Summary: Lamentations symbolically describes the sorrow the nation of Judah experienced in Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah proclaims that Judah’s bondage was the consequence of her sin.
"How the gold has become dim! How changed the fine gold! The precious sons of Zion, valuable as fine gold, how they are regarded as clay pots, the work of the hands of the potter!" Lamentations 4:1-2
Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet". Lamentations symbolically describes the sorrow the nation of Judah experienced in Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah proclaims that Judah’s bondage was the consequence of her sin.
I. THE CHILD OF GOD IS LIKENED UNTO FINE GOLD:
"The precious sons of Zion, valuable as fine gold.” God values His children so highly that He uses the terms "fine gold" and “precious” to describe them.
II. THE PROCESS WHEREBY GOLD ORE BECOMES PURE GOLD:
1. Gold is not the product of man-made chemistry but is a God-created element of this planet. Becoming a child of God is a definite creative act of God which occurs in the "new birth" experience. "Ye must be born again.”
2. Gold must be changed from its original state in order for it to become "fine gold". Fine gold is obtained when ore is melted and the dross and impurities are separated and removed. The poet beautifully describes this process as it relates to the life of the child of God. Consider:
“THE REFINER’S FIRE”
He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And he wanted the finest gold
To mold a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Though we fain would have said Him “Nay”
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
As it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright;
But our eyes were dim with tears,
We saw but the fire---not the Master’s hand---
And questioned with anxious fears.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a form above
That bent o’er the fire, though unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.
Can we think that it pleased His loving heart
To cause us a moment’s pain?
Ah, no! But He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure.
3. Fine gold becomes the object of the craftsman’s skill. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Ephesians 2:10.
III. HOW FINE GOLD BECOMES DIM:
1. By repeated contact with contaminating factors. So with the child of God. We are known and shaped by the company we keep! "Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." II Corinthians 6:17.
2. By lack of constant burnishing and polishing: The finest gold will tarnish unless constantly polished. The jeweler always polishes the ring to its highest luster before he presents it for sale. The Christian is "polished" by prayer, Bible study, worship, Christian fellowship and dedicated service.
IV. CONSEQUENCES OF OUR "FINE GOLD" BECOMING DIM:
1. The world loses respect for us: “how they are regarded as clay pots, the work of the hands of the potter.”
2. It denies God the glory that is due Him: The cut of the diamond wit-nesses the skill of the cutter. The symmetry of the building bespeaks the skill of the architect. The fit of the suit evidences the skill of the tailor. What does the quality of our spiritual life say to the work of the redeeming and sanctifying power of our wonderful Lord?