Summary: Part 7 in a series on Lamentations. Jeremiah reveals things that Isreal thought would not happen.

It Could Happen to You

Lamentations 4:1-22

I. Introduction

A. Things That Could Never Happen

1. In the Sporting Realm

a) The sub four minute mile – Roger Banister (1954)

b) John L. Sullivan could not lose – Jim Corbett (1892)

c) UCLA basketball championship run (7 straight) – N.C. State in 1974

2. Transportation Realm

a) Titanic Could not Sink – Maiden Voyage 1912

b) Sound Barrier Not Broken – Chuck Yeager in 1947

c) Manned Space Travel – Yuri Gagarin 1961

3. Nations and Armies That Would Stand

a) Roman Empire – Late 5th Century

b) Spanish Armada – 1558 defeat at hand of British.

c) Napoleon Army – 1812 losses in Russia and 1815 Waterloo

B. A Feeling of Invincibility

1. The Attitude of God’s People

a) They were a special and chosen people – Deuteronomy 7:6

b) They were a victorious people – Joshua 21:43-44

c) They were a prosperous people – 1 Kings 10:23

d) They were a prideful people – Jeremiah 13:9

e) They were an invincible people – Lamentations 4:12

f) They were a mistaken people – Lamentation 1:3

2. It Could Happen to You

a) Take Heed Less You Fall – 1 Corinthians 10:12

b) No one is above temptation – Galatians 2:11

c) It happened to Judah

d) In Lamentations 4, the prophet tells what happened to his people

II. It Happened to Judah

A. Who It Happened To (1-11)

1. God’s Picked People (1-2)

a) Those that God called His own – Psalm 100:3

b) Those that benefited from His goodness – Psalm 33:5

c) Their value system changed their value – From gold (spiritually minded) to clay (carnally minded).

2. The Innocents (3-4)

a) Jeremiah highlights the innocent children that were affected – Matthew 19:14

b) They were mistreated even by their parents – See Job 39:14-17 for the ostrich analogy.

3. The Prosperous (5-6)

a) That had been abundantly blessed by God – Psalm 23:5

b) Had their every need provided for – Matthew 6:32-33

c) They lost it all like Sodom – Genesis 19:24-25

d) Yet their pain of loss was greater than Sodom’s because of the way it happened.

4. The Powerful (7-8)

a) They obtained a position in society.

b) They were civic and family leaders that were respected by their peers.

c) They appeared picture perfect at one time.

d) How the mighty had fallen – 2 Samuel 1:25-27

5. The Providers (9-11)

a) The analogy of mothers is used. They resorted to eating their children – As in Samaria (2 Kings 6:29)

b) Those that were entrusted to care for and protect, became predatory and harmful.

c) Those that were compassionate became consumed by God’s vindication.

B. Why It Happened (12-17)

1. Prideful Denial (12)

a) Israel thought of herself as indestructible.

b) They used God’s goodness as a license to sin – Romans 6:1-2, Galatians 5:13

c) They thought too highly of themselves – Romans 12:3

d) Their confidence was in the wrong things – Philippians 3:3ff

2. Polluted Priests and Prophets (13-16)

a) Prophets were to proclaim the word of God – Deuteronomy 18:18-22

b) Judah listened to false prophets, but rejected and persecuted God’s true prophets.

c) The priesthood made unlawful sacrifices – Jeremiah 32:35

d) They were now seen as outcast like lepers.

3. Poor Choice of Allegiance (17)

a) Judah waited for an ally to come and rescue them.

b) If God is for us, no one can stand against us. If God is against us, then on one will stand for us.

C. What Happened (18-22)

1. The end of the road (18-19).

a) Their freedom was gone.

b) Their good life was gone.

c) Their options were gone.

2. The king was defeated (20)

a) The last of David’s seed was gone until Jesus – Jeremiah 52:7-11

b) They would forever be an oppressed people.

3. The enemies were warned (21)

a) The enemies of God’s people would rejoice for a season.

b) However, God would avenge His people.

c) Edom is a representative view of God’s enemies.

4. The restoration of God’s people announced (22)

a) God’s punishment would not last forever.

b) One would be raised that would show favor to God’s people – Isaiah 44:28-45:1

c) God would cover the sins of the penitent (Psalm 32:1-5) and expose the sins of the prideful (Psalm 90:7-8).

III. Conclusion

A. Four Great Lessons from Chapter 4

1. Much is required of those that have been blessed.

a) Luke 12:48 – “…to whom much is given, much is required.”

b) God has given His best to His people – John 3:16

c) God seeks those that will honor Him with the best of the themselves – Colossians 3:23-24

2. Seek Your Treasure Wisely

a) Popularity and acceptance are passing.

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