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The northern kingdom of Israel had already been captured and led off to captivity.  Southern Israel was left and I suppose it was assumed that they thought they were favored by the Lord.  However, JEHOVAH had sent several prophets to Judah (along with the tribe of Benjamin) warning them that their dabbling with idolatry was not going to be tolerated.  Jeremiah the prophet had been called as a young lad and was going to see the passing of Judah from a prosperous country to one that was completely destroyed by a kingdom yet to be figured important on the political scene of the day Assyria was had been ruling over Judah but had been breaking up as a power to be reckoned for.  There was a brief period when Judah was able to exert herself in independence after the Assyrian loss of influence.  During this time Jerusalem figured as an important trade route focal point and was enjoying an unparalleled prosperity (with the exception of the reign of Solomon).

That was all changed by the time we open up the pages of Lamentations.  The righteous king Josiah had been killed in battle with Egypt and his sons and grandsons squandered whatever patience the Lord had with them by a plunge into idolatry.  Babylonia has risen in power and had responded to a series of rebuffs by Judah to become a client nation. As a result, the land had been sacked -- Jerusalem had been conquered and lay waste.

Enter the weeping prophet Jeremiah.  He had witnessed the whole tragic fall of his beloved country.  Lamentations opens up with him hiding in a cave outside Jerusalem weeping over his beloved city.  I'm going to develop the theme of Lamentations in a different way.  The series title is Lamentations: the School of Hard Knocks. During this series I will be filling in some background and contrasting the tragic downfall of Judah and the eternal character of the Lord.

Lamentations: the School of Hard Knocks, Intro.

Historical background is presented.  The reason for the fall of Judah and her hope in the Lord is given by Jeremiah.

The Lord is Righteous.

The righteousness of the Lord is contrasted with the sin of Judah.  Two images of His judgment is given by Jeremiah -- the almond tree and the boiling cauldron.

The Lord is Sovereign.

This is a hard chapter for me.  We all must face the LORD in our short comings.  There is a visceral fear from the child of God -- at least there should be that he fall into the hands of an angry God -- for his rebellion and disobedience (Hebrews 10:31 and context).

The Lord is Faithful

September 15, 2013.  My apologies for delaying this latest lesson in my Lamentations series. The tenderness of The Lord comes into view. Up to now, things have been presented in a very severe tone but, now we see the heartbeat of God's motive for His redemptive plan for mankind. We must remember that there is nothing of merit in mankind.  Man is completely depraved. There is just no hope for man from the point of view of his worth.

"There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." 13 "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips"; 14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."  Romans 3:10b - 18,  KJV