THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Lamentations: Productively Learning From Sinful Failure
Part III: Dirge II - The Remnant's Response To Jerusalem's Judgment
A. Ideally, God wants His people to learn from their first exposure to His Word to obey it for blessing.
B. However, mortal man is a sinner, and at times even we believers in Christ with our sin natures yield to the temptation to disobey God's Word only to pay a dear price in doing so in the form of painful divine discipline.
C. Nevertheless, in times of spiritual failure, the believer is ripe to learn from his sinful failure, what constitutes the burden of the prophet Jeremiah in his book of Lamentations. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1207-1208)
D. Accordingly, Lamentations 2:1-22, Jeremiah's second dirge over the fall of Jerusalem, voices the response of the godly remnant to Jerusalem's punishment, an example for us in responding to God's discipline (as follows):
II. Dirge II - The Remnant's Response To Jerusalem's Judgment, Lamentations 2:1-22 ESV.
A. Jeremiah expressed the remnant's awareness that God's wrath against sin had led to the city's fall, Lam. 2:1-10:
1. God's prophet noted in the godly remnant's behalf that the Lord in His anger against Jerusalem's sin had set the city under a cloud of gloom, that He had cast down from heaven to earth Israel's splendor and not remembered His footstool of Jerusalem in the time of His anger, Lamentations 2:1.
2. Jeremiah then described how God's wrath against sin had wrought destruction on the city's society, be it the people (v. 2a), the strongholds (v. 2b), its rulers (v. 2c), its army (v. 3) and everyone else (v. 4-5).
3. God had destroyed His temple complex (Lam. 2:6-7a) and palaces (Lam. 2:7b) and city structures of walls and gates (Lam. 2:8-9a) and Jerusalem's kings and princes are prisoners in the nations (Lam. 2:9b), the Law is no more in the city (Lam. 2:9c) and her prophets no longer see visions from the Lord, Lam. 2:9d.
4. The elders sat on the ground in shock, having thrown dust on their heads and wearing sackcloth in grief (Lam. 2:10a) while the young women in depression had bowed their heads to the ground (Lam. 2:10b).
B. God's prophet then expressed the remnant's grief over Jerusalem's destroyed condition, Lamentations 2:11-19:
1. Jeremiah voiced the grief of the godly remnant over the suffering of Jerusalem's hungry children, v. 11-12.
2. He asked how he might comfort the city, for her ruin and injury was as vast as the ocean (Lam. 2:13a), and he just as quickly noted that Jerusalem's prophets had seen false, deceptive visions that had not exposed the sins of the people that they might repent and avoid such calamity of divine judgment, Lam. 2:13b-14.
3. Consequently, Jerusalem's enemies gloated and mocked her inhabitants, Lamentations 2:15-16.
4. Jeremiah observed that God had fulfilled His purpose, He had carried out His Word in accord with His commandments of many years before (the Mosaic Covenant of Deuteronomy 28) in making Jerusalem's enemies rejoice over her, Lamentations 2:17.
5. Jeremiah then called on the remnant to pour out their heart like water before the presence of the Lord, to lift their hands to Him for their children who fainted for hunger at the head of every street, Lam. 2:18-19.
C. Finally, Jeremiah exampled the remnant's fervent prayer to the Lord for mercy, Lamentations 2:20-22:
1. The prayer Jeremiah exampled for the remnant to pray is given beginning in Lamentations 2:20, a call to the Lord to behold how Jerusalem's women had eaten their own children whom they had born, that even priest and prophet had been killed in the Lord's sanctuary in the great fury of the invaders, Lam. 2:20a,b.
2. Jeremiah exampled in expressing to God in prayer how old and young lay dead in the streets, how the young women and young men who had held so much future promise had fallen with the sword, being slaughtered without pity by the Lord in the time of His intense anger against sin, Lamentations 2:21.
3. Jeremiah expressed how God had summoned as if on a festival day the terrors for Jerusalem's people on every side, and due to His anger, no one had escaped or survived, that those whom the people had held as infants and raised as children had been destroyed by the enemy invaders, Lamentations 2:22.
Lesson: Voicing in behalf of the godly remnant their proper response to Jerusalem's devastation, Jeremiah acknowledged that God had expressed His fierce wrath on all of the city's society, it religious realm, its government officials, its people and its army, leaving survivors in shock and gloom. Jeremiah then voiced his intense grief over the city's ruined condition, pouring out his heart to the Lord to express a fervent call to the Lord for mercy.
Application: If we believers experience God's intense discipline, may we respond by (1) acknowledging that our sin was to blame, (2) confessing it and (3) earnestly beseeching a merciful end to the Lord's great punishment.