THE BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS
(The Faithfulness of God - November 19, 2023)
Series Big Idea: "Jeremiah lamented the destruction of Jerusalem, which was prompted by the Lord’s anger"
Sermon Big Idea: “Since we are dealt with according to God’s mercy, we should acknowledge it to His praise"
Key Scripture (Lamentations 3:19-24)
God is good all the time! He has absolutely been good to us! For those of us who trust in Christ, He has forgiven our sins; never to remember them again (Psalm 103:12). Paul defines love in (1 Corinthians 13:1-8). He seems to be referring to God's faithfulness when he says, "His love protects, trusts, hopes, and endures forever" The Old Testament passage we will read today inspired Thomas Chisholm's hymn "Great is Thy faithfulness."
Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood, and the poison. 20 I continually remember them and have become depressed. 21 Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. 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.
Lamentations is made up of five poems that all talk about how tragic it is that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians. Israel would not listen to Jeremiah's warnings. So, God allowed the army of Babylon to conquer the land and destroy Jerusalem. The prophet grieved for his country and wrote a series of acrostic poems about Israel's sin and God's anger. The Book of Lamentations is made up of these poems. But even though he was sorrowful, Jeremiah still looked to God for hope.
Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet because of his deep and seemingly painful lament. We can almost feel Jeremiah's emotion in chapter three as he describes his outward affliction and his inward turmoil. It had almost pushed him to totally despair. His life is a parallel with what was going on in Judah. But the thought of God's faithful love (v 21) crowded out all the hopelessness that was threatening to destroy him.
Although God was punishing Judah for their sin, He did not reject His chosen people. We can see His faithful love in the fact He was preserving a remnant of His people to carry on. But could Judah push God so far that God would abandon them forever? Jeremiah's answer is no! God's supply of loyal love and compassion are not limited! He said God's mercies are new every morning. God offered a fresh supply of loyal love every day much like He did for their ancestors in the wilderness. This caused Jeremiah to call out in praise "Great is Thy faithfulness!" He was in wonder of the limitless supply of God's love that was offered to him.
How about you? Are you speechless and in awe when it comes to God's limitless supply of grace that He offers you? You see, Jeremiah had made up his mind to wait for God to act in bringing about restoration and blessing. He could trust God despite his circumstances. He now understood how inexhaustible God's endless supply of loyal love really is. Do you?
The view of the circumstances in your life right now may be bleak. It may be beyond anything you have ever experienced. But if you and I had been dealt with according to our sins we would have been consumed a long time ago. But we are not. We are dealt with according to God’s mercy in Jesus Christ. That should make us thankful and praise God. If you haven’t trusted Christ, it should make you turn to Him now.
Pastor Beaver's thoughts and ideas are inspired by:
Holman Christian Standard Bible
English Standard Version Bible
King James Version Bible
Christian Standard Bible
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. Electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991.
Brooks, Keith. Summarized Bible: Complete Summary of the Old Testament. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009.
Easley, Kendell H. Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding the Bible. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2002.
George, Jim. The Basic Bible Pocket Guide: *book by Book Summaries *key Verses *life Applications *life Applications. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2016.
Dyer, Charles H. “Lamentations.” In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, edited by J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, 1:1217. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985.
Hays, J. Daniel. Jeremiah and Lamentations. Edited by Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton. Teach the Text Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2016.
Butler, John G. Isaiah to Ezekiel. Vol. 8. Analytical Bible Expositor. Clinton, IA: LBC Publications, 2013.
Walker, Larry L., Elmer A. Martens. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, & Lamentations. Vol. 8. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005.
Dearman, J. Andrew. Jeremiah and Lamentations. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2002.
Harrison, R. K. Jeremiah and Lamentations: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 21. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973.
Wood, Fred, and Ross McLaten. Jeremiah, Lamentations. Edited by Max Anders. Vol. 16. Holman Old Testament Commentary. Nashville, TN.: Holman Reference, 2006.
MacArthur, John F., Jr. The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006.
Life Application Bible Notes. Tyndale, 2007.
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