Great is Thy Faithfulness
July 13, 2014 Series: The Old Testament
Passage: Lamentations 1:14-18a, Lamentations 3:19-27
When have you suffered and it was your own fault? What happened, and why is it significant to move toward God in your grief?
BOUND BEFORE THE LORD
Fallen we want to preserve our autonomy and evade accountability. We might try to avoid failure or deny guilt, but what do you do when they become undeniable? Read Lamentations 1:14-18a. What are some of the expressions that the author uses to express being bound, pinned down or stuck? When have you faced an adversary who was clearly more powerful than you are?
Read Jeremiah 33:2-5, James 4:6, and Luke 18:14. What themes do these passages share? What had Jeremiah warned Jerusalem about? The LORD is just and insurmountable in His holiness. He exposes our autonomy for the sham it is, arresting us in our guilt.
BROKEN IN OUR GUILT
The Bible clearly teaches us that we are helpless and lost because of sin’s curse. We’re helpless to remedy our condition. Neither our guilt nor our brokenness is something that we can remove or repair. Read Lamentations 3:19-20. Wormwood and gall speak of something extremely bitter. How is being humbled in your guilt and wreckage bitter?
To wander is the same as being lost. When have you either been lost or known of someone dear to you who was? Why is being lost such a troubling experience? In v. 20 the expression the author uses can also be thought of as being weighed down. Read Galatians 3:10. How is sin’s curse something that weighs us down? Confronted with your own failures, how have you lived as if either 1) you’re not that bad (living in denial), or 2) you can’t be saved (unbelief)? Confess your guilt and ruin to Jesus, asking Him to change what only He can.
MERCIFUL, FAITHFUL, SUFFICIENT
Read Luke 19:10 & Lamentations 3:21-27. What has the LORD promised to all who trust Him? In vv. 21-23 how did Jeremiah cling to God’s grace and mercy? In vv. 24-27 how do you see God’s sufficiency and His kindness to the humble and contrite? Read Jeremiah 33:6-11 & 14-16. Jeremiah (the author of Lamentations) had to have recalled the LORD’s promises to save. Notice the promise that the LORD will save His people by a descendent of King David (a righteous Branch) and that His name will be “The LORD is our righteousness!”
Read Galatians 3:13 and 2 Cor. 5:21. How do these passages help us see Jeremiah’s prophecies fulfilled in Jesus? Imagine no relief from the torment of your guilt or ruin… and then consider the promise of Jesus’ saving grace! If you trust Him, what difference does n their life to move them to turn from their self-will and to genuinely trust Jesus as their God and Savior.
- Worship the LORD for His justice and His mercy. Praise Him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that no evil will escape His judgment and yet all who trust Him in Christ will be covered by His grace.
- Confronted with your own failures, how have you lived as if either 1) you’re not that bad (denial), or 2) you can’t be saved (unbelief)? Confess your guilt and ruin to Jesus, asking Him to change what only He can.
- Give thanks to Jesus for His love and power to seek and save the lost! Thank Him for His death as our substitute to cancel out our guilt and for His obedient life to replace our ruin with His righteousness.
- Who do you know that is bitter and lost? Pray for them, asking the Lord to work in their life to move them to turn from their self-will and to genuinely trust Jesus as their God and Savior.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to own your own guilt and brokenness and to trust Jesus for the fullness of His promises. Read Galatians 3:10-14 and pray for the Spirit’s assurance of Jesus’ sufficiency vs. sin’s curse.