This Week’s Bible Verse(s) Which Will Never Appear In Your “Verse Of The Day” Email: Lamentations 2:20
The last two weeks we have posted passages from the book of Deuteronomy (28:53 and 28:63) which lay out covenant curses which God will impose upon His people Israel if they rebel against His statutes. This week and next, we have the aftermath of the fulfillment of these passages from the book of Lamentations.
For our purposes here, we assume Jeremiah is the human author of Lamentations. For scholarly dispute on this, please exercise your Google privileges. Jeremiah has spent time proclaiming that God’s people need to repent and return to true worship of the God of Israel (see the book of Jeremiah). Israel has not listened and Judah has been invaded and Jerusalem has been practically destroyed. Lamentations is, then, Jeremiah’s lament over the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah writes in a very raw, open, honest style and in doing so he fully acknowledges the sins of the people that caused this – and that the true agent behind the destruction was the God of Israel:
How the Lord in his anger
has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!
He has cast down from heaven to earth
the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
in the day of his anger.
2 The Lord has swallowed up without mercy
all the habitations of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
the kingdom and its rulers.
3 He has cut down in fierce anger
all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn from them his right hand
in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
consuming all around.
4 He has bent his bow like an enemy,
with his right hand set like a foe;
and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes
in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.
5 The Lord has become like an enemy;
he has swallowed up Israel;
he has swallowed up all its palaces;
he has laid in ruins its strongholds,
and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
mourning and lamentation.
6 He has laid waste his booth like a garden,
laid in ruins his meeting place;
the LORD has made Zion forget
festival and Sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.
7 The Lord has scorned his altar,
disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
the walls of her palaces;
they raised a clamor in the house of the LORD
as on the day of festival.
8 The LORD determined to lay in ruins
the wall of the daughter of Zion;
he stretched out the measuring line;
he did not restrain his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament;
they languished together. (2:1-8)
This, though, is not our verse in question. In Deuteronomy 28:53 the Lord had told His people through Moses one of the covenant curses for rebellion, saying,
53 And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you.
Lamentations 2:20 is where Jeremiah writes this:
20 Look, O LORD, and see!
With whom have you dealt thus?
Should women eat the fruit of their womb,
the children of their tender care?
Should priest and prophet be killed
in the sanctuary of the Lord?
These are not merely hypothetical rhetorical questions – they reflect the reality of what had happened. As we will see next week, this is not the only mention of this in Lamentations.
One may say that’s all well and good, but there is no application for us because “God isn’t like that now.” Well…
God is like that now. He cannot be different than He was in the Old Testament because He is immutable. He, by definition, cannot change. Perhaps God’s people thought that the warnings of the covenant curses in Deuteronomy were so sever that, “The Lord would never do that to us (or, to me).” What we know is that the people did rebel and God had told them the consequences – and when He meted out the consequences, nobody should have had reason to say, “I didn’t know.” God had told them through His prophet Moses.
The devastation of Jerusalem is a type, pointing forward, to the devastation wicked, fallen men will receive upon the last Day when the wheat will be separated from the chaff (Matt. 25:31-46) and those cast into eternal punishment will experience a far greater devastation and far greater woe and suffering and torment than the people of Jersusalem did.
Today God speaks to people through people myself and other children of God. We speak the same sort of utterances as Moses did. When we do, such as “repent,” or lay out the horrors of eternal damnation for the rebel, it is not uncommon to hear, “Oh, Hell won’t be that bad. I’ll just go there to party with my friends.” Hell will be far worse than even the explicit imagery we in the Bible – and the rebels will have no friends in Hell. All of God’s kindness to the rebels will have been withdrawn and Hell’s dwellers will have nothing but enemies and no friends at all.
This is real – just as real as the warnings of Moses and Jeremiah. That’s the relevance for today. We call on the wicked sinner to acknowledge his sin and change his mind – repent – and follow Christ. Come to Him. Believe in Him. Trust Him to restore the broken relationship you have with the living God – He is the only Way in which this can be done. You can receive eternal life right now. That is the ultimate relevancy.
From the video below, available at 1689 Federalism along with other introductory videos.
At its best, the Old Covenant had some types and shadows that pointed forward to the coming of Christ. If we’re talking just about the Mosaic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant was a covenant that God came and imposed upon the nation of Israel in which He promised to bless them in the land so long as they were devoted only to Him. And as they gave themselves up to idols, followed after paganism, all of the judgments of the Covenant were brought upon the nation of Israel and they went into seventy years of captivity in Babylon.
So it was really a covenant of works in terms of Israel’s place in the land – that’s pre-eminent in what the Old Covenant was – it was a covenant of works, not for salvation. Sometimes people misunderstand – when we talk about the Old Covenant and call it a covenant of works, they say, “Wait a minute. You mean that anybody could be saved keeping the law?” No, not it any sense. No one has ever been saved by their own efforts. But in terms of Israel maintaining its own status in the land as a unique nation that is blessed by God, absolutely it was a covenant of works. They had to keep those things or else they would be liable to the terrible judgments that God would bring upon them, and the fact that they went into seventy years of exile is demonstration that they failed in that earthly covenant of works.
Our position here at El Rancho Reformado South (“ERRS”) is that the King James translation of the bible is a valid, worthwhile translation to be used amongst the people of God by those who wish to do so. Our bone of contention is with those who maintain it is the only valid English translation of the bible and that all others are evil, blasphemous, etc. It is in this spirit that this post is written.
This is an excerpt from a post at Lark News:
At the home of Neil and Sarah Parks, KJV-only proponents, Parks and his son Brian, the youngest of nine children, snuggle up to watch television equipped with the KJV Box. Neil flips through channels, notices that the Fox Network and other channels are eerily silent (the word “untranslatable” flashes on the screen), then comes to rest at the Food Channel where Emeril Lagasse counsels viewers to “grind thy pods, thy diverse herbs, and thy oil in the selfsame pot, until thy pottage hast come to fine consistency.” Before a commercial, Emeril points at the camera and the Box translates his words as, “Fix thyself to thy place! When I return, I give thee my bond we shall elevate the cooking to a higher plane, as from glory to glory!”
Full post available here.
81 Weeks Of Art (Azurdia, That Is) Preaching Through The Book Of Revelation: The Portrait Of The Lord Of The Church (1:9-16)
Arturo Azurdia III is one of the pastors of Trinity Church, Portland, Oregon. Almost fifteen years ago, while pastoring another church in California, he preached through the book of Revelation over a course of 81 sermons. In the interest of full disclosure, Dr. Azurdia’s approach to this book may be a little different than what you may be accustomed to. If you will be patient with him, I think you will find that he brings much light to what can be a confusing book and makes it rather easy to understand. If you do not attend a Sunday evening service, this would be well worth your while as a substitute. You will need your bible open in front of you while listening to this series.
This week: Chapter one, verses nine through sixteen.
9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
By Matthew Smith. HT: Sola Sisters.
I am a poor wayfaring stranger,
Travelin’ through this world of woe,
There is no sickness, toil or danger,
In that fair land to which I go.
I’m goin’ home to see my Father,
I’m goin’ home, no more to roam,
I am just goin’ over Jordan,
I am just goin’ over home.
I know dark clouds will hover o’er me,
I know my pathway’s rough and steep,
But golden fields lie out before me,
Where weary eyes no more will weep.
I’m goin’ home to see my Savior,
I’m goin’ home, no more to roam,
I am just goin’ over Jordan,
I am just goin’ over home.
Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Sermon, April 6, 2014 – Tim Conway: Christian, Are You Refusing God? (Hebrews 12:25-29)
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
Grace Community Church (San Antonio, Texas) Sunday School, April 6, 2014 – David Butterbaugh: Example Of Fervent Prayer And A Concluding Exhortation (James 5:17-20)
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
This Week’s Bible Verse(s) Which Will Never Appear In Your “Verse Of The Day” Email: Deuteronomy 28:63
Last week we began a four-part series from Deuteronomy and Lamentations and thus this week we present part two. The first two posts are prophetic statements from Deuteronomy, where the Lord pronounces covenant curses on His people which would be applied as the consequence of rebellion against Him. Our verse last week was Deuteronomy 28:53 – this week we move ahead ten verses for a verse which many Old Testament commentaries gloss over. Why? You’ll see shortly.
Deuteronomy 28:63 falls into the category of verses which just are so stark in their boldness – a boldness which can be hard to swallow, and which many refuse to swallow, just placing it back on the biblical buffet table for someone else to pick up. What could be so shocking? This:
63 And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
Yes. That’s what it says. Same Hebrew word for “delight” in both instances. Now, before someone jumps the exegetical gun and accuses me – rightly so – of being an amateur exegete, even in my amateur status I am aware that just because a word is used twice in the same verse does not necessarily mean it has identical meaning in both cases. The King James translates the Hebrew word for ‘delight” in several ways in its 24 uses throughout the Old Testament: forms of delight, joy, gladness and mirth.
Interestingly, Moses brings forth a very similar repetitive usage of this work not too far ahead in chapter 30, verses nine and ten:
9 The LORD your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, 10 when you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (emphasis by the present writer)
Note that in both passages, one usage is past tense and the other looks forward to a future fulfillment. No one questions “delight” meaning “delight” in chapter thirty, but many would in chapter twenty-eight. Is the question arising from exegesis or from presuppositions? Valid question, isn’t it?
It does not impugn God’s character at all for Him to take delight in passing judgment upon rebels. Someone will object and bring up Ezekiel 33:11, as well they should, stating that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Here’s the challenge, though: both are breathed-out words from God and both are true, being breathed out by the One whose word is truth and who cannot lie nor contradict Himself. Diligent exegesis will show just how both are true and we need not do any hermeneutical gymnastics in doing so.
Next week: Lamentations chapter two.