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Lamentations 4-5

Talks for Growing Christians

Discipline, Confession and Restoration

Lamentations 4-5

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There is restoration after divine discipline.
  2. There is restoration after contrite confession.

Practical Application

  1. Take heed lest you fall!

Questions

  1. The book of Lamentations has been called “the _____________ of a city.” Jeremiah mourns the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC by the __________________.
  2. Horrible conditions, including cannibalism, existed in Jerusalem as God disciplined His people (4:3-12). This sad situation was predicted as part of God’s law if the people were disobedient and would not follow the Lord. Identify two portions of Scripture that record these predictions.
  3. Even the prophets and priests were subject to God’s discipline. What happened to them?
  4. Fallen Jerusalem is pictured as a mourning widow in chapter 1, as a weeping daughter in chapter 2, as a man suffering the affliction of discipline in chapter 3, and as tarnished gold in chapter 4. Here in chapter 5, Jerusalem is seen as a ____________ ________.
  5. Why could Jeremiah be so confident that God would not utterly reject His people, but rather would restore them (5:19-22)?

Answers

  1. The book of Lamentations has been called “the funeral of a city.” Chapters 1-4 are a series of laments or funeral dirges, and chapter 5 is a prayer of the godly remnant in recognition of their sins as a nation. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians besieged and destroyed the city of Jerusalem.
  2. “. . . I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons . . .” (See Leviticus 26:27-29.) “You shall eat the fruit of your own body . . . in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you.” (See Deuteronomy 28:53-57.)
  3. The prophets and priests would be shunned as unclean lepers and they would be scattered among the nations as God in His anger disciplined them (4:13-16).
  4. In chapter 5, fallen Jerusalem is seen as a suffering orphan (v 3).
  5. Jeremiah and the godly remnant could be confident that God would not utterly reject them and that He would restore them because they knew the covenant promises God had made with His people. Read Deuteronomy chapter 30 in this connection.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss the reason or reasons why God inflicted a greater punishment upon Jerusalem than He did upon Sodom (v 6).

Challenge

  1. Is pride in your past accomplishments causing you to be blind to moral or spiritual failure in your life today? In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul admonishes us not to fall as the Israelites did and he uses their experiences as an example to warn us of prideful temptations. “Therefore let him who [pridefully] thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (See 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.)

Key Verses

  • “The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom . . .” Lamentations 4:6a
  • “Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old . . .” Lamentations 5:21

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