Speaker: Rusty Kennedy
Series: Bible Stories
- Like the Book of Job, the Book of Lamentations addresses human suffering.
- Unlike Job, Lamentations focuses on national suffering—specifically, the suffering of Judah.
- Along the way, the book tackles some of the toughest questions faced by God’s people:
2) Where was God during His people’s unhappiest hour?
Remember the difference between Old Covenant & New Covenant…
- Don’t just read all this into your own life.
- Old Covenant – God based everything on their behavior:
- Good = Blessed
- Evil = Cursed
- New Covenant – We have a Spirit inside of us.
- We walk by the Spirit = Adventure
- We walk by the flesh = Logical consequences
- National disaster
Lamentations 1 – Suffering of Jerusalem
2 She weeps aloud during the night, with tears on her cheeks.
There is no one to offer her comfort, not one from all her lovers.
All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.
Lamentations 2 – Suffering of the Temple
6 He has done violence to His temple as if it were a garden booth, destroying His place of meeting.
The LORD has abolished appointed festivals and Sabbaths in Zion. He has despised king and priest in His fierce anger.
7 The Lord has rejected His altar, repudiated His sanctuary; He has handed the walls of her palaces over to the enemy.
They have raised a shout in the house of the LORD as on the day of an appointed festival.
8 The LORD determined to destroy the wall of Daughter Zion. He stretched out a measuring line and did not restrain Himself from destroying. He made the ramparts and walls grieve; together they waste away.
9 Zion’s gates have fallen to the ground; He has destroyed and shattered the bars on her gates. Her king and her leaders live among the nations, instruction is no more, and even her prophets receive no vision from the LORD.
- 1) Jehovah was far more concerned with his people’s lives than the material trappings of the temple. Hence, he had his temple destroyed as a part of Judah’s punishment.
- 2) God can work through a wicked nation (e.g., the Babylonians [cf. Jeremiah 25:9f]) to accomplish a greater good.
- 3) Judah’s destruction was a fulfillment of earlier prophecy.
Lamentations 3 – Suffering of Jeremiah
- Every truly spiritual person will be concerned for the welfare of God’s people as a whole.
- The faithful Christian must never isolate himself and ignore the condition of the church as it exists everywhere.
23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
24 I say: The LORD is my portion; therefore, I will put my hope in Him.
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the LORD.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust — perhaps there is still hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with shame.
31 For the Lord will not reject us forever.
32 Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love.
33 For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.
Lamentations 4 – Suffering of the Siege
- 1) When children suffered, some doubtless wondered, “Where is God?” But we must remember this, in a world that is plagued with evil, sometimes even the innocent suffer.
- 2) Apostasy sometimes begins among those who should be the safeguards against it—the religious leaders. There is great responsibility in leadership (cf. James 3:1).
11 The LORD has exhausted His wrath, poured out His burning anger; He has ignited a fire in Zion, and it has consumed her foundations.
12 The kings of the earth and all the world’s inhabitants did not believe that an enemy or adversary could enter Jerusalem’s gates.
13 Yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the guilt of her priests, who shed the blood of the righteous within her.
Lamentations 5 – Penitent Plea from Judah
16 The crown has fallen from our head.
Woe to us, for we have sinned.
17 Because of this, our heart is sick;
because of these, our eyes grow dim:
18 because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate
and has jackals prowling in it.
19 You, Lord, are enthroned forever;
Your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why have You forgotten us forever,
abandoned us for our entire lives?
21 Lord, restore us to Yourself, so we may return;
renew our days as in former times,
22 unless You have completely rejected us
and are intensely angry with us.
- It is a truism beyond dispute that when men turn away from God, he will turn away from them.
- His holy nature cannot tolerate rebellion (Habakkuk 1:13).
- His justice demands punishment (Psalm 89:14).
- Happily, though, Jehovah is a God of tender compassion, and he is anxious to forgive those who yield to his divine will.
- God did remember the Hebrew people.
- A half century later, the restoration from Babylonian captivity was begun.
- The people came home again and the temple was rebuilt.
- But preliminary to that, many hard—though-valuable lessons had to be learned by the Jews.
Let’s talk about parenting…
- Keith asked me a question if a child’s behavior could be the result of parenting.
- Keith Tyner: Was there any correlation between a parent's pursuit of Jesus and their child's behavior?
- Keith Tyner: Or would my pursuit of Jesus protect my family from rebellion?
- Reactive parenting vs proactive parenting.
- Logical negative consequences
- What do you do when you have done everything you can do for your child?
- Can you make decisions for them?
- How painful is it to watch them make bad decisions and there is nothing you can do?
- Sometimes you even have to make hard decisions to get them to hopefully change their ways.
- What is the biggest thing you can do to help your helpless child?