Lamentations 1 … Consider His Faithful Love

“I called to my lovers, but they deceived me;
My priests and my elders perished in the city
While they sought food to restore their strength themselves,”
(1:19).

“Lamentations is not the only OT book that contains individual or community laments. (A large number of the Psalms are lament poems, and every prophetic book except Haggai includes one or more examples of the lament genre.) Lamentations is the only book, however, that consists solely of laments.” NIV Study Bible

A book that consists solely of laments, but still… I saw Him today, through the gut-wrenching groans and heart-breaking moans, I saw Him high and lifted up in His Faithful Love.

I confess, moving out of Jeremiah with the hard truths proclaimed and hopping right into this book of lamenting, grieving, mourning, and anguish made me want a break, wondering how we could ever see Him in the midst of the writer’s sorrow. And again, that line from the old song, “Big Yellow Taxi,” came to mind.

“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone.”

I found a few other quotes on the web about this. “Appreciate what you have, before it turns into what you had.” And today we read of people who had failed to appreciate His Faithful Love and were now living in what had turned into looking back on “what they had.”

And another quote which aptly describes their reality. “People say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, but the truth is you knew exactly what you had, you just never thought you’d ever lose it.” They knew they were God’s chosen people and somehow convinced themselves that they could live any way they chose and still remain secure in His Promised Land.

But it’s gone now. And as the writer (presumably Jeremiah) laments the state of his people, he is not only lamenting what they have now, but behind every line is the lamenting of what they had then; lamenting their sanctimonious pride that duped them into a wretchedly false sense of security as His chosen people; lamenting that His chosen people chose the world over Him; lamenting that they now found themselves at the mercy of a treacherous enemy rather than basking in the favor of His Faithful Love.

This chapter shines the light of truth on all the lovers that God’s people had pursued, and in so doing illumines the truth of His Faithful Love.

Judah had placed her hope in a shallow and deceptive love, in lovers who had not only deceived her with their lies but had abandoned her to fend for themselves. Judah had rejected the God of Israel for her pagan lovers, the very antithesis of His Faithful Love.

And today as we read of Judah’s lovers who now had become her treacherous enemies, our attention will be drawn in the glaring contrast to His Faithful Love displayed in Our Faithful Shepherd Who made it His life’s food to accomplish the will of His Father in laying down His life for His sheep.

“I called to my lovers, but they deceived me;
My priests and my elders perished in the city
While they sought food to restore their strength themselves,
(1:19).

 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work,” (John 4:34).

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep,” (John 10:11).

And His children would come to realize what they once had because now it was gone. And in this place of lamentation, if His children would open their ears and hearts, they would learn that all they had so diligently pursued would never be found in their faithless lovers and they would begin to fathom that all that they needed, all that anyone needs, will only be found in His Faithful Love.

Consider His Faithful Love

  • His Faithful Love is our Constant Companion
    • How lonely sits the city
      That was full of people!
      (1:1).

      • for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5).
  • His Faithful Love Gives us His Comfort
    • She weeps bitterly in the night
      And her tears are on her cheeks;
      She has none to comfort her
      Among all her lovers…
      (1:2).

      • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God, (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
  • His Faithful Love Gives us His Rest
    • Judah has gone into exile under affliction
      And under harsh servitude;
      She dwells among the nations,
      But she has found no rest…
      (1:3).

      • “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls,” (Matthew 11:28-29).
  • His Faithful Love Calls us His Friend
    • Her adversaries have become her masters,
      Her enemies prosper…
      (1:5).

      • “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you,” (John 15:15).
  • His Faithful Love Gives us His Strength
    • And they have fled without strength
      Before the pursuer.
      (1:6).

      • I can do all things through Him who strengthens me, (Philippians 4:13).
  • His Faithful Love Provides His Help
    • …When her people fell into the hand of the adversary
      And no one helped her.
      The adversaries saw her,
      They mocked at her ruin.
      (1:7).

      • Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, (Hebrews 4:16).
  • His Faithful Love Clothes our Nakedness
    • Jerusalem sinned greatly,
      Therefore she has become an unclean thing.
      All who honored her despise her
      Because they have seen her nakedness…
      (1:8).

      • For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ, (Galatians 3:26-27).
  • His Faithful Love Transforms our Future
    • Her uncleanness was in her skirts;
      She did not consider her future…
      (1:9).

      • For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself, (Philippians 3:20-21).
  • His Faithful Love Gives us the Bread of Life
    • All her people groan seeking bread;
      They have given their precious things for food
      To restore their lives themselves…
      (1:11).

      • Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst,” (John 6:35).
  • His Faithful Love Gives us our Freedom
    • “The yoke of my transgressions is bound;
      By His hand they are knit together.
      They have come upon my neck…
      (1:14).

      • Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, (2 Corinthians 3:17 HCSB).
  • His Faithful Love Restores our Soul
    • “For these things I weep;
      My eyes run down with water;
      Because far from me is a comforter,
      One who restores my soul…”
      (1:16).

      • Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little, (1 Peter 5:10 HCSB).
  • His Faithful Love Convinces us of His Righteousness and Convicts us of our Sin
    • “The Lord is righteous;
      For I have rebelled against His command;
      (1:18).

      • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:24).

How do we respond to His Faithful Love?

As we consider all we have in His Faithful Love, perhaps we will feel incapable of being able to adequately respond. His Faithful Love is infinite and beyond our finite ability to fully comprehend. But we can find our perfect response concisely penned in Psalm 117.

Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible and it is also the middle chapter in all the Bible. How appropriate! For our response can be summed up in just two short phrases: Praise Him, and Glorify Him.

Oh, that we would commit to live our lives in such a way that at the center of all we do would be to Praise and Glorify Him, that we would never find ourselves lamenting what we once had, but rather live in ceaseless gratitude and thanks for all we do have, now and forever, in His Faithful Love.

Praise the Lord, all nations!
Glorify Him, all peoples!
For His faithful love to us is great;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Hallelujah!
(Psalm 117 HCSB).

Let’s Grow Together!

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