Summary: Part 3 in a series on Lamentations. Comparison of fatihful Isreal and the Isreal of captivity

Before and After

Lamentations 2:1-22

I. Introduction

A. Then and Now

1. 1980 and today

a) Tried to gain weight and now…

b) Drove muscle cars that “drank the gas” and now…

c) Wore pastel colors and trendy clothes and now…

d) Thought more was the answer to all things and now…

e) Thought wearing socks was ridiculous and now…

2. The Reality of Regret

a) There are many things that we regret doing.

b) There are other things we fail to see until they are taken away.

c) They are times when we look at now and long for then.

d) There are times when look at then are grateful for now.

B. The Prophet’s View of Jerusalem

1. In Lamentations 2 there is a picture of the now or after.

a) The writer sees Jerusalem in light of her former glory and relationship with the Lord.

b) She once was a strong, protected, and secure nation.

c) She now is weak, left alone, and distraught.

2. Tonight, four areas of difference from before to after.

II. Before and After – Four Areas for Comparison

A. Relational Loss

1. A loss of guidance (1).

a) The symbol the cloud once provided Israel with direction and protection – Exodus 13:21-22

b) The cloud once stood for divine approval of the work of God’s people – 1 Kings 8:10, 2 Chronicles 7:1-3

c) Now the cloud stood for judgment against God’s own people.

d) The cloud of God that once directed His people was now used to devastate them.

2. A loss of status (4)

a) God looked upon His people as the apple of His eye – Psalm 17:8

b) He saw the nation His own special people – Deuteronomy 7:6, 26:16-19

c) He now has had to destroy His special possession.

3. A loss of a good friend (4-6)

a) At one time God was a friend to His people – Joshua 1:5

b) He stood by them when they were in need – Psalm 46:1-3

c) He walked with them into battle – Joshua 2:24

d) Now Judah viewed God as an enemy or adversary – James 4:4

B. Physical Loss

1. A Loss of Strength (3)

a) The horn was an Hebrew symbol for strength – Daniel 7:24 (Earthy Kings), Revelation 5:6 (Jesus)

b) At one time Israel was a strong and powerful nation – 1 Kings 10:23-26

c) Now God had taken her strength because of her pride and rebellion – Proverbs 16:18

2. A Loss of Physical Necessity (12, 20)

a) At one time Judah was land flowing with milk and honey – Number 13:27

b) It was land that produced a plentiful harvest – Joshua 24:13

c) Now they had no food and even resorted to eating their own families – 2 Kings 6:28-29

3. A loss of Physical Life ( 21)

a) Jerusalem was once a city that was busy and flowing with life.

b) Now she is surrounded by death of its citizens.

C. Emotional Loss

1. A Sorrowful Countenance (10)

a) Sackcloth and dust were signs of sorrow for others – Job 2:12

b) It was also a sign of sorrow of sin –Jonah 3:7-10

c) The abundant life once provided by God had been removed.

2. A Troubled Heart (11)

a) Once know for joy and peace, now the city was troubled.

b) A people once full of hope now felt a feeling of hopelessness.

c) The writer now weeps because the destruction caused by the sin of God’s people.

3. A Comfortless People (13, 18)

a) God had once been the source of comfort to His people – Isaiah 40:1

b) No one would even speak for her – Acts 9:26-27

c) There appeared no remedy for the tragedy that had come upon her – Matthew 9:12-13

D. Spiritual Loss

1. Loss of the Temple (5-8)

a) The established feast that God instituted (Leviticus 23) had been taken away.

b) The glorious temple that provided sacrifices to God was no longer standing.

c) The place that had been reserved for a special time with God’s special people was inhabited by a pagan and ungodly people.

2. The Loss of Law (9)

a) The law that had a key to God’s covenant relationship with His people was a distant memory.

b) Prophets no longer were uttering the comfort and direction from God.

3. Loss of Truth (14)

a) The people had become disillusioned and convinced to believe a lie – Romans 1:24-25

b) Those that claimed to be prophets of God were not true prophets at all – Jeremiah 23:25-29, 29:8

c) The spiritual leader were unwilling to call evil as it was – Isaiah 5:20

III. Conclusion

A. Sin Dominated People

1. Sin takes away that which is good.

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