Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Search The Scriptures -- Lamentations

Study 1 – Lamentations 1

  1. Jerusalem’s cocktail of sorrow is made up of:
    Betrayal of her allies
    The ease of her enemies
    The loss of her treasures
    The humility of her circumstances
    The destitution of her children

Jerusalem was in such a state due to her rebellion against a righteous God and her failure to look to the future rather than to live in the moment.

  1. I do not find resentment in this chapter. The author realizes that the nation of Judah is to blame and that God is just in all of His decisions. The Lord is referred to as ‘righteous’ while Judah is referred to as ‘rebellious.’ At the same time that there is no resentment toward the Lord there is a final call in the closing verse for the destruction of the enemies that God is using to achieve His will among the nation of Judah.

Study 2 – Lamentations 2

  1. The right hand of God sustains His people, protects His people, and destroys the enemies of His people. Remove that sustaining, protecting, and warring hand and disaster becomes imminent

  2. The hearts of the people have began to cry out to the Lord (2:18 & 19). The longer we wait to cry out to Him the longer the time of discipline will be.

Study 3 – Lamentations 3

  1. A change from ‘the minor to the major key’ is caused by the discipline of God hitting the mark. The focus when ‘the minor key’ is sung is on self. The focus when ‘the major key’ is being sung is upon God. When we think of our own plight we can easily become depressed. When we focus on the greatness of God; the light will dispel the darkness.

  2. The characteristics of God mentioned in 3:22-42: Love; compassion; faithfulness; and salvation. It is foolish to murmur and complain in times of chastisement because the chastisement is the Lord’s way of bringing us to the place where we will focus upon Him and not upon ourselves. The longer we focus on the pain of the punishment the longer we will be disciplined. It is when we cease to fight the punishment and begin to acknowledge the justification behind receiving such a punishment that God begins to pour out His Spirit upon us.

  3. The writer begins to pray for retribution against the enemies that the Lord used to discipline Him. If the enemies of God that He allows to discipline His chosen people remain unpunished then they will not come to realize the power of God in their own lives and will continue down a path of sin. We should want the destruction of our enemies, not so they will end up in eternity separated from God, but so that they will repent and receive the same mercy that we have.

Study 4 – Lamentations 4

  1. “But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of righteousness.”  -- Lamentations 4:13

    What makes the severity of judgment stand out to me in this chapter is that the writer is careful to reveal just how blessed the nation was prior to judgment. The nation goes from being precious jewels to being litter in the streets. From being as valuable as gold to as useless as a broken pot. Death by sword was to be preferred to life because to live meant famine and captivity.

  2. When we depend on the devices and plans of man for our salvation we can rest assured that destruction will come upon us. Our help is to be found in the Lord. As the prophet Zecharaiah wrote: “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.”

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