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Summary: Taken from Lamentations 3:51, we examine the teaching of this great verse of Scripture.

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“Mine Eye Affecteth Mine Heart”

Lamentations 3:51

by Dr. Steven G. Cook

I. Introduction

A. Read – Lamentations 3:51 – “Mine eye affecteth mine heart”

B. Let us first consider the background in which this passage of Scripture is written.

C. The Book of Lamentations is actually a 5-Part Poem written by Jeremiah in response to the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem.

D. Lamentations is one of 5 books called Megilloth or Rolls – The Song of Songs; Ruth; Lamentations; Ecclesiastes; and Esther.

E. They are called Rolls because each of them was written on a roll for reading at Jewish festivals – The Song of Songs at Passover; Ruth at Pentecost; Ecclesiates at Feast of Tabernacles; Esther at Feast of Purim; and Lamentations at the anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem.

F. Lamentations is a 5-fold poem written in acrostic form – each chapter containing 22 verses, except the middle one which contains 66 verses.

G. This is because there is 22 verses in the Hebrew alphabet, and the verses of these 5 elegies (represented by the 5 chapters) run successively through the alphabet, each verse beginning, in order, with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

H. The reason the third chapter contains 66 verses is because it is written in triplets of verses, each beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

I. The structure of the 5-fold elegies (chapters) of the Book of Lamentations is also incredible – The 1st & 5th chapters correspond to one another; the 2nd & 4th correspond; and the middle one (the longest) stands at the center like a great throne with its mourning!

J. The subject of the 1st is Jerusalem’s Plight; the 2nd is Jehovah’s Anger; the 3rd is Jeremiah’s Sorrow; the 4th is Jehovah’s Anger Defended; and the 5th is Jerusalem’s Prayer.

K. Jerusalem’s sins had caused the judgement of Jehovah to fall upon them, but throughout the Lamentations, there is found HOPE for Jerusalem IF they would but REPENT and Return to God!

L. With this backdrop, let us now examine the 5 Little Words of Lamentations 3:51a – “Mine Eye Affecteth Mine Heart”

II. The Eye & The Heart Are Vitally Linked

A. Psalm 19:8; 36:1-2; 38:10; 131:1

B. Prov. 4:20-27; 15:30; 21:2-4; 23:26

C. Eccl. 2:10-11

D. Matt. 13:15; John 12:37-41; 2 Peter 2:14

E. We could run many other references illustrating how the eyes and the heart of man are vitally linked, but time will not permit.

F. However, we must agree – “What Goes Into Our Eyes Affects Our Heart!”

G. Why is this so important? Why did God record these words in this Book of Lamentations?

H. The answer seems quite obvious – Our eyes are prone to wander – Our eyes tend to be easily distracted, and when this occurs, we are subject to dangers in our Christian life.

III. The Eyes of Eve Affected Her Heart (Gen. 3:1-6)

IV. The Eyes of Ham Affected His Heart (Gen. 9:18-27)

V. The Eyes of Lot Affected His Heart (Gen. 13:1-12)

VI. The Eyes of Lot’s Wife Affected Her Heart (Gen. 19:15-26)

VII. The Eyes of Israel’s Spies Affected Their Hearts (Num. 13:26-33)

VIII. The Eyes of Israel’s Soldiers Affected Their Hearts (1 Sam. 17)


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