Summary: This is a series of readings through the book of Lamentations.
Letters of Lament – Reading #2
(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. There are 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 foolish? 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. The young bride has turned from the love of her husband and now she cries out – she feels the groom’s anger.
12 "Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any pain like my pain Which was severely dealt out to me, Which the LORD inflicted on the day of His fierce anger." Lamentations 1:12 (NASV)
Don’t you care – are you not even concerned that I am in such pain? Can you not see my agony – can you not see the torment that ripples my brow? My husband is angry with me. He has pasted out His wrath and placed it in my lap. Today is the day of anger. Today I have been afflicted by His rage. Oh, how He must love me – to become so angry with what I have done. If He did not care – He would just leave me alone.
13 "From on high He sent fire into my bones, And it prevailed over them. He has spread a net for my feet; He has turned me back; He has made me desolate, Faint all day long." Lamentations 1:13 (NASV)
I hurt so bad – now even my bones ache. He stands back and watches – but He knows what I am going through. How could I have been so stupid? He has put a noose around feet – I can go not further. He has caught my attention. He has turned me toward Him. I am desolate – I am drained of my strength.
14 "The yoke of my transgressions is bound; By His hand they are knit together. They have come upon my neck; He has made my strength fail. The Lord has given me into the hands Of those against whom I am not able to stand." Lamentations 1:14 (NASV)
I have been placed in the stocks. A collar is around my neck. My sins choke me. My hands are bound together. I am empty of strength – I have no energy at all. My husband has given me over to my enemies. How can I stand? How can I survive?
15 "The Lord has rejected all my strong men In my midst; He has called an appointed time against me To crush my young men; The Lord has trodden as in a wine press The virgin daughter of Judah." Lamentations 1:15 (NASV)
My best defenses are gone – those things I thought I could count on are wiped out. They were like soldiers – strong and brave – yet now they are crushed – they are defeated. My husband has stomped them – like one would stomps grapes in a wine press – my strength and resources have been drained out of me.
16 "For these things I weep; My eyes run down with water; Because far from me is a comforter, One who restores my soul. My children are desolate Because the enemy has prevailed." Lamentations 1:16 (NASV)
My eyes have become a fountain. I could wash myself in the water of my tears. I weep in the sorrow of my sin. I weep in the sorrow of my destruction. My husband is far from me – my true Love is not here to give me comfort. He – only He can restore my soul. He leads me to green pastures and still waters – yet I can not find Him. My children – “Joy” and “Gladness” have turned to weeping and sorrow – my enemy has prevailed. My enemy has succeeded. My sin has found me out.
17 "Zion stretches out her hands; There is no one to comfort her; The LORD has commanded concerning Jacob That the ones round about him should be his adversaries; Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them." Lamentations 1:17 (NASV)