Oct 25, 2021
As Pastor Grant put it last week, the
book of Lamentations calls us to remember, repent, and return to
the Lord. This week’s sermon text focuses on that middle
term—repentance—and specifically highlights the failures of the
leaders in Judah: “Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions”; “This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests” (Lamentations 2:14; 4:13). Jeremiah laments the lack of repentance in the church and
charges her shepherds with bringing this judgement upon themselves. Because of this, most of the musical pieces in this morning’s service place us in an uncomfortable posture, standing “like a penitent” coming to “confess [our] sin”
(Not All The Blood Of Beasts). We admit that we are “guilty, vile, and helpless” (Man Of Sorrows!), and we have nothing good “whereby [His] grace to claim” (Jesus Paid It All). We humbly acknowledge that God has “torn and rent
our land” (O God You Have Rejected Us—Psalm 60) and that our foundations are destroyed (My Trust Is In The Lord— Psalm 11). We are reminded to “depart from all these besetting sins,” to “offer righteous sacrifices,” and to “bring our
faith before the judge” (Answer, Father, When I Call—Psalm 4). This relentless focus on confession and repentance may be difficult—but we are not without hope. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1
John 1:9). We will rejoice to see the curse removed. Our God will not cast us off. —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Cast Down, Enemy, Weeping, Bile, Babies, False, Prophets, Priests
Keystone Verse: Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.
Lamentations 2:1, 5, 11-14,
17; 4:1-2, 5, 13
2:1 How the Lord in His anger has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud! He has cast down from heaven to earth the splendor of Israel; He has not remembered His footstool in the day of His anger. 5 The Lord has become like an enemy;
He has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all its palaces; He has laid in ruins its strongholds, and He has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. 11 My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns;
my bile is poured out to the ground because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because infants and babies faint in the streets of the city. 12 They cry to their mothers, “Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like a
wounded man in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out on their mothers' bosom. 13 What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of
Zion? For your ruin is vast as the sea; who can heal you? 14 Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading. 17 The Lord has done what He purposed; He has carried out His word, which He commanded long ago; He has thrown down without pity; He has made the enemy rejoice over you and exalted the might of your foes.
4:1How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street. 2 The precious sons of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold, how they are regarded as earthen pots, the work of a
potter's hands! 5 Those who once feasted on delicacies perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple embrace ash heaps. 13 This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in the midst of her
the blood of the righteous.