Summary: A reading through Chapter Five of Lamentations. This is not a typical sermon.
Letters Of Lament – Thoughts From Lamentations Chapter Five
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. In this chapter we find great truths – A God of justice – and A God of mercy.
v. 1 – Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us; Look, and see our reproach!
O Lord, in my affliction – remember what has fallen on me. There is nothing that You have handed out that I do not deserve. There is nothing that I have received that is unjust. For Your judgments are always righteous – as is Your chastisement. I stand ashamed. I am undone – before You.
v. 2 – Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, Our houses to aliens.
The family heirlooms have been given to strangers. Those things that have remained in the family for years – have been handed out to anyone walking down the street. Our own houses that the family has lived in for generations – is gone. How can this be?
v. 3 – We have become orphans without a father, Our mothers are like widows.
I am fatherless – child without a home. My mother is a widow – cast out on the street. Where is my protection? Where is my help? Who will watch over me? Who will care for me? Is there no one? Am I all alone?
v. 4 – We have to pay for our drinking water, Our wood comes to us at a price.
Those things that should be offered for free – I now have to pay for. The water that I drink – the wood to warm my home – now comes at a price. I never had to pay for them before – but now – but now. All my sins come at a price. All my actions have consequences.
v. 5 – Our pursuers are at our necks; We are worn out, there is no rest for us.
Those who are chasing me – are ready to grab me by the neck. They are so close I can feel them breathing on it. I am worn out with worry – with running and with rushing. Will there ever be any rest for me?
v. 6 We have submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread.
I have been forced to go to my enemies for food. I have to beg them for bread to eat. If it weren’t for them – I would have starved to death.
v. 7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more; It is we who have borne their iniquities.
My father sinned – and do you see him hanging around. No! He died in his sinfulness. He is dead – gone – and buried. The sin of my father has been passed on to my generation.
v. 8 Slaves rule over us; There is no one to deliver us from their hand.
I am owned by slaves. I am the servant of servants. How did I ever get myself into this mess? How can I be in this position? Is there no one to deliver me? Is there no one to rescue me? Is there no one to save me?
v. 9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives Because of the sword in the wilderness.
I am in danger every time I go out the door – even when it’s to go to the store on the corner to get a loaf of bread. There are those who wait around every corner – ready to kill me. I live in the wild – even though it’s my home town.
v. 10 Our skin has become as hot as an oven, Because of the burning heat of famine.
My skin is burning off my bones – the famine is consuming me. There is no spiritual power – there is no living water – my sin is ever before me – I can find no refreshment for my soul. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have ignored the loving actions of my True Lover – The Lover of My Soul? Yet I turned my back on Him and traveled a dead end road.