1 – Jeremiah 52:1-3 (ESV) 12 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For because of the anger of the Lord things came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.
And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
RAF: Do not let the irony of this passage escape you – Zedekiah, the king whose wicked reign brought the final destruction of Jerusalem upon it – had Jeremiah the prophet as his counselor. We can have the very best of preaching and teaching among us – the very oracles of God expounded to us by divine revelation, and yet if our ears will not hear, if our hearts will not yield, it is for naught. Merely having our Bibles means nothing, if we are not reading, studying, obeying. We have the very Word of God at our finger tips, and how little we know it and feast upon it. Beloved, do not squander the means God has appointed to bring you the fountains of His grace. Whatever our excuses, whatever our reasons – do not fail to attend to His Word. In reading, in preaching – wherever and whenever you can obtain it. Hear God. There is safety, salvation in no other place.
2 – The one-word theme of Lamentations is: FAITHFULNESS. In the lowest depths of Judah’s destruction and captivity comes the words of chap. 3 and verse 23 – Though God’s hand may be very very heavy on His sons and daughters at times because of their sin – nevertheless – His mercies are new every morning. Great indeed is His faithfulness. He does not abandon His own. Are you then sure of this Reader? Are you really His own?
3 – Lamentations 1:1-2 (ESV) 1 How lonely sits the city
that was full of people!
How like a widow has she become,
she who was great among the nations!
She who was a princess among the provinces
has become a slave.
2 She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;
among all her lovers
she has none to comfort her;
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
they have become her enemies.
RAF: This, is a picture of the end of sin:
1 . Loneliness – separation from God and His people.
Emptiness – like a window, just framed air.
Slavery – bound to what we thought was freedom.
2. Bitterness – the reality of all the waste and sins ravages.
Comfortless – all the joys pursued were fleeting. They do not remain. There is no lasting comfort.
Betrayal – all of the promises sin made were lies. The friend it pretended to be – was a guise for the murderer it is.
Oh beloved – flee from it!
4 – Lamentations needs to be read often. We need to be reminded that God does not take sin lightly – even in His chosen ones. Grace is not license TO sin, but freedom FROM sin. Oh that our hearts would drink this in. This short book with is unique acrostic arrangement was composed so as to aid the readers in memorizing it. Not that they might remain forever shameful, but be forever warned. To be reminded over and over of the effects of sin. To see it in all of its destructive wretchedness. Temptation makes it look so attractive, but it ends in hideous pain and torment. No one imagines when they try to steal some fleeting but forbidden dainty that it is so full of poison as to bring destruction even into the lives of our children and grandchildren. But it is so. God does not warn us against it to rob of of some joy, but to keep us from the result, and to direct us to true, lasting, divine joy. To find our joy in Him.
Prov. 10:22 “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” The PRETENDED blessings of the world, make us bankrupt, and are shot through and through with nothing but sorrow.