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None to Comfort ~ Lamentations 1

March 12, 2017 ~ New City Church of Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson

Intro: CS Lewis, God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself because it is not there. There is
no such thing.

Jerusalem was a city that proves this point. And her fall from greatness happened in the destruction of her city
by Babylon as Jerusalem decayed from within.

I. The Forsaken Lady, 1:1-11.

1. She had forsaken her husband (God) for other lovers.

(1) The covenantal relationship between Israel and God is portrayed as a marriage.

Is. 54:5, For your maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of
Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
Jer. 31:32, my covenantthey broke, through I was their husband, declares the Lord.

(2) This marriage was a partnership designed to bring blessing to the entire world (cf. Gen. 12:1-3). In
covenantal relationship with God, Israel was like a bride adorned with beauty testifying to the world
what life looked like in a restored relationship with God.

(3) But Israel pursued other lovers.

Jer. 13:10, This evil peoplerefuse my words [and] stubbornly follow their own heart and have
gone after other gods to serve them and worship them.
Jer. 11:13, your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the
streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to make offerings to Baal.
Jer. 7:30, For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sightthey have set their detestable things
in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high placesto burn
their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.
Jer. 9:5-6, Everyone deceives his neighbour, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their
tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. Heaping oppression upon
oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the Lord.
Jer. 6:13, From the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from
prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
Jer. 3:1, You have played the whore with many lovers.
6:15, Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed;
they did not know how to blush.

(4) Like a jealous lover who wanted to preserve the relationship, God sent messengers (prophets) to
plead with his bride to return to him, but to no avail. Jeremiah himself spent decades pleading.

Jer. 35:15, I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying,
Turn now every one of your from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other
gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I have to your fathers. But you did
not incline your ear or listen to me.
Jer. 6:16, Thus says the Lord; Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
Jer. 18:11-12, Return, every one from his evil way and amend your ways and your deeds. But
they say, That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the
stubbornness of his evil heart.
Jer. 6:10, Behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.
Jer. 5:1, 3, Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her
squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon
her. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent.
Jer. 7:9-10, Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go
after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house,
which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered! only to go on doing all these
abominations?

(5) Instead of being part of the solution, Israel had become part of the problem. Or we might say, she
became the epitome of the problem.

2. Her husband grants her the divorce.

Jer. 13:14, I have seen your abominations and neighings, your lewd whorings, on the hills in the
fields. Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
Jer. 17:1, The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the
tablet of their heart.
Jer. 19:3ff, You shall say, Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jeru-salem.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place
that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have
profaned this place by making offering in it to other gods..and because they have filled this place with
the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt
offerings to Baal, therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall
no more be called Topheth, or the Vally of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And I will
make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by will be horrified and will hiss
because of all its wounds.

Lam. 1:8, 5, Jerusalem sinned grievously; therefore she became filthy.the Lord afflicted her for the
multitude of her transgressions.
Transgressions is a word used frequently to describe covenant rebellion, the deliberate breaking
of sacred commitments that were built into the relationship bested Israel and YHWH.

3. Her other lovers have forsaken her.

(1) No one to comfort her, Lam. 1:1-2.

Lam. 1:1-3 (cf. 1:19, I called out to my lovers, but they deceived me.)
5x None to comfort her (Poet: vv. 2, 9, 17; Lady Zion: 16, 21)

(2) No rest to be found, Lam. 1:3.

The irony: Israel was liberated from slavery, now she has gone back into it.
The irony: Sin brings pleasure for a season, but it results in slavery.

II. The Lamenting Lady, 1:11b-22.

1. She cries out to God.

Vs. 9, O Lord, behold my affliction.


Vs. 11, Look, O Lord, & see, for I am despised.
Vs. 20, Look, O Lord, for I am in distress.

2. She cries out to others.


Vs. 12, Is it nothing to you, all who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
which the Lord has brought upon me.

3. Have you noticed what was heard?

(1) Weve heard Lady Zion weeping bitterly (vs. 2). Weve heard the groaning of the priests (vs. 4), the
city (vs. 8), the people (vs. 11), and Lady Zion (vv. 21, 22). Weve heard the mocking of the foes (vs.
8).

(2) But one thing we havent heard is the voice of God. Why is that?

1) God has been talking for generations, but they ignored his voice. He had sent the prophets to
call her back to God, but they were ignored. They despised the Word of God. And now he is
silent (for a time).

2) Now they know, they taste and see that it is evil and bitter to forsake the Lord (Jer. 2:19).

Application: Looking for life apart from God results in slavery with none to comfort.

1. The Consequences

(1) Lam. 1:14, My transgressions were bound into a yoke; by his hand they were fastened together; they
were cast upon my neck.

(2) Lam. 1:18, The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word.

2. The Hope

(1) Though God was silent at this time, he did not remain silent. In the fulness of time, God sent forth his
Son (Gal. 4:4) who was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he
has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and
afflicted (Isa 53:3-4).

Jesus took my sin and my sorrow, and made them his very own. And bore the burden to Calvary, and
suffered and died alone.
My sinO the bliss of this glorious thoughtmy sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the Cross,
and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!

(2) Matt. 11:28-30, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke
upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Fro
my yoke is easy, and my burden light.