March 31, 2020
Unceasing love and faithfulness Lamentations 3. Jeremiah was called to ministry sometime around 627 BC. The southern kingdom of Judea was constantly sinning toward God and God raised up Jeremiah to be His mouthpiece and to warn of coming judgment and the need for repentance. Jeremiah’s contemporaries where, Naham, Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Ezekiel. Jeremiah exhibited qualities of courage, compassion, and sensitivity. However, we also see a darker side of moodiness, introspection, loneliness, doubt, and retribution toward his personal enemies. Jeremiah is commonly called the “weeping prophet”, weeping not in the terms of inner weakness but as a proof of his love for God’s people. In 587 BC, after 40 years of prophesying, all the consequences outlined by God to his people were realised. Judea and Jerusalem fell captive under the rule of Babylon. The city that Jeremiah loved was destroyed.
1. The book of Lamentations is known by what other names? This book is made up of five poems, each marked by a chapter break. Many have called these poems “funeral dirges” Briefly overview each chapter and nominate a theme for each poem. What do you think is the purpose of this book?
2. Please read Lamentations 3:1-21 2. In chapter three the structure of the Hebrew poetry has each verse or stanza starting with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This is an acrostic. In our English bibles this relates to one letter per three verses. As you read the first 7 stanzas (21 verses) please describe the emotions of Jeremiah.
Stanza Jeremiah’s emotion and experience:
One (v 1-3)
Two (v 4-6)
Three (v 7-9)
Four (v 10-12)
Five (v 13-15)
Six (v 16-18)
Seven (v 19-21)
3. Why do you think Jeremiah’s emotions are this way? Is it OK to cry out to God in this way? and if so, what does this show about Jeremiahs relationship with his God?
Please read Jeremiah 3:21-24
4. What is the basis of Jeremiahs transition from hopelessness to hope? Is there any significance in the name of God that Jeremiah uses in this stanza? What does it mean that “the LORD is my portion”?
5. Can you think of any other OT Scriptures that affirm God’s steadfast love, and faithfulness? (Please note them and share them as an encouragement with your group)
Please read Romans 8:31-39
6. How is the gospel central to our assurance as outlined in this portion of Scripture? (Also think in terms of the broader context of Romans 8.)
7. (Optional – difficult q) In Romans 8:36, Paul quotes from Psalm 44:22. Read Psalm 44 and outline the overall theme of this Psalm. Why do you think Paul uses this quote? What major principle is being made?
8. How would you use this part of Romans to explain the gospel to an unbelieving friend?