SGA 13th. Street Baptist Church Pic of Christ lesson 86


Lesson 86
Lamentations 3:1-26

Someone said, "God has hedged us about on the one side with His promises of mercy lest we despair, and He has hedged us about on the other side with warnings lest we presume." John Newton could sing, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me;" and he also wrote, "'Tis a point I long to know, oft it gives me anxious thought; do I love the Lord or not, am I his or am I not?" The Apostle Paul urged all believers to "Examine yourselves whether you be in THE FAITH." Peter wrote, "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure."

WHAT AND WHO IS THE BELIEVER'S HOPE? When we think upon our BEGINNING in Adam's transgressions, of our NATURE of sin, and our INABILITY to think or do anything pleasing to God, how can we entertain a blessed hope of eternal life and glory? Jeremiah sets forth our hope as it always has been, is now, and ever shall be. OUR HOPE IS IN OUR REDEEMER!

(Vs. 1-18) As one reads these lamentations of Jeremiah before the Holy God of Heaven, he comes to the same conclusion as Jeremiah in Verse 18, "My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:" or as Isaiah said when he saw the Lord in His holiness and himself in his uncleanness, "I am cut-off, there is no strength or hope in me."

(Vs. 19-20) When I remember or call to mind my afflictions, my misery, and the corruption of my nature and flesh, my soul is humbled and bowed down within me. There is no way that a man who has seen God in His holiness and the law of God in its perfect requirements can look within himself or at his works and find any comfort or hope. A true sight of self in the presence of God can only convict us, humble us, and crush us.

(Vs. 21) "THIS I RECALL TO MIND." What? My works? No! His grace! What? My sins and misery? No! His love and mercy! Jeremiah has looked within and can only grieve: but now he looks to Christ, and he shouts, "THEREFORE I HAVE HOPE!"

(Vs. 22-26) This blessed hope is six-fold.

a. Love BEGINS with God. We did not love God but rather hated Him, yet He loved us (I John 4:10, 19).
b. His love is UNCHANGING (Mal. 3:6; Rom. 8:38-39).
c. His love is INFINITE (John 3:16; John 15:12-13).

Nothing I have done caused God to love me, and nothing that I have done or will do will make God cease to love me. THIS IS OUR HOPE!

a. God is faithful to Himself and His Word (Num. 23:19: Isa. 46:9-11).
b. God is faithful to His covenant (Rom. 8:29-31; Jer. 32:38-40).
c. God is faithful to His Son (,John 6:37-39; John 17:1-3, 24).

This was David's comfort when he lay dying, not in his faith, his works, nor his service, but in God's faithfulness to His covenant (II Sam. 23:5).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.