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Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. We are orphans, fatherless, our mothers are as widows. We have drunken our water for money ( Lamentations 5:1-4 );
We had to pay for a drink of water.
and our wood is sold to us. Our necks are under persecution: we labor, we have no rest. We have given the hand to the Egyptians and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread. Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities. Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand. We got our bread with the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skin was black like an oven, because of the terrible famine ( Lamentations 5:4-10 ).
As a result of the starvation that the skin just turning black and leathery.
They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah ( Lamentations 5:11 ).
The enemies had come in. It must have been a horrible thing. The fathers to see their wives and their young daughters ravished by the enemy, raped and all and then murdered.
Princes have been hung by their thumbs: the faces of elders were not honored. They took the young men to grind in bondage, and the children had to carry the wood. The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music. The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned! For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim. Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it. Thou, O LORD, remains for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Wherefore does thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long a time? Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old ( Lamentations 5:12-21 ).
Therein is the answer, "Oh God, turn our hearts to Thee. Renew that relationship that we once had with You." You remember Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, "I have this against thee, in that you have left your first love. Remember from whence you have fallen and repent and do thy first works over." Oh God, return us to that first love. Lord, return us unto thee. But he ends with a sad note of dejection.
But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very angry against us ( Lamentations 5:22 ).
What a sad, tragic book that never needed to be written had the people only hearkened unto the voice of God. This whole black period of history needed not to be. God warned them over and over and over again. He sent His prophets, warning them over and over of the destruction that was going to come, but they would not give heed to the word of God or to the warnings from God. But God is faithful, and that which God declared He did. And today God is warning this world of His judgment, which is going to fall. And that which happened to Jerusalem is going to happen to this whole godless world.
There is coming a devastation, a holocaust, such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again. Jesus in describing the days that are coming said, "And in that day, there shall be a Great Tribulation such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again." The only safe place for you to be is in Christ. If you are in Christ He will keep you from that hour that is coming upon the earth. But if you're outside of Christ, as in Hebrews, "There remains only that fearful looking forward to the fiery indignation of God's wrath which will devour His adversaries. For if he who despised Moses' law was put to death, of how much worse punishment do you suppose he is accounted worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God? And is accounted the blood of His covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing and has done despite to the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who has said, 'It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of a living God'" ( Hebrews 10:27-31 ).
God has promised His judgment is going to come upon this wicked world. God is faithful and will keep His promise. But Jesus said, "Pray ye always that you'll be accounted worthy to escape all of these things and to stand before the Son of man" ( Luke 21:36 ). And I am praying and believing God to answer my prayer that I will escape this great time of tribulation when the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth, and I expect to be standing before the Son of man when it all happens.
Book of Revelation, chapter 5, "And there was in the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne, a scroll with writing within and without and sealed with seven seals. And I heard the angels say with a great voice, 'Who is worthy to take the scroll and loose the seals thereof?' And I, John began to weep, sob convulsively because no one was found worthy to take the scroll or to loose the seals. And the elder said unto me, 'Weep not, behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to take the scroll and to loose the seals.' And I turned and I saw Him as a Lamb that had been slaughtered. And He came forth and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat upon the throne. And the twenty four elders brought forth their golden vials full of odors, which were the prayers of the saints. And they offered them before the throne of God and they sang a new song saying, 'Worthy is the Lamb to take the scroll and loose the seals, for He was slain and has redeemed us by His blood. Out of every nation and tribe, and tongue and people, and He has made us unto our God, kings and priests and we're going to reign with Him on the earth'" ( Revelation 5:1-10 ).
You see, that's where I plan to be. Standing before the Son of God, singing of the worthiness of the Lamb who died for me, who has redeemed me from among the families of the people on the earth. Only the redeemed church can sing that song. Angels can't sing that song; they haven't been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. That's not the song of Israel, because they come from all of the nations and family of people on the earth. That's the song of the redeemed church before the throne of God. Angels can sing the chorus. They do. A hundred million join in, plus millions of others, as they say, "Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory and honor and dominion and might and power and authority." They join the chorus, but they can't sing the verse, that's yours.
"And when He loosed the first seal, I heard a voice that said, 'Come,' and I saw a white horse and his rider going forth upon the earth, conquering and to conquer" ( Revelation 6:1-2 ). There begins the Great Tribulation. And he begins then from chapter 6 on through to chapter 18 describing the events that are going to take place upon the earth when God judges man for their wickedness and for their sin. God is faithful. He's going to do it. There is only one safe place for anyone to be. That's in Christ Jesus. I'm glad I'm there. I don't expect to be any place else. I don't want to be. Why should I be? I'm so happy here in Christ.
Shall we pray.
Father, we thank You for that secret place abiding in the presence of the Almighty, dwelling in Christ. Oh, Father, how we thank You that You have provided for us a place of refuge, safety in Christ. Lord, I pray for those that are here tonight who are not in Christ. Oh God, may they seriously consider the faithfulness of God, even as He kept His word and destroyed Jerusalem, so will He keep His word and judge this world. For God is faithful. Lord, may we turn from our sin, from our idolatries, from our wicked ways, and may we serve the Lord with our whole heart. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
If you're not sure that you're a child of God, I wouldn't leave this place tonight until I was. I mean, I'm serious. We're living in desperate days. And really as Jeremiah exhorts, it's time really that we just not cease in prayer unto God. For the people round about us, we will make intercession for our nation, for each other, for these are truly the last days, and Satan is going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. And he's ripping off an awful lot of those from the church. Leading them into life, a life of sin. A life of self seeking, living after pleasure, and walking after the flesh. And the mind of the flesh is death. I wouldn't leave tonight until I had a deep assurance that things are square between God and me.
You can go back to the prayer room as soon as we're dismissed. Some of the pastors will go back there and pray with you.
God bless, God keep, and may God lay upon your heart the awareness of the day and the hour in which we live, and the need of an all out effort in our service for Jesus Christ. And may the Lord use you in a very special way, as His instrument to bring His love to this needy world. In Jesus' name. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Lamentations 5". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25