~ Lamentations ~ A case study in Sorrow & Grief
The book of Lamentations is a riveting historical narrative of the prophet Jeremiah’s agonizing heartfelt disconsolate melancholic despondency. Jeremiah scribes in detail an impressive account on the fall of Jerusalem. He candidly expresses his cavernous emotions and sorrowful laments of his soul. The Holy City has died! He is overwrought with pain from the tremendous losses not just for himself but for his people and the nation at large. Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet.” No doubt he was despondent over the devastation of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple as well as the disaster that was upon his people for their disobedience.
These Old Testament Laments are analogously written in the same rhythmic cadence of the ancient Jewish funeral songs. There are five dirges in Lamentations. Four of the five chapters contain 22 verses except chapter three that contains 66 verses. Here in Lamentations you will discover laments of wisdom, ritual and prophecy. Jeremiah reflects back on what has been. This elegy is laden with a plethora of depressive moments that takes us into the darkness of emotional pain. It is a definite funeral “dirge” reflective of the mournful end of what was. God’s people have rejected His will and His way and forsaken His principles to the point of utter pandemonium! Many of Jeremiah’s prophecies have fallen on deaf ear! He stands alone, sorrowful, isolated, misunderstood and rejected, his tears plenteous and bountiful due to his genuine care and concerns. It is only because of God’s mercy they have not been completely annihilated, yet carried away into Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar.
This Old Testament treasure contains a wealth of spiritual wisdom that can help us better navigate through “the valley of the shadow of death” today. It provokes us to introspectively examine our own emotions and sins under the spiritual microscope via the Word of God. We must become cognizant of the things that are happening all around us, within our homes, our nation, the world at large and especially within God’s Church! We today can relate to what has happened here in Lamentations to degree right now. The calamities that we see happening today around us are a reflection of aberrant rebelliousness and the abandoning of God’s intended purpose for His Creation.
Sin separates us from God! To sin means that we have missed the mark. Let this passage of Scripture marinate in your mind as you ponder this narrative on Lamentations if you will. The Word of God teaches us “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and are justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through Faith in His Blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have FAITH in Jesus…” Romans 3
We can delve into the pain and extreme sorrow projected here in Lamentations emphatically. We can use this as a marvelous life lesson of what has been to help us now! We can learn much as we peer beyond the broken walls of Jerusalem. The Temple is gone, the king is gone the people are in exile and the city of Jerusalem has been destroyed and chaos abounds! The elders and religious leaders are also gone. The obliteration is humongous. Jeremiah’s tears are not for himself but for what was, what has been and what could be? This prophet of God was sorrowful most importantly because God has been grieved as well, thus Jeremiah laments. This is what Jeremiah says when he mourns about Jerusalem: “How deserted lies the city, once was so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was a queen among the provinces has now become a slave!” Lamentations 1
Truly God is faithful and His compassion and wisdom infinite! Confession and repentance are necessary for restoration. Only God can cleanse us from the wages of sin. Sin entices us away from what God has said not to do.
We have freedom in the Lord to choose but there are consequences for those choices. If we say that we have not sinned the Word of God unveils us as liars. All of us need Jesus Christ as Savior & Lord! It is His Blood by which we can be cleansed from our sins. As we embrace and apply His Word to our lives we should begin to “sin less!” We are the saints of God! Yes indeed! There‘s POWER in the BLOOD! This is why it is important for us to know firsthand His Word! “The Lord is righteous, yet I rebelled against His command. Listen, all you peoples; look upon my suffering. My young men and maidens have gone into exile. My priests and my elders perished in the city while they searched for food to keep themselves alive. See, O Lord, how distressed I am! I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious. Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death. People have heard my groaning but there is no one to comfort me.” Lamentations 1 God used the Babylonians to punish His people for their rebelliousness. Today; Lord help us!
Here in Lamentations we learn that there is always Hope in the Lord! Jeremiah encourages the people to pour their hearts out to the Lord! Worship had become stale and ritualistic, false prophets and misleading oracles were given to the people. They embraced what they wanted to hear opposed to what God wanted them hear. No doubt Jeremiah’s prophecies where thought to be negative. We often shriek at the thought of what we perceive to be negative. Listen closely “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.” Lamentations 2. Oh my! Perhaps some of this could have been avoided only if they had listened?
The streets of Jerusalem were laden with orphaned children and infants. The prophet Jeremiah’s heart was broken as he walked through the ruins of the city. He knew that God was faithful but they were yet experiencing the consequences for their choice to not listen. The few that remained faithful had to also experience the judgment brought on by the wrath of God. Jeremiah has a glimmer of hope; he too remained faithful to share God’s Word in the midst of much adversity. He was confident and knew that the prophecies given to him by God was true. Even though Jeremiah was thrown into the depths of a cistern and left there to die the Lord had favor upon him. He knew at some point he could count on the future restoration of Jerusalem. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your Faithfulness, I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait on Him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him. To the one who seeks HIM; it is good to wait patiently for the Salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3
While Jeremiah laments he is reminded of the fuming sulfur that destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah! Now the sins of the false prophets were apparent. All Jerusalem’s material goods that had not been taken for spoils lay before them marred or destroyed within the ruins of this collapsed wasteland. Many of the priests and prophets became defiled rather than maintain their dignity and duties of the Lord. They neglected their responsibility to be role models and examples to the people causing Jerusalem’s ultimate downfall; they conformed to the ways of the world! Before the elders, priests, judges, magistrates and leaders would sit at the gates and articulately discuss religion, politics, current issues and their business affairs. “Now desolate the jackals were prowling all over it” Lamentations 5. Here in this marvelous narrative Jeremiah captures the bitter, astringent longsuffering that this nation experienced all because they got caught up in sin and turned their back on God! We who confess to be God’s people must be willing to succumb to a Holy sadness of remorse whenever we are found to be in err. We must pray fervently and weep whenever necessary if we have sinned and then sincerely repent.
We must also PRAY for The United States of America & this world at large to REPENT… ONLY once Refreshed and refueled we can gracefully rise once again and obediently embrace the marvelous principles for life and living within the oracles of God through the Power of His Holy Spirit! As we walk in the principles of Your Divine & Holy Word; May Your Favor rest upon us Lord in Jesus Name! “To God Be The Glory!”
Lamentations concludes: “You, O LORD reign forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation. Why do You forsake us so long? Restore us to Yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless You have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure!” Lamentations 5
EMMANUEL “GOD WITH US!”
“GLORY to GOD in the HIGHEST, an on earth Peace, Goodwill toward men!” Luke 2.
If there was ever a time to PRAISE the LORD the time is NOW!
Notice that whenever you read, watch or hear the news it is not usually good! There is an overabundance of things going on all over the world. There are many natural disasters all about us the results are devastating… The economy was really down as well as unemployment a few years ago. Now they have begun to gradually climb… The lives of many were drastically impacted. Many loved ones have passed on making their transition to eternity! Many corporations have closed, many have lost businesses, careers, jobs, estates, homes, stocks, possessions and yet … Immorality has become acceptable?
Notice how scandalous the Political Campaign for The President of the United States has become!
Don’t fear because GOD is OMNIPOTENT! HE IS The ONE TRUE GOD of Restoration. In HIM nothing is really ever lost. GOD IS FAITHFUL HE will & can RESTORE! There is ALWAYS HOPE in the LORD!
Marriage & family is ordained by God! The powers that be and principalities yield much spiritual warfare that seeks to break up many families and put in place a different way of living. Redefining the marital roles… Who would have ever thought a few years ago that the US Supreme Court would vote against the WORD of GOD in favor of “same sex unions?”
LORD open our Spiritual Eyes!!!
Disloyalty and manipulation, justified, along with works of the flesh and deception slowly but surely intertwining itself in many relationships… Children tossed to and fro within unstable environments. This is not God’s Way! Seemingly harmless it has opened the door for much chaos… Stress levels are constantly being elevated… No wonder; Suicide,divorce, sicknesses, diseases and depression are abounding!
“The wheat and the tares continue to grow together in HIS CHURCH! Again no need for fear. The WORD of GOD continues to be fulfilled in these “Last Days” Just learn to; “BE STILL & KNOW!” PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT!
There is also a resurgence of discrimination in many shapes and forms and on a multitude of levels. There is an enormous amount of oppression and loss of freedom as well as invasion of privacy & racial profiling; all due to the overwhelming threat of foreign and domestic terrorism as well as suppression & oppression…
A host of false teachers controlling and leading many astray… Many are living in fear… But look at GOD! “The LORD is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Strength of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27.
It is important to know who you are through Jesus Christ! In HIM you can have the VICTORY!
We are living in a time that just about anything goes! What God has said is wrong and what is wrong is accepted as right. What is Good is called evil & evil is called good! Many are trying to make what is right in the eyes of the majority rule and become accepted as the norm… Lord help us!
Many seek to make others comfortable in sin. Instead of saying thus said the Lord worldly affections dominate rather than the TRUE LOVE of GOD HE defines in I Corinthians 13. GOD’S LOVE never fails! “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… ” For many it is hard to discern what true love really is.
Yes indeed! The Word of God is being fulfilled! Truly we are in the last days! “No one knows the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man…” Matthew 24. So it is today!
Begin to prepare each day as though you were to see the Lord face to face! There is ALWAYS HOPE in the LORD!
When Noah was building the ark there were millions and millions of people here on earth. The world had become a place where “anything goes” it was no longer the paradise that God had intended for His people. They allowed themselves to become caught up in the ways of the world. Fewer and fewer listened to the Lord! The spiritual warfare was rampart and satan continued to deceive many! It is a little frightening to see just how quickly God’s principles were laid aside… Imagine it had never rained! It may be hard to fathom or comprehend but in the whole entire world there was only one man and his family that was listening to the Lord. This man was Noah; he was a righteous obedient man and obeyed the Lord in spite of what was going on in the world.
“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creature that move along the ground, and the birds of the air- for I am grieved that I have made them.” Genesis 6.
The world had become flooded with evil and this brought a greater flood upon them that destroyed the world. What God had said not to do had become the norm! Does any of this sound familiar? Look at what is going on today? There is much to learn and ponder in the Word of God! It is Powerful and “ALIVE” it is All True! The Gospel is going forth all throughout the world. Time is winding up! From this magnificent illustration we can learn the importance of listening to the Lord rather than compromising His Word in order to be accepted by the masses. God will Never direct you to do anything that goes against His WORD!
EMMANUEL GOD is with us!
Jesus told us “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED you. And surely I AM with you ALWAYS to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28.
Know God’s Word for yourself! There is only ONE TRUE CHURCH! We the collective body of believers all around this world that was created through HIM are His Church! We are the body of Jesus Christ! PRAISE GOD!
God is so gracious, loving, kind and Sovereign! He has provided a way back to Him. He has given us a path by which we must travel and Jesus has paved that way! “He is the Way The TRUTH and the LIFE.” It is the Narrow Way that is His way!
Today it is important for us to fully embrace the Truth of His Word! He has given us many examples as to what happens when we ignore, disobey or lay aside His Word! Know just like in the time of Noah many will not understand you. Had you ever thought about where were all those multitudes of people that Jesus healed, fed and saved when He was being crucified? How many sat on the sidelines and said nothing! Just like then many did not really expect the outcome…
We too can expect not to be welcomed, maligned, mistreated, persecuted, misunderstood… But do not become disheartened. Become aware and continue to look to the Lord. Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment to properly apply His Word to your life! “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In All your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3.
We must learn to honor and esteem God’s Word above the ways of the world. No person, judge, king, prophet, prophetess, pastor, or priest was able to overcome sin in the flesh. Therefore God sent His only Begotten Son to come in the form of sinless flesh and overcome sin in the flesh for us! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life.” John 3. It within this verse one can gain spiritual acuity and focus on the Power of The Gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus accepted the punishment for our sins and humbled Himself and was obedient through His death on the Cross! He took back what was lost and redeemed us and He arose with ALL Power! To believe means that you begin to take action and step out on Faith. You are a believer because you have given your life to the Lord and Believe, Trust and Embrace the full Gospel of Jesus Christ!
As you Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ; Know that Emmanuel means God with us! Know without doubt that as a believer He abides in your heart! We must continually ask Him to fill us with His presence daily…
The GOOD NEWS!
JESUS CHRIST makes all the difference in the world! It is a wonderful, thoughtful, kind, loving gesture to give to others… So ENJOY this season of giving… However, make it a point to take time and spend some time with the Lord reflecting on ALL He has done for you! He TRULY is the GREATEST GIFT of ALL! We can ALWAYS find something to be THANKFUL for! REJOICE in HIM! We all continue to exist because of GOD! “For in HIM we live and move and have our being…” Act 17. Christmas is REALLY about JESUS CHRIST and not just the presents; but about HIS PRESENCE in your life! HE is our “KING of kings and LORD of lords! He is our PRINCE of PEACE! No matter what you can ALWAYS FIND LOVE, COMFORT and PEACE in HIM! “Be STILL & KNOW!” EMMANUEL “GOD IS WITH US!”
As we examine the life of Jesus Christ we can see that He encountered an enormous amount of spiritual warfare during His sinless life. We learn that He suffered much! Many of those he helped turned their backs on Him… The birth of Jesus Christ born to The Virgin Mary was a marvelous astonishing miraculous miracle! This glorious occasion changed the world forever! Jesus was dispatched from Heaven to defeat the enemy for us! His spectacular Victory was felt on earth and in Heaven!
We can offer Praise; because of Jesus Christ we can learn to “Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!” It is because of Him being born in the flesh, living a sinless life, being crucified, then He died and was buried! He became the Holy, Pure, Sacrificial, Consecrated Lamb of God! He redeemed us through His precious blood. There is POWER in the BLOOD! He shed His blood as the ultimate sacrifice so we might have life and have it, more abundantly. Not only on earth, on this side of heaven but through eternity! How amazing! PRAISE GOD!
The GOOD NEWS!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be HOLY and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons (daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious Grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have the redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s Grace that He lavished on us with all Wisdom and Understanding. And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment to bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under One Head, even, Christ…” Ephesians 1.
The GOOD NEWS!
There is a wealth of knowledge and security within the depths of the Holy Scriptures! Jesus was the WORD wrapped in sinless flesh! Jesus was born during one of the most difficult eras in history! Much political turmoil going on… From the very beginning there were those who avidly sought to destroy Him! How interesting, they were so intimidated by His extraordinary birth! As time passed He was treated atrociously, His integrity undermined, His character constantly questioned, He was beaten, maligned and yet; Jesus still magnificently fulfilled His earthly mission! This is why we ALL need Him as Savior & Lord! Through Him we are “more than conquerors!” Romans 8. He has provided us with His Holy Spirit the Comforter to lead, guide and protect us! We can always & forever TRUST GOD!
God has already BLESSED us with every spiritual blessing! The blessings of God go far beyond material or temporal they are eternal! Before we were ever born God chose us! God does not want us to be unaware or ignorant of the TRUTH of His WORD nor live in denial! He does not want His Word to be a secret! We must warn the people! He wants us to boldly proclaim “The GOOD NEWS!” The GOSPEL of Jesus Christ! The Word of God is His story. God is Sovereign! When we truly belong to Him we are to represent Him! We are to live out the principles of His Word in spite of what is happening in this world. Jesus is coming soon!
As we prepare to CELEBRATE the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it is spiritually beneficial to keep in mind the many wonderful Blessings of the Lord! Jesus Christ is the most precious “GIFT” ever given by our Creator, Father and Lord! We can REJOICE in this Through eternity!
“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given: and the government shall be on His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9. HALLELUJAH!
When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord we have something to shout about! In every and any situation God will see you through! “God will never leave nor forsake you!” We can Praise Him throughout the year and forever more knowing that JESUS CHRIST is not only the “Reason for the Season” but the reason for LIFE and living through eternity!
GOD BLESS YOU! ~ MERRY CHRISTMAS & Have a Wonderfully Blessed NEW YEAR ~