Summary: This is a series of readings through the Book of Lamentations.
Letters of Lament – Reading #1
(Disclaimer: If you are looking for a typical sermon series this is not it. Worship can take on many forms. This series is a reading through the Book of Lamentations.)
INTRODUCTION: There are times when we all lament – or need to lament. Times when we have walked down the wrong path – and have found at the end of it – a dead end. At the end of the road we cry out, “What have I done? How could I have been so stupid? How could I have NOT listened to my Father and followed His advice?” As you reach the dead end – you look back and reflect of what you have done to get you to that lifeless spot. You cry out in your desperation – you cry out in your foolishness – you cry out in your sorrow. The book of Lamentations is a book of crying out. As it applies to the Nation of Israel – it applies to the Church – and it applies to you and me. When we have reached the dead end – we cry out too.
1 How lonely sits the city That was full of people! She has become like a widow Who was once great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces (now she) Has become a forced laborer! Lamentations 1:1 (NASV)
O Lord I am so lonely – although I stand in a crowd. People press me on every side – yet I am still alone. I have made myself a widow – though You my Husband are not dead. I was once great – the bride of the Bridegroom – yet now my bridal garment is tattered and torn. I have traveled the wrong road – I have fallen in the mud – I am filthy – I am lost. I am no longer a bride – but a servant – a slave – a slave to my own sin.
2 She weeps bitterly in the night And her tears are on her cheeks; She has none to comfort her Among all her lovers. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies. Lamentations 1:2 (NASV)
I weep – I cry – there seems to be no end to my mourning. My tears run down my face – they have formed canyons in my cheeks. There is no one here to give me comfort. I cannot turn to you my husband – because of what I have done. How would You accept me? How would You listen to me? All of my friends have become my enemies – they have turned their backs on me – and whisper among themselves. I have nowhere to turn – I am so alone.
3 Judah has gone into exile under affliction And under harsh servitude; She dwells among the nations, But she has found no rest; All her pursuers have overtaken her In the midst of distress. Lamentations 1:3 (NASV)
I have run – I have run into hiding. I have left my homeland – perhaps never to see it again. The land of milk and honey are only a memory. I have no place to call my own – no place to lay my head. Even when I try to sleep – there is no rest. I have become a slave – a slave to my own sin. My burden is heavy and my yolk is harsh. Those who would take my life do not leave me alone. I have to keep looking over my shoulder – always wondering who is there.
4 The roads of Zion are in mourning Because no one comes to the appointed feasts. All her gates are desolate; Her priests are groaning, Her virgins are afflicted, And she herself is bitter. Lamentations 1:4 (NASV)