We have been looking at the prophecy of Jeremiah for the month of September, but today we get into the Laments of Jeremiah. There are many laments in the prophecy, yet this book of the Bible we begin looking at today are of his sorrow as he saw the word of God fulfilled. The grief he experienced was greater than one when God told him he would never marry a wife (Jeremiah 16:1-2). Hear these words in Jeremiah’s lament for Jerusalem and Judah when the city and nation has fallen…
How lonely sits the city That was full of people!
How like a widow is she, Who was great among the nations! The 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 none to comfort her. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies.
Judah has gone into captivity, Under affliction and hard servitude; She dwells among the nations, She finds no rest; All her persecutors overtake her in dire straits.
The roads to Zion mourn Because no one comes to the set feasts. All her gates are desolate; Her priests sigh, Her virgins are afflicted, And she is in bitterness.
Her adversaries have become the master, Her enemies prosper; For the LORD has afflicted her Because of the multitude of her transgressions. Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy. Lamentations 1:1-5 (NKJV)
When we look at Lamentations we must understand it to be poetry. It was written in Hebrew as an acrostic form of poetry where each verse begins with that letter of their alphabet. There are 22 verses in each chapter, except chapter 3; it has 66 verses which is 22 times 3. Just for your information.
The city that once was the talk of the known world, with its magnificent temple to the Living God, glistening in gold, built by king Solomon, the wisest of men, and the wealthiest of men; now was in ruins. Conquered, defeated by Babylon. Why? Because of her departure from God.
Prophets had warned them; they had told wicked kings, and the godly ones of the terrible path the sins of the leaders (religious and political) were taking. It would lead to the downfall and destruction of the city and nation. They might listen for a while, but the next king, or priest would take over, and the downward spiral would continue; until it finally happens. Remember when God speaks; what God speaks happens; and it happens just as He says.
Jeremiah, the writer of Lamentations, was sorrowful first of all over their sins. How sorrowful are God’s people, Christians today of sin? I fear we are more sorrowful when we have no money in the pocketbook, or the bank account; or maybe more sorrowful when we have a cold or flu, than when we get angry with someone over cutting us off in traffic; or a curse word we may have said. What about stealing, lying, cheating, murder, and adultery? Do we sorrow over these sins.
I heard a man say one time, “You can tell the character of a man (and I am sure he meant of a woman too) by what makes him angry.” Well, it seems to me that could be applied to what we are looking at today. You can tell the character of an individual by what makes them sorrowful.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:27-30
Jesus and the Father took our sin very seriously. How serious? The Father gave us His Son, and He gave His life to save us from it, and by doing so gives us eternal life.