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God Takes Responsibility

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Lesson #46

  • Memory Verse: Your selection ( suggested: Psa 78:72)
  • Read Lam 2:1-22
    • We have studied how God moved to bring chastisement to Israel and to all of Israel’s enemies by the hand of Neuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.
    • We have seen how God moved the Medes and the Persians to punish Babylon.
    • In other words, everything that has occurred was in God’s hand. It was God who took responsibility to come against the evil works of His enemy, Satan.
      • Like a game of chess, God moves pieces into place in His perfect will.
      • Part of God’s perfect will is His perfect time.
    • Did you ever think that God does the same thing in your life?
      • He puts people in your life with which He wants you to interact.
        • They are in your life to make you a better person.
        • They are in your life to make them better people.
      • They are in your life at the appointed time.
      • Every event and every person is to fulfill God’s plan in your life.
        • As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to recognize the hand of God in our lives.
        • How do you think we can do that?
          • =1= Awareness of this very important Biblical truth.
          • =2= Constant prayerful communication with God.
          • =3= Continual reading of God’s Word.
    • God’s wrath in a unique balance:
      • “…he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.” (3)
        • Heb 12:29 tells us that our God is a consuming fire. This concept is the balance of the gospel.
        • God’s love burns strong to bring people to Him so that He provides for them.
        • God’s justice burns strong to punish sin.
          • God is equally love expressed in mercy and forgiveness.
          • God is equally righteous justice expressed in punishment for sin.
      • This is the balance: Like a loving father, He punished Israel. Like a powerful judge, he punished Israel’s enemies.
    • God, the enemy of the backsliding believer:
      •  “The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel…” (5)
        • This verse is amazing!
        • How could God become an enemy to His people the Jews that he loved and chose?
          • This is what happens when a believer puts himself against God.
          • This is what happens when a believer puts himself on the side of God’s enemies.
      • We can see that Israel put God in a difficult position by forcing God to act against the beautiful temple of Solomon and everything that God had given to Israel.
        • In love God gave the Israelites the plan for the tabernacle and then the temple. Now God says his beautiful temple was an abomination to Him and he destroyed it.
        • God even caused the Ark of the Covenant to disappear with the fall of Jerusalem.
          • “…remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!” (1) (1Chr 28:2)
          • Verse 1 tells us that God did not think twice about the Ark of the Covenant (his footstool) which was His throne on earth before He caused the destruction of the temple.
        • God gave Israel the feast days of Lev 23 and the Sabbath that demonstrated the plan of God.
        • God had to destroy everything of beauty and value that He had given to Israel.
    • Jeremiah’s reaction:
      • Through the book of Jeremiah, we have come to understand how Israel’s spiritual idolatry broke Jeremiah’s heart.
      • Jeremiah saw the people go through the outward demonstration of grief over the destroyed temple, but it was all an outward act. Their hearts were not repentant. (10)
      • Now we discover that Israel’s failures and God’s punishment have caused Jeremiah some physical illness. (11)
        • In the same way that God called Israel to be a witness to the world of God’s love and provision, God called the New Testament believer to do the same.
        • How?
          • The believer should be willing to spend his life in service to God.
          • The believer should be willing to make sacrifices for extending the Kingdom of God.
          • Discipleship that costs the believer nothing is a weak discipleship.

Remember Jesus said to count the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

How much are you willing to pay…how much are you willing to give up to follow Jesus?

      • Jeremiah is the example of a disciple that gave up everything and ended by paying the ultimate price.
    • God’s enemy, Satan, rejoices over Israel’s fall and the slavery of God’s people. (15)
      • When a believer falls and with his life promotes the work of the enemy, Satan rejoices over the poor witness the believer presents to the non-believing world.
      • If you think the world is not watching you, you need to read the book of Jeremiah again.
        • The failure of God’s people is a direct reflection on God.
        • God’s people caught in bondage to sin and its consequences is a testimony of:
          • …an irrelevant God. The non believer says, “ The believer’s God does not care how one believer acts.”
          • …a powerless God. The non-believer says, “The believer’s God is without power to sustain the believer in his faith or to give him the victory.”
          • …an impersonal God. The non-believer says, “The believer’s His God does not love the believer enough to be involved in his life.”
    • “ Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night:…” (18)
      • The wall of Jerusalem was not torn down until a month after the fall of the city. (Isa 62:6)
      • It was then that the mourners came to Jerusalem to mourn the fall of the city. (Jer 41:5)
    • The apple of God’s eye: (18)
      • Israel was called the apple of God’s eye because of God’s great love for Israel. (Deu 32:10) (Zec 2:8)
      • What does that mean?
        • It is like a parent/child relationship where the loving parent is always aware of the presence of his child, and of his actions.
        • The child is never outside of the parent’s peripheral vision.
      • The believer in Jesus Christ is also the apple of God’s eye.
      • Read Psa 17:8
    • The great famine that took the lives of Israel’s children: (18-19)
      • Even though Israel is the apple of God’s eye, God permitted the great famine that caused the death of many of Israel’s children, Israel’s future.
      • This famine was caused when the Babylonian army surrounded the city of Jerusalem for 18 months. Women killed their babies and ate them. (19)
      • This same horror was committed in the siege of Samaria (2Kin 6:29)
    • Now what should the nation or the individual do in Israel’s fallen condition?
      • “Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children” (19)
      • The Israelites should have called out to God in prayer and repentance for their children.
      • It is still not too late for them to do that.
      • The same is true of a fallen believer. Call out to God in repentance and tears.
        • God is waiting for you.
        • Then He will give you a future of mercy and forgiveness. (1Joh 1:9)

Lamentations 3

  • Application of Lam 2
    • If you know a fallen believer in Christ who thinks there is no way back to God, pray that God give you the opportunity to share with him the message of this lesson.
    • If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and find that you have permitted some distance in your relationship between you and God, pray and renew your commitment to Him. Ask for forgiveness and make a determined effort to pray and read His Word daily.
  • Preparation for Lam 3
    • Read Lam 3:1-66
    • In this pit of depression, which verses show you a positive hope?
    • Of what value are these verses when everything around you seems lost?
  • Memory Verse: Lam 3:24
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About Joyce

I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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