Sunday School, Book of Lamentations…
“There is nothing like the Lamentations of Jeremiah in the whole world. There has been plenty of sorrow in every age, and in every land, but such another preacher and author, with such a heart for sorrow, has never again been born. Dante comes next to Jeremiah, and we know that Jeremiah was the great exile’s favorite prophet.” Dr. Alexander Whyte.
Chapter 1 vs. 1. The great city of Jerusalem has fallen. “Like a widow,” a word picture of a grieving woman, desolate. God, representing the husband, is gone. This widow picture is also used Ezek. 16:23 and Mic. 4: 10, 13. “Become a tributary” or slave, Judah was taken captive to serve Babylon as slaves.
vs. 2. All of her so-called allies that Israel had been in idolatry with had abandoned her. Lovers and friends now become enemies.
vs. 3. Judah goes into captivity as a result of disobedience. They did not follow God’s instructions concerning the land or slave ownership.
vs. 4. Zion, the mount where God dwells, where the temple was built. No more Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Priests sigh or mourn, were probably some of the last to leave. Persons of all ages, rich or poor, were bitter.
vs. 5. Here is the cause of the judgment, ‘for the multitude of her transgressions.’ Jer. 30:14-15.
vs.6-8. In verse 8 note, ‘Jerusalem hath grievously sinned’ the first explanation for the fall of the city. This is a very vivid description of the sin they had committed.
vs. 9 A graphic picture of her sin that started at her head reaches all the way to the bottom of her skirt.
vs. 10 The things of the sanctuary were pleasant things. Nations entered and spoiled these items, they looted.
vs. 11 The description of the devastated widow ends, and a plea to the Lord is given.
vs. 12 This is a description of the fierce anger of God, that most people do not like to hear today. “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” Look at how many people are passing by our land today. Do they care what is going on? All of the sin in our land boils down to a rejection of God. People and some Christians too, don’t care and just thumb their noses at God. They pass by the Cross where Christ gave His All for all, they pass by the sin and the the abominations. Sin, God has an answer for sin. God has a remedy for what makes us all sick. The thief on the cross was saved. Paul, who probably murdered Stephen by being responsible for it, got saved. Moses was a murderer. God has a remedy for all except those that reject Him. Rejecting Jesus Christ, the greatest of all sins.
vs 13. Jerusalem looks for compassion from strangers. “If there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.” Read Dan. 9:12
vs 14 God controls His people much like a farmer once the yoke is put on the animal. Deut. 28:14 speaks of God allowing the enemy to put a yoke of iron on His people.
vs 15 “Assembly” not just a group of people, but an army. In a winepress, picture the juice bursting from the grape by the pressing motion. Yikes! This is strong language like that is used in Revelation speaking of God’s final wrath.
vs 16 Who is far from the writer? The Comforter, God.
vs 17 Like a woman during her time of the month. Israel is considered filthy and unclean.
vs 18 Jeremiah stands alone amid a pile of ashes and mourns the destruction of Jerusalem. Two things are going on here, 1. Jerusalem has sinned, yet God loves Jerusalem. 2. “The Lord is righteous.” Here is a statement from G. Campbell Morgan, “This is a supreme necessity in the interest of the universe. Prisons are in the interest of the free. Hell is the safeguard of heaven. A state that cannot punish crime is doomed; and a God Who tolerates evil is not good. Deny me my Biblical revelation of the anger of God, and I am insecure in the universe. But reveal to me this Throne established, occupied by One Whose heart is full of tenderness, Whose bowels yearn with love; then I am assured that He will not tolerate that which blights and blasts and damns; but will destroy it, and all its instruments, in the interest of that which is high and noble.” We have a living and loving God that yearns for us, but, if we turn our backs to Him, He will judge us. A God of love, a God of righteousness, and a God of Holiness. Jeremiah reveals God’s heart, the prophet weeps, God weeps, the prophet sorrows, God sorrows. We need to trust Him when we don’t understand, trust that He is righteous in all He does. Jerusalem has rejected God. An individual can reject God.
vs 19-22 Nothing wrong with praying for the ungodly as they are enemies of God also. (Ps. 109: 14-15.