To lament, to repent, what does that mean? Webster defines it as a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. In other words wailing as tears flow uncontrollably for what has happened. Have you ever felt the need to lament and grieve for what you have said or done? The Bible includes an entire book on a course of legitimate lamenting for our souls benefit.
Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet, he was a man of constant sorrow. He penned chapter 3 of Lamentations through the eyes of a foot soldier of God, a man who felt like God was against him. Chapter 3 totals 66 verses which takes us from Hope Removed, to Hope Remembered, to Hope Realized. At exactly half way though we are encouraged “For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.” Jeremiah 3:33. We read with eyes widened as we join Jeremiah in his depression whenever HOPE feels removed. Have you ever felt forced to walk in darkness as you witness the crumbling of our nation? Have you ever been in a pit of despair where you could not remember a moment of happiness? “He ground my teeth on gravel, my soul was deprived of peace.”
Have you spent a time when all strength and hope seemed to have vanished? When God intervened — we recalled to mind the Lord’s faithfulness, when His enduring love kept us from perishing. God disciplines those He loves and Jeremiah agrees that it was good for him to bear a yoke of hardship in his youth. When God called Jeremiah to be His prophet, Jeremiah lamented “I am too young.” The book of Lamentations is all about repentance. “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven: We have sinned and rebelled.” Let us offer our cheek to the ONE who could strike us down. Let us turn back to God and treasure His sacrifice with respect. The Lord is our portion, and He is good, He is our hope. Why ever complain, His way is just and for our good. Punishment of sin by our holy God is a constant must. We are His witness to thousands of mercies extended from generation to generation. His compassion never ceases, our rebellion is forgiven. He subdues His anger to constantly pursue ungrateful souls. Jeremiah’s grief and our grief is relieved because of the HOPE our Father extends to all who call out to Jesus. Life is hard and we all experience times of panic and tears that flow out of desperation. “The Lord will not reject forever, He shows compassion as He disciplines and restores. “I called on Your name, ‘Yahweh, from the depths of the pit.” Jeremiah 3:55
March 5, 2023 at Grace Church in Dallas, Texas -notes out of the book of Lamentations 3:1-66. Sermon given by Pastor Jace Cloud, a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate with a PHD in applied theology.
Hope removed – Jeremiah 3:1-18
Hope restored – Jeremiah 3:19-38
Hope realized – Jeremiah 3:39-66
Grace Bible Church website https://www.gracebiblechurch.org/
The book of Lamentations does not identify its writer, but the common view is that God chose Jeremiah to write the justified lament of His people. The Jewish people read Lamentations on their annual fast to remember Jerusalem’s destruction.
“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood…to Him be glory and power for ever and ever!” Revelation 1:5
The book of Lamentations was written while the children of God suffered for seventy years in Babylon. As the gates and walls of the Holy City were set on fire, they also watched the horror of cannibalism, the murder of Priests, the slaying of innocent children and the sacrilege of the Temple of God being destroyed. The body and spirit of God’s people suffered the greatest of agony. Lamentations gives dignity to suffering. The Word of God hides nothing from us.
ONE LESSON within Lamentations: The excitement and pleasure briefly enjoyed while we sin is not worth the length of sorrow endured. The content recorded is a beautiful poem that captures the highs and lows of life in and outside of God’s law. Jeremiah worked out his own grief as he penned what the Spirit of God was saying.
This old hymn was sung at Grace Bible Church. It was written by John Newton who also wrote Amazing Grace. Lovely lyrics “Let us love and sing and wonder, let us praise the Savior’s name! He that hushed the law’s loud thunder, He washed us with His blood, He presents our souls to God. Let us sing through fierce temptation, it threatens hard to bear us down.” Indeed, through our lamenting, let us marvel at His grace and justice, let us draw near to His mercy seat.” Sunday choir March 5, 2023 – The value of Lamentations is that it demonstrates God’s justified wrath towards our sin nature, and His salvation plan. Pictures to remind me of God’s blessings while scampering through Plano. A local circle of Oak homes for happy squirrels and nuts like me.
John Newton was an English evangelical Anglican cleric and slavery abolitionist. He had previously been a captain of slave ships and an investor in the slave trade. He served as a sailor in the Royal Navy and was himself enslaved for a time in West Africa. In 1748, during his return voyage to England aboard the ship Greyhound, Newton had a spiritual conversion. He awoke to find the ship caught in a severe storm off the coast of Ireland and about to sink. In response, Newton began praying for God’s mercy, after which the storm began to die down. After four weeks at sea, the Greyhound made it to port.This experience marked the beginning of his conversion to Christianity. He began to read the Bible and other Christian literature. By the time he reached Britain, he had accepted the doctrines of Christianity. The date was 10 March 1748, an anniversary he marked for the rest of his life.