days as of old.

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Prayer

Lord, I pray we will recognize the grief we have caused (Lamentations 1:5).  Lord, I pray we will draw near to You and repent of all the wickedness we’ve done (Lamentations 1:20). Lord, thank You for sending Your plan and Your Word to us (Lamentations 2:17). Lord, I pray for the born and unborn children of America. May they be feed with Your Living Water and Your Bread of Life (Lamentations 2:19). Lord, thank You for showing us Your great love, compassions and faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).  Lord, I pray we will hope in and seek You for then You will be good to us (Lamentations 3:25). Lord, I pray we will wait quietly for Your salvation (Lamentations 3:26). Lord, I pray we will examine our ways, test them and return to You (Lamentations 3:40).  Lord, I pray we will call on You and You will hear us and draw near to us (Lamentations 3:55-57). Lord, I pray we will not look to man for our delivery, we will look to You alone (Lamentations 4:17).  Lord, You alone reign forever and Your throne endures forever (Lamentations 5:19).  Lord, I ask You to restore us to Yourself (Lamentations 5:21).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

“May you and I seek God’s restoration and healing.” <>< Dona