Old Testament Survey The Book of Lamentations

Introduction: The Books of Lamentations and Jeremiah were both written by the prophet Jeremiah. He is known as the “weeping prophet.” Jeremiah 9:1

This Book is read by the Jews at the feast of the anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem.

It was divided into five (5) Lamentations. Each is complete and covers one chapter, each, of our Bibles.

The dictionary definition of “lamentation” is: “The act of lamenting or bewailing; utterance of profound grief or regret; a wailing cry.”

This Book is a disclosure of the love and sorrow of God for the very people whom He is chastening. This sorrow was begun by the Holy Spirit in Jeremiah’s heart – Jeremiah 13:17.

The author:  The Holy Spirit.

Central Message: Mourning over Jerusalem. A New Testament parallel is Luke 13:34-35.

Jesus, here, had the same broken heart that Jeremiah did, 600 years earlier.

  1. The First Lamentation – Chapter 1
  2. Vs 1-11 – Shows the miserable state of Jerusalem, the just consequences of its sins.
  3. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave to her sins
  4. Israel had no rest from suffering from her sins
  5. If we allow sin, our greatest enemy, to rule over us, then our other enemies will also be allowed to captivate us; ruin us; control us; rule us.
  6. Vs 1 – widow = she has become a desolate place / house
  7. Vs 3 – no rest = no home – her enemies overtook her straits” =   trouble, distress, pain
  8. Vs 12-22: Jerusalem is represented as a captive female, lamenting, and seeking the mercy of God.                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Second Lamentation – Chapter 2
  1. God’s anger at Israel’s sins – Vs 1
  2. God gets angry because of our sins
  3. God hates the sin that we do – Proverbs 6:16 -20
  4. God is not an enemy to his people
  5. God is angry with us and corrects us because He loves us
  6. God loves Israel – but He will not put up with sin – either theirs or ours
  7. God brought Israel from prosperity to adversity. He allowed her a big fall – vs 5-7                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chapter 3:  The Third Lamentation
  1. Jeremiah’s Grief – Vs 1-2
  2. Rod of His wrath = God’s correction with His anger
  3. Vs 2 – darkness is calamity and light is prosperity
  4. Vs 4 – sin makes you old before your time
  5. There is hope – even in adversity
  6. Vs 18 -21: here the prophet realizes that, even though he was in despair, there reallyis HOPE.
  7. Vs 22 – It is only by God’s mercies / grace, that we are even alive God’s compassion’s do not fail
  8. Vs 23 – every day – God’s mercies are new.
  9. Great = mighty – more – multiply – plenteous
  10. Faithfulness – security – fidelity – morality – stability – truth
  11. the old hymn – Great is thy faithfulness – is from this verse
  12. Vs 24 – 26 – 29: HOPE
  13. Vs 31: Psalms 94:14
  14. Vs 41 – lifting up the hands without the heart is sheer hypocrisy.
  15. Psalms 86:4
  16. heart = courage
  1. The Fourth Lamentation: Chapter 4
  2. God’s Anger – vs 1-2
  3. Notice the change here
  4. Sin tarnishes the beauty of the most excellent gifts
  5. Gold, tried in the fire – its outward appearance may be dimmed, but its real value can never be changed
  6. The horrors of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem are again described.
  7. The sad consequences of sin in the Nation of Israel
  8. we should seriously consider that the same causes can bring down the  local church in this day and age
  9. Jeremiah laments the effects of the famine: vs 3-10
  10. Vs 3 – the sea monsters = whales – take care of their young
  11. Vs 3 – the Ostriches lay their eggs in the sand and leave them there
  12. Vs 10 – hunger has driven the women of Israel to abandon their young
  13. Jeremiah laments the taking and sacking of Jerusalem – Vs 11-12
  14. Jeremiah acknowledges that the sins of their prophets and priests were the cause of all God’s         anger and judgment upon Israel – Vs 13-16
  1. The Fifth Lamentation – Chapter 5
  2. Jerusalem’s prayer
  3. James 5:13 – when you are afflicted – pray
  4. Vs 2 – the land of Canaan was in the hands of their enemy

Notes: In your darkest days of trials and troubles, when all around us is gloom and your life seems to be falling apart – we ought still to maintain our confidence in God. We should seek his strength and help by humble confession and praying … crying out to God.

We should have sincere repentance and obedience.  If we do this, we may be assured that our present sorrows, and trials etc. will end in joy and gladness; just as God, at the appointed time, forgave and restored the Jews to their own land.

  1. Vs 5: They felt the yoke of bondage – like the bull or the ox that has a yoke upon his neck
  1. Vs 6: They made treaties with their enemies in order to get the basic necessities of life
  2. Vs 9: They could not go into the wilderness to feed their cattle, or to get the necessities of life,     without being harassed and plundered by marauding parties.
  3. This exposed them to the peril of their lives.
  4. This was predicted by Moses – Deut. 28:31
  5. Vs 12: They were suspended from hooks in the wall by their hands until they died through            torture and exhaustion.
  6. The body of Saul was fastened to the wall of Bethshan, probably in the same way;                              but his head had already been taken off.
  7. They were hung in this way that they might be devoured by the fowls of the air.
  8. It was a custom with the Persians after they had slain, strangled, or beheaded their                        enemies, to hang their bodies upon poles
  9. The prophet knows that the Lord can hear and deliver them
  10. Vs 19 – God does not change; he seeks God’s renewed love to Israel
  11. Vs 20 – he realizes that God does not forsake us; a long time may seem so: Heb. 13:5
  12. Vs 21 – make us the way we were before we sinned. Restore our land – our Templ etc.
  13. Vs 22 – We are now greatly humbled, we feel our sin, and see our folly.
  14. once more, restore us, and we shall never again forsake God.
  15. He heard the prayer; and at the end of seventy years they were restored to their own land