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The Book of Lamentations: A Godly Lament

Lamenations 1:1 — How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!


  • Sorry of the World, Wordly Anger, Frustration

2 Corinthians 7:10 — For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. - grief, grievous, + grudgingly, heaviness, sorrow. - Not sorrowing merely because it hurts, but SORROWING AFTER GOD over the contrast of HOW THINGS ARE WITH HOW GOD HAS PROMISED THEY COULD BE

  • 5 Psalms/Songs of Lament:

The song/psalm of lament is a song or poems in which the writer cries out to God in times of deep distress and despair. In psalms of lament, the psalmist asks God for intervention to deliver him from suffering, sorrow, great loss, failures, and enemies.

  • Psalms of Lament can be found in the book of Psalms: 10,13,25,63,69,74,79

Psalm 79:1-5 — O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. 2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. 3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them. 4 We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. 5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?

  • In the summer of 587 B.C., Jerusalem fell to Babylon.
    • As a consequence of Judah's unrepentant idolatry.
    • Solomon's Temple had stood indisturbed 400 years, burned to the ground.
    • An unnamed writer survives this defeat and the subsequent exile and writes 5 poems of lament.
    • Most Probably written by JEREMIAH as he fits the description:

2 Chronicles 35:25 — And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.

  • Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet:

Lamenations 3:48,49 — Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49 Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission,

Jeremiah 4:19 — My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

  • In writing the Lamenations, the writer is PROTESTING the situation. "Take notice, tragedy HERE!" [Where is the outcry?]

Lamentaions 5:20 — Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time?

  • In writing the Lamentations, the writer is also processing his own/national emotions. "What is happening? Why is this happening? Does it have to be this way?" Is this FOR EVER?
    • A Psalm of Lamenation is a way to VOICE CONFUSION.
      • What is happening right now is contrary to who I KNOW GOD TO BE.
      • It does not make sense.
    • These human words of GRIEF, CONFUSION and PAIN are now part of God's Holy Word — the Bible.

Lamentations 2:17 — The LORD hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.

Jeremiah 29:11 — For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Lamentations 3:22-24 —It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

  • "Lamentation" is not the end, but is PART OF THE PROCESS it should give way to repentance:

Lamenations 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. 42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.

Summary of the Book of Lamentations

  • There are 5 poems.
  • Poems 1-4 are acrostics of the Hebrew Alphabet.(A-Z expressing the inexpressable, ORDER & DISORDER.
  • Chapters 1 & 2 have 1 verse per letter (22) of the Hebrew Alphabet
  • Chapter 1: Jerusalem as a Widow — The Grief & Shame of Lady Zion (The City of Jerusalem as a WIDOW, with no one to comfort, who has died? what has died?)
  • Chapter 2: The Fall of Jerusalm and God's Wrath/Justice (Justified but still "Lamented")
  • Chapter 3: The Suffering One (The Laments of a man representative of all the people, borrows much from other O.T. Passages like Job 3, Psalm 22,69 and Isaiah 53)
    • Longest, 3 verses per letter of the acrostic (66)
    • Only words of hope of the book found in Chapter 3 (as an effect of knowing God wrath is JUSTICE, this gives hope that we can know how God is going to act — it is not vilotile, outburst. GOD IS CONSISTENT He will not forget his covenant.)

Lamentations 3:22-24 —It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

  • Chapter 4: The 2+ Year Siege of Jerusalem (contrasting what Jerusale was in the past with now due to the siege)

    • Children use to laugh in the streets, now they beg for food.
    • The wealthy use to eat lavish meals, now even they eat what they can find in the dirt
    • The anointed king in the line of David, now has been captured and carried away in bonds
  • Chapter 5: A National Prayer for God's Mercy (for God not to ignore Israel's suffering, or abandon them)

    • Same length as Chapters 1 & 2 (22 verses) but IS NOT an alphabet poem
    • Remember Us O Lord!
    • The people mentioned in this poem lament on behalf of others (As if they are now past the point of looking for somone to blame, and just looking for help!)
    • There is no "Suffering in Silence" in this book! Instead its characters POUR IT ALL OUT before God.
  • The book ends, unresolved: Has he forsaken us? Would He forsake use. No He wouldn't but what if He has? etc.

Lamenations 5:9 — Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. 20 Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time?

1. The Fall of Israel - Lamenations 1:1 (cross ref: Isaiah 30:1,2; Jeremiah 42:19-22)

Lamenations 1:1 — How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

  • What happened? Awful Alliances and Apostasy
  • Turning to God, is our only salvation.
  • It is more often the case in calamity that we DO NOT KNOKW the why. In Lamentations, they why is quite plain, but faith LOOKS UP.

The Fall of the Northern Kingdom

  • After the death of Solomon (975 BC) Israel split into two kingdoms (North/Israel and South/Judah).
  • Israel falls almost immediately into apostasy as soon as it was created (despite beinging ministered to by great men of God like Elijah and Amos). By 721 B.C, the Norther Kingdom of Israel was carryed away by Assyria and are to this day known as the "Lost Ten Tribes".

Fall of the Southern Kingdom

1. Awful Alliances (This is a 'practical problem'; An orgizational glitch; A few bad habits.)

  • Judah biggest mistake was misdiagnozing their situation.
  • "WE NEED TO PRAY" ======= > "Y2k", "The Year 2,000 Scare" ===== > While everyone is telling you to prepare you cold cellar, "PREPARE YOUR HEARTS to be with YOUR GOD"
  • Judah was in a tug of war with and even played leap frog with alliances with Egypt and Babylon. (Picking a winner can be hard, when you've lost your connection to God! America would do well to learn this lesson.) SHE LOST HER IDENTITY

SIDE NOTE: Do not so easily break the bond with those who share our union with God. Israel's lost herself in the world, not in what flavor of "temple worship" Now, Egppts influence can appear within sacred circles but in the genuine presence of God the proper constrasts will be made. The devil will try to show up, but where Christ is truly glorified, that old snake cannot abide!

  • Egypt fought against the kingdom of Judah, killing King Josiah in 609 BC. Egypt imposed a tax on Judah after this.
  • Four years after the death of Josiah, in 605, Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Necho of Egypt at the battle of Carchemish.
  • King Jehoiakim of Judah submitted to Babylonian rule and paid taxes to Nebuchadnezzar.
  • However, Babylon was not able to conquer Egypt, which led Jeohiakim to stop paying tribute to Babylon and ally with Egypt once more (600 BC).
  • The prophet Jeremaih warned against this:

Jeremiah 42:19-22 &mmdash; Jer 42:19 The LORD hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day. 20 For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the LORD our God; and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it. 21 And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you. 22 Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.

  • But Jeremiah was ignored. (Apathy: "They did NOT CARE what Jeremiah said as 'Thus saith the Lord'". It just did not matter to them.)
  • Nebuchadnezzar returned to Jerusalem and conquered it again. King Johoakim died in this attack. Jehoiachin his son was taken into captivity to Babylon, along with more exiled Jews. The Babylonians left Zedekiah (Jehoiachin's uncles) as a vassal king.
  • Eventually King Zedekiah also revolted against Babylon’s rule, trusting the Egyptians to defend Judah. Jeremiah the prophet urged Zedekiah and the Jewish people to repent to God of their many sins and to endure Nebuchadnezzar’s rule, for God allowed the Babylonians to conquer His people as punishment. [King Hoshea of the NOrthern Kingdom made the same foolhearty move 135 years earlier.]
  • Believing Egypt was more powerful than Babylon, and made a secret alliance with Egypt. Against God’s command, they trusted in Egypt instead of trusting in God.

Psalms 18:2 — The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

  • After 70 years in Babylon, Persian defeats Babylon and allows the Jews to return to their Homeland. Many had become assimilated into the country, but most did return. Judah has never regained her place of prominence to this day. By the days of Jesus she was a tributary of Rome and by A.D. 70 Jerusalem was sacked and the temple burned compoletely to the ground.

2. Apostasy

  • "Lamenting Apostasy"
  • apostasy: the total abandonment of your beliefs; the total rejection of Christianity by SOMEONE WHO ONCE PROFESSED CHRISTIAN FAITH.
  • Apostasy is a clear and present danger that we must bolster our soul against:
  • The Picture given is as a WIFE who is unfaithful to her husband (adulterous). It is a rejection of HIM but is also an abasement/lowering of herself.
  1. What Do I believe?

  2. Pray not just for God to be God but for the grace of FAITHFULNESS

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Php 2:12— Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

  • to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; to be bent one way --- to turn right

  • Sister Brinchman prayed as she came into class, "Jesus don't let us gosspip!"

  1. Our Greatest allies are not those that flatter us, but those who are most loyal to WHAT IS TRUTH
  • The rulers asked Jeremiah to get a word from God for them, BUT their minds were already made up.
  1. We need more than just good ides to be successful in spiritual matters, we need HOLY GHOST direction. This direction is breathed by the Spirit and is always found in the Word of God.
  • 9/20/2023, 91 Year old (born December 10, 1931) Paul Haynes passed away. He had served as the President of the Duxbury Free Christian Society for 37 years.
The patriort ledger ran a story a few years back stating, **Rev. Paul Haynes is watching and waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ**. And like most of them, the retired New Hampshire pastor is resisting the urge to predict the date.

“No man knows the day or hour,” he says, quoting a Gospel admonition from Jesus himself.

Over the centuries, that hasn’t stopped believers and charismatic leaders from predicting. Perhaps the most famous such attempt was made by Baptist layman William Miller of New York. He announced that Oct. 22, 1844, would be the day – to the ensuing disappointment of thousands of followers known as “Millerites.”

On the morning of Friday, September 24, 1909, about 300 members of the Free Christian Society packed the white clapboard Ashdod Chapel in Duxbury, Mass waiting for the return of Jesus. When the morning passed, the group recalculated the fateful moment to 6 p.m., then to the next day. Then they all went home. One century later, the spiritual descendants of the original society still gather every September – though not with any doomsday or year in mind.

The Rev. Haynes is one of them that gathers every September. He said the 1909 Duxbury event came up in conversations during this year’s meeting, which drew about 70 people. But he says it is “a point of history,” not a theological inspiration.

After more than 60 years of Bible study and reflection, “I’ve changed my thinking (about predicting the Second Coming),” the Rev. Haynes said. “You do the work of the Lord, and (work) until the time He appears.”

“Sometimes I’m asked, ‘Brother Haynes, have we missed something?’” he said. “And I tell them, ‘No, we haven’t missed anything at all. The Lord is setting the time.’”

Like millions of evangelical and Pentecostal American Christians, the Rev. Paul Haynes is watching and waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ. And like most of them, the retired New Hampshire pastor is resisting the urge to predict the date.

In 1909, The Patriot Ledger was there reporting on the Duxbury meeting:

  • Thursday night, September 23, 1909, In Frenzy of Excitement, Men Grovel on the Ground From Sheer Exhaustion and Call Upon Their Fellows to Join Those Who Are to Be Spared – Women and Children Unable to Control Their Emotions. That the end of the world was really coming on the morrow was the warning that this gathering tried to impress upon the minds of those who stood about the little chapel that the elect forth in at Ashdod, give miles from the center of this town, Thursday. Women held their hands high toward the heavens, calling for manifestations of the spirit to show the unbelievers

  • Friday, Sept. 24, 1909, Latter Reign Disciples Believe to Be Day of Judgment, The end of the world comes today in the minds and the teachings of 300 men, women and children, whose actions last night might lead those who observed their manifestations to hold the opinion that the day of judgment was perhaps even nearer than the hour they set.

  • Saturday morning, September 25, 1909, "MOTHER EARTH STILL WAGGING", “Holy Rollers” Are Awaiting Coming of the Messiah, Elder Has New Revelation: Judgment Day is Delayed Twenty-Four Hours

  • Saturday Afternoon, Sept. 25 1909 – Awaiting the end of the world, which they believe will come before 6 o’clock tonight, the 300 or more members of The Latter Reign of the Apostolic Church, who call themselves “Triune Immersionists” and are popularly known as Holy Rollers, held a long watch meeting last night in their bethel at Ashdod, on the main turnpike between Boston and Plymouth, while hundreds of curious people from the neighboring village lingered outside the structure to note the progress of events. The curtains at the windows of the bethel were all drawn close and little of what occurred was evident to outsiders. Apparently there was a praise service and exhortations, and occasionally a voice pitched high in prayer was heard exclaiming: “O Lord, come soon; don’t disappoint us.”

  • Tuesday Morning, Sept. 28, 1909, PREDICTIONS HAVE FAILED, Triune Immersionists Disappointed For Fifth Time, Leaving For Their Homes, Mother Earth Still Doing Business at the Same Old Stand, but Not For Long, According to Prophetess of the Sect–But Few of the Faithful Remain in Camp at Ashdod. Ashdod, the little hamlet “five miles from nowhere,” where with singing and prayer the end of the world has been awaited for the past week by the Triune Immersionists, is practically a deserted village. Four coachloads of the faithful left for their homes Monday and more went today. ... (Many in the sect), with enthusiasm somewhat abated, but still hopeful, have returned to their homes to await “the coming,” which they believe cannot be far away. Miss Eva Brown, the beauty prophetess of the sect, still asserts that the end of the world is about to come.

  • For the fifth time in sixty-five years, the Triune Immersionists have been disappointed. In 1844, 1854, 1867, 1873 and 1909 the Advent was predicted, the predictions were believed (and) hundreds of believers prepared to depart this earthly sphere, don heavenly robes and join the elect in the Golden City of Eternity.

  • The lesson, it should not be what "people think" that we allow to define us and our worship but "What has God said?"
  • Are we looking for confirmation of our will? Or truly trying to discern GOD's WILL?
  • For 135 (588 B.C) years after the fall of the North to Assyria, the Southern Kingdom (Judah) remained relatively free. JERUSALEM STOOD to fight another day.
  • Jeremiah's ministry had been in Judah.
  • Judah was geographically less exposed to attacks, but also had been generally more godly than Israel was. (Ultimately it is in these line of Kings in which comes Jesus.)
  • Their alliances during this time (sometimes Egypt, sometimes Babylon), effected them spiritually: idolatry and other sin. They were unfaithful to God.

Isaiah 30:1,2 — Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: Isa 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! [100+ years before the fall of Jerusalem, as the North and South made the same error.]

  • "cover with a covering" "Who ratify covenants" -- POLITICS instead of REVIVAL

    • "if we could just gain the favor of this grouop or that person"
    • Even if we requires me to compromise my deepest beliefs, I will do what it takes to obtain THEIR favor.
  • "covered with a covering" "but not of my spirit" [PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM THEIR ENEMIES]

    • What is "covering of HIs Spirit"
    • After Joseph gave his wise solution to the coming famine:

Genesis 41:38 — And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

  • Even a heathen king with a wraped theology witness what spirit Daniel was of!

Daniel 4:8 — But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,

Chapter 1: Jerusalem as a Widow

  • Was/Is [Outrage]

outrage - the anger and resentment aroused by injury or insult

  • Our we insulted by what we have become?
Was Is Reference
Full of People Sits Solitary 1:1
The Lord was as an enemy: (2:5) widow 1:1
was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces become tributary 1:1