Summary: Part 8 in a series on Lamentations. Lamentations closes with four keys to renewal.
Confession and Hope
A. Confession Pays Off
1. 1884 Presidential Election
a) Democrat Grover Cleveland was in a heated battle with Republican James G. Blaine.
b) It was reported to the Republicans that Cleveland, a bachelor, had fathered a child with a widowed woman named Maria Crofts Halpin.
c) Subsequently, the Republicans attempted to run a smear campaign against Cleveland, labeling him with an immorality tag.
d) They even printed flyers with pictures of babies with the slogan, “One more vote for Cleveland.”
2. Confession is Good for the Soul
a) Cleveland had a choice to make. He could deny and stir up the scandal or he could confess.
b) Though sources differ on the fact that Cleveland admitted to being the father of the child, all agree he did admit to the affair.
c) He also stated that he would support the child both financially and otherwise.
d) Cleveland’s candor and confession about the incident endeared the American voting public and rest is political history.
B. Confession and Hope
1. The Final Lament of Jeremiah
a) Lamentations Five is more of a prayer than a lament.
b) Although it is divided into 22 verses, it is not in the acrostic form as the other chapters.
c) It serves somewhat as a summary of other portions of the lament.
2. The Aim of Chapter Five
a) The underlying theme of the last chapter of this sad book is the hope of restoration through heartfelt confession.
b) In this chapter Jeremiah brings forth four steps to reconciliation and renewal.
II. Confession and Renewal – Four Steps
A. Request for Remembrance (1)
1. Three Requests of Jeremiah
b) See (Consider KJV) – To regard with pleasure, favor, or care.
c) Behold – To feel or experience (Jeremiah 5:12)
d) Jeremiah petitioned God to feel once more the pain and His people and to demonstrate His care and concern for them.
2. The Reason for the Request
a) A restored relationship with God – Exodus 6:7
b) Relief from tribulation – Psalm 30:5
c) Restoration of their way of life
B. Review the Cost of Sin (2-15)
1. Political Costs (2, 5,6, 8)
a) The Promised Land was now the barren land – Leviticus 20:24
b) A kingdom of peace was a persecuted kingdom.
c) A proud nation was now a pitiful nation – Proverbs 14:34
d) A free nation was now a nation of slaves and servants
2. Personal Costs (3, 10-14)
a) Pathetic Orphans (3)
b) Physical hunger (10)
c) Personal Abusive (11)
d) Public Disgrace (12)
e) Painful Burden (13)
f) Personal Freedom (14)
3. Economic Costs (4,9)
a) Paying a premium for necessities.
b) Perils encountered to keep food.
4. Spiritual Cost (15)
a) The joy of salvation was gone – Psalm 51:12
b) The privilege of worship was removed.
c) The fellowship of God’s people was gone.
C. Reply to God’s Chastening (7, 16-18)
1. Two Acknowledgements
b) An important confession of sin (16).
2. Two Lessons Learned
a) When fathers practice wickedness, their sons bear the consequences of sins.
3. Blame is properly assigned.
a) Jeremiah did not blame his forefathers for his own sin.
b) He did assign the affliction of his people to their sins against God.
D. Repentance and Renewal (19-22)
1. Comfort in God’s Eternal Nature (19)
a) Exodus 3:14 – I Am
b) Psalm 90:2 – “From everlasting to everlasting…”
c) His nature does not change – Malachi 3:6
2. Craving for God’s Mercy (20)
a) Seventy years of exile was a lifetime for many Jews, but only a dot on God’s timetable.
b) Jeremiah knew the merciful nature – Psalm 136:1-3
c) He knew the justice of God – Isaiah 45:21
3. Commitment to Return to God (21-22)
a) Malachi 3:7 – “Yet from the days of your fathers, you have gone away from MY ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me and I will return to you…”
b) Revelation 2:5 – Remember and repent (Ephesus)
c) Jeremiah 6:16 – “Stand in the ways and see and ask for the old paths, where the good way is and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls.”
d) Jeremiah 29:13-14 – “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me will all your heart. I will be found by you and I will bring you back from your captivity.”
A. The Book of Lamentations