Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Faithfulness - Lamentations 3

Lamentations 3:22-23 "It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness."

Very often a passage will start off as a statement and end up in a prayer of thanksgiving or praise, as if the one talking has been given insight while they were speaking. Psalm 23 is such a passage.

In studying Jeremiah and Lamentations (same author) we need to keep in mind that Jeremiah was sort of like a conduit between Israel and the Lord. He spoke the complaints of Israel during this time of suffering. He also spoke the words of the Lord. With that in mind, we should remember that Jeremiah was a man. He suffered like anyone else. He was a man of emotion. He felt what was going on and expressed it with tears and sadness and sometimes anger.

Here are my notes I took to summarize this in my own mind: Jeremiah is upset over the judgment in chapter 2 verse 20 until he is thrown in the dungeon by his people in chapter 3 verse 53, then he was praying for them to be punished in chapter 3:64.

2:20 "Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the LORD? See also 4:10

3:53 "They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me." See also Jeremiah 38:6.

3:64 "Render unto them a recompense, O LORD, according to the work of their hands."

So we see that Jeremiah's attitude changed as he went through these events. He was rescued from the dungeon but he learned some things. He learned just how evil the people had become. He learned that there is mercy when he was pulled from the dungeon. I learned that I am glad that the Lord is in charge because our moods change with circumstance. We would not be good judges.

Jerusalem is under siege. In this type of warfare, the enemy simply encamps around a city and waits for the inhabitants to either starve or surrender. Jeremiah had been begging them to submit to the enemy so that they could survive. The false prophets told them that they would see victory if they would but hang on. Jeremiah was right, the false prophets were wrong.

The Lord gave measured judgment. Israel had committed grievous sins but He still wished to preserve them as a nation.

v48 "Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people."

Remember that Jeremiah expressed (often) the heart of God through these events.

Jeremiah 2:13 "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

Jeremiah 5:19 "And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours."

Chapter 3 of Jeremiah.

No comments: