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Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for Lamentations

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The Book of Lamentations

The book of Lamentations is a funeral dirge over the desolation of Jerusalem. It is read each year in the synagogues as the Jews commemorate the destruction of Solomon's Temple in 586 B.C. Jeremiah wrote the Lamentations as he wept bitterly over the city he had desperately tried to save.

LAMENTATIONS 1: THE DESOLATION OF JERUSALEM

v.1 Jerusalem, once great among the nations, now sits in silence and rubble.

v.2 Those in whom Jerusalem once trusted have become her enemies.

v.5 Jerusalem's affliction was brought upon her because of the multitude of her transgressions.

v.8 The blame was placed upon Jerusalem for her calamities. It's unjust to blame God for our calamities.

v.10 A stranger or a heathen was not allowed to enter the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies.

v.11 The people had given all their money and treasures for bread.

v.16 "For these things I weep." Thus, the "lamentations" of Jeremiah.

v.18 We can always be certain of the righteousness of God in judgment (Revelation 16:5-7).

v.19 The people died of starvation while searching for food.

LAMENTATIONS 2: JEREMIAH LAMENTS OVER JERUSALEM'S MISERY

v.1-14 Jeremiah reflects on the awesome scene of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army.

v.15 Jerusalem's beauty had departed.

v.17 God was faithful to His warnings.

v.18-19 These verses are a call to intercessory prayer. The people had not been desperate enough to seek God with their whole heart (James 5:16).

LAMENTATIONS 3: JEREMIAH SHARES IN HIS NATION'S AFFLICTION

v.1-19 Jeremiah related his depth of despair and hopelessness over his calamities. Hopelessness always leads to depression.

v.19 Jeremiah was at one of the lowest points of his life.

v.20 There is a dramatic change as Jeremiah adjusts his thinking.

v.21 We can think ourselves into hopelessness and despair, or by the renewing of our mind we can come into a whole new state of consciousness of God to attain victory and hope (Ephesians 4:23; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Isaiah 26:3).

v.22-23 The fact that I wake up each morning is proof of God's mercy, compassion, and faithfulness (1 Corinthians 13:8).

v.24 The Lord is all I need.

v.30 This is a prophecy of Jesus Christ.

v.32 The forsaking of the people by God will not last forever.

v.33 It doesn't please God to have to afflict us. Anytime we rebel against God we make it hard on ourselves. Because God is faithful and loves us, He will chasten us (Jonah 2:8; Hebrews 12:6).

v.38 Evil and good don't proceed from God's mouth as they do from the mouth of man (James 1:18, 3:9-11).

v.39-42 These verses are a call to selfjudgment and confession.

v.52-65 This is a description of Jeremiah's prison experience.

v.66 In the New Testament, Jesus teaches us to bless those who curse us (Matthew 5:44).

LAMENTATIONS 4: HORRORS OF THE SIEGE OF JERUSALEM

v.3 The ostrich forsakes her eggs in the sand.

v.21-22 Edom will also be recompensed.

LAMENTATIONS 5: A PITIFUL COMPLAINT OF ZION IN PRAYER

v.21 Turn your heart back to God (Revelation 2:4-5).

v.22 The book closes with a sad note of rejection. This whole black period of history could have been avoided if the people had only harkened to the voice of God. God was faithful, and that which He declared He would do, He did.


Used With Permission

© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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