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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Lamentations 1

Verses 1-22

  1. BOOK OVERVIEW:
    1. Lamentations – “The Funeral of a City!”
      1. One called Lamentations “an elegy(poem of mourning) written in a graveyard!”
      2. “It is a cloud burst of grief, a river of tears, a sea of sobs.”
      3. “Poets learn in sorrow what they teach in song!”
        1. Might The Lord give you a song in the midst of your sorrow?
        2. He gave me one driving home from a meeting regarding a pastor that had fallen & yet at that time didn’t seem to be broken yet.
        3. How many songs do we miss because we are focusing on the sorrow & not on the Savior?
      4. J. Vernon McGee said, “The book is filled with tears and sorrow. It is a paean of pain, a poem of pity, a proverb of pathos, a hymn of heartbreak, a psalm of sadness, a symphony of sorrow.…It is the wailing wall of the Bible.”
    2. Written? – Prob. during the month between the captivity of Jer. & its destruction.
      1. Famine & destruction were still raging in the streets (1:11,19)
    3. Author? – Most see Jeremiah as the writer. Though not mentioned. Same style.
    4. Megilloth – This is 1 of the 5 Megilloth or “rolls”.
      1. 5 books of the O.T. were written on Rolls for reading at Jewish Festivals.
        1. S.of S. – Passover; Ruth – Feasts of weeks; Eccl. – Feats fo Tab.; Esther – Feast of Purim; & Lamentations – At the anniv. of the dest. of Jer.(9th of Ab, July)
    5. 5 Lyric Poems – {Lyric=sung to the Lyre}
      1. Show overhead!
        1. Heb. – (Ekah – “Ah, How!”) see 1:1; 2:1; 4:1.
        2. LXX(Sept.) – Threnoram or Threnoi – “Dirges”.
        3. Syriac & Vulgate Lamentations.
      2. Acrostic - Each chapter has 22 verses. Show Hebrew alphabet acrostic.
        1. Other examples in scripture? – Ps.119; Prov.31:10-31[the abc’s of the perfect wife]
        2. Note: Ch. 3 has 3 x’s 22(66). Still acrostic(aaa,bbb,ccc)
        3. Note: Ch. 5 – not an acrostic.
    6. Listen for – When Jehovah, Jeremiah, or Jerusalem is speaking.
  2. Intro to Ch.1:
    1. 2 equal parts: {1-11 The Lament of Jeremiah} & {12-2 The Lament of Jerusalem}
      1. One from the outside looking in (Jeremiah). The other from the inside looking out(Jerusalem).
    2. Sept./Oct. 1994, Moscow, Parliament Building(Russia’s White House)
      1. Q: Can you imagine watching your White house on fire in the U.S.?
      2. Whether it’s the Oklahoma Bombing; a Jet linear crash; or your house burnt down(Doug & Larissa) it’s a awful feeling in your gut!
      3. Tradition says Jeremiah sat weeping outside Jerusalem’s north wall under the knoll called Golgotha.
      4. I Picture Jeremiah sitting outside the city looking upon it, smoke still in the air, hearing crying in the distance, the smell of death.
  3. THE LAMENT OF JEREMIAH! (1-11)
    1. Don’t look for clear & neat arguments running through the chapters.
      1. Look for a series of pictures – like a dozen movie cameras, all shooting from different angles,{“camera 1 – go to 2 – go to 4, etc.”}.
    2. Gods Holiness demanded the chastening, but His Heart was grieved for them still, as a loving father sorely pained in his own correction of a wayward son.
    3. “…behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Jesus,600 yrs. later)
    4. Vs.1,2 – The same sad image appears in the well known medal of Titus struck to celebrate his triumph over Jerusalem.
      1. A woman sitting weeping below a palm-tree, & below is the legend “Judea Capta’.
    5. Vs.9 – Consider your destiny – Plan ahead!
      1. Deut.32:29 “Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would consider their latter end!”
    6. Vs.9 & 11 – 2 cries!
      1. “O Lord, behold my affliction.” (NIV-Look Oh Lord on my affliction)
      2. “See, O Lord, & consider, For I am scorned.”
        1. Cry out! – Say, “Lord Look!”
        2. “Why do you look at one another? “(Jacob to the 10 brothers in Gen.42:1 when the famine hit)
          1. 1st Look to Jesus, then have Him tell you where to Look!
          2. Prov.4:25,26 “Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.”
          3. “Look at the birds of the air; Look at the Fig Tree; Look at the Fields; Look at the My hands(Thomas).”
        3. 2Cor.4:17,18 “we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
          1. See the unseen! – Paradox.
        4. The Scriptures often use Paradox - We see unseen things (2 Cor. 4:18); we conquer by yielding (Rom. 6:16-18); we find rest under a yoke (Mt.11:28-30); we reign by serving (Mark 10:42-44); we are made great by becoming little (Luke 9:48); we are exalted by being humble (Mt. 23:12); we become wise by being fools for Christ's sake (1 Cor. 1:20, 21); we are made free by becoming His bond servants (Rom. 6:10); we wax strong by being weak (2 Cor. 12:10); we triumph by defeat (2 Cor. 12:7-9); we find victory by glorying in our infirmities (2 Cor. 12:5); and we live by dying(John 12:24,25; 2 Cor. 4:10,11).
      3. Cry out! – Say, “Lord Look!”
    7. Vs.10 – Foreigners were not aloud in to worship…let alone come in to rob & destroy!
  4. THE LAMENT OF JERUSALEM! (12-22)
    1. ​​​​​​​Intro to 12-22:
    2. Q: Who was this funeral for? (Jerusalem)
      1. This is a strange funeral because more than once the corpse sits up & speaks!(vs.12)
      2. There was one air disaster recently, & we heard from all the different news commentators, but then we got to here from one of the survivors. {Q: Where was that one air disaster, just off shore, where there were some survivors who told their story.}
        1. Here we have the survivor speak, the city herself!
    3. Vs.14 - sinful passions was not freedom, but captivity!
      1. Each sin was like another branch, being tightly woven and bound together in the shape of a yoke that would rest on Judah’s neck and become an unbearable weight.
    4. Vs.16b – “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me”…is no longer our cry!
      1. The comforter! Is our “Pledge”, “our guarantee”!
      2. 2 Cor.1:21,22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
        1. Speaks of: authority, or ownership. - We have a foretaste & guarantee(pledge) of future completion of that work in Resurrected bodies & complete sanctification.
    5. Vs.18 – God is the innocent party! - The Lord is Righteous!
    6. Vs.22b – Also 16a – That’s some tears!
    7. Mt.5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.”
      1. ​​​​​​​The world says, “Forget your troubles. Things are bad enough w/o having to go looking for them!”
      2. Jesus response!- Lk.6:25 “Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.” - Ouch!
      3. Someone said, ”If you want to know someone’s character, find out what makes him laugh & what makes him weep!”
      4. What we laugh at & what we weep over indicates our values of life & values are a part of maturity.
      5. Definition: Mourn = “To grieve w/a grief which so takes possession of the whole being that it cannot be hid.”
      6. Q: What’s Jesus after here. A bunch of bummed out people walking around?
      7. No! - Mourn over Your Sin & Despise it!
        1. “O, wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
      8. When we learn how to Mourn, we’ll have a deeper understanding of the Sinfulness of Sin & the Graciousness of God!
      9. Ask yourself “What is it in me that makes me behave like that? Why should I be Irritable? Why should I be bad tempered? Why am I not able to control myself? Why do I harbor that unkind, jealous & envious thought? What is it in me? {You discover the warring in your members, & you hate it & mourn because of it!}
      10. Mourn over others Sin
        1. ​​​​​​​Like Jeremiah/Israels captivity; Jesus/Jer.; Paul/churches he ministered to.
        2. Mourn Over the wife who left her husband for another! - For the man who has bailed on his responsibilities! - For your friends child who is so rude to his parents! - Mourn over your backslidden friends!
    8. “…For they shall be comforted!”
      1. ​​​​​​​He’ll turn sorrow into Joy!
      2. Our Mourning puts us in touch w/the eternal resources of God, & the result is God’s Comfort!
      3. Remember Ninevah Mourned, & they were comforted.(8th cent.BC)
    9. What 4-Ways do we find Comfort?
      1. ​​​​​​​Through God (Our God is the”God of all Comfort”(2 Cor.1:3)!);
        Through the Scriptures (The same scriptures that say, “Thou art the man” say,
        “The Lord also has put away thy sin!” (2 Sam.12:7,13))
        Through the Holy Spirit (It is He that takes the comforting words, from the God of all comfort, & spills them into a heart to comfort it!)
        & Through His People! (Gal.6:2 “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”)
    10. Tears are investments in future Joys!
      1. Ps.30:5 “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
      2. Ps.126:5 “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Lamentations 1". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/lamentations-1.html. 2017.