Summary: This is a series of readings through the book of Lamentations.
(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.
Letters Of Lament – Reading #3
How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion With a cloud in His anger! He has cast from heaven to earth The glory of Israel, And has not remembered His footstool In the day of His anger. Lamentations 2:1 (NASV)
I am covered with a cloud of anger. The storm clouds roll in. It becomes dark – windy and cold. The temperature drops in a matter of minutes – for my Lord is angry with me. His anger comes like a Kansas tornado. I no longer hold the position that I once had – I have been cast out. My glory has turned to sackcloth and ashes. My Groom is so angry with me.
The Lord has swallowed up; He has not spared All the habitations of Jacob. In His wrath He has thrown down The strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and its princes. Lamentations 2:2 (NASV)
The Lord has swallowed and I am consumed. I have been chewed up and spit out. He has not spared me at all. Where I thought I had strength – all I find is weakness. Where I thought there was hope – all I find is despair. I am brought low – I sit in the dust.
In fierce anger He has cut off All the strength of Israel; He has drawn back His right hand From before the enemy. And He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire Consuming round about. Lamentations 2:3 (NASV)
All my strength has been drained. In His anger He turned His back on me. I feel so totally alone – I feel so totally helpless. His shelter of protection is gone. My heart is burned by the burning – consuming fire of His anger. What have I done?
He has bent His bow like an enemy; He has set His right hand like an adversary And slain all that were pleasant to the eye; In the tent of the daughter of Zion He has poured out His wrath like fire. Lamentations 2:4 (NASV)
He has taken an arrow and shot it through my heart. I have become like an enemy to Him. Those who we get close to – can hurt us the most. How close I was to Him. How could I have been so foolish – to hurt Him so badly? Against You and You alone have I sinned. His anger burns my heart like a consuming fire. He will consume me.
The Lord has become like an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all its palaces, He has destroyed its strongholds And multiplied in the daughter of Judah Mourning and moaning. Lamentations 2:5 (NASV)
My True Love has become like an enemy to me. Those things that I had placed my security in – my hope in – are now unstable. I thought that I was strong – but now I find that I am weak. My heart groans and moans within me. There seems to be no end to my mourning – there is no end to my tears. What have I done?
And He has violently treated His tabernacle like a garden booth; He has destroyed His appointed meeting place. The LORD has caused to be forgotten The appointed feast and Sabbath in Zion, And He has despised king and priest In the indignation of His anger. Lamentations 2:6 (NASV)
My True Love has smashed my heart as if it were nothing more than a shack. Our special days – our wedding day – and anniversaries are forgotten – those times that should be days of rejoicing – are long gone – they have nothing more than a distant memory.