Today's Bible Study Lesson
“A Plea for Restoration”
Aim: Understand why writer Lamentations pleaded with God for the restoration of Israel, Sense the writer’s feelings over the oppression of his nation, and Pray for and engage in the restoration of broken relationships with God.
Background: Lamentations 5
Bible Lesson: Lamentations 5
“Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.” Lamentations 5:21 KJV
- The Book of Lamentations is an Old Testament Book written in a poetic form. It is believed that Jeremiah, known as the “Weeping Prophet” is the author. This Book is a series of laments which are sorrowful expressions of grief or sorrow. The author laments the desolation of Jerusalem and the sad condition of the people of Israel as they suffer under the oppression of the Babylonians because of their disobedience to God’s Laws.
- Lamentations Chapter 5 is a prayer to God on behalf of the Israelites describing the despair that the people felt because the land that God had promised and given to them is now occupied by foreigners, those who had overthrown them. God had used the Babylonians to deliver the punishment that had been foretold if the Israelites were disobedient.
- Many of the Israelite men had been killed in battle or taken captive, leaving their wives widows and their children orphans. There was no one left to protect the young women consequently, the enemy raped and assaulted the young women with frequency.
- The resources like water and timber that had been theirs to use as they pleased were now controlled by the enemy. Food was scarce and marauders attacked and took the food that they could harvest.
- When the Israelites sought assistance from Egypt and Assyria, they found that these nations were ineffective as protectors.
- The writer acknowledges that the people had sinned, both their fathers and the present generation. Because of their sins, God allowed the Babylonians to take them captive and to enslave them.
- The elders who customarily assembled at the city gates, discussed matters of importance, and settled disputes while the young men engaged in joyous endeavors and entertainment. But now even the elders, who were normally respected were victims of the oppressors and the young men who would normally be enjoying life were oppressed and forced to hard labor.
- Their city lay in ruins and wild animals like foxes roamed in the areas that once were inhabited and were bustling with business activities.
- After recounting many of deplorable circumstances that the Israelites had encountered, the writer acknowledges that God still reigns and will reign forever. This gives hope that God can reverse the situation for the people. The writer laments that it almost feels like God has forgotten and forsaken them. Jeremiah petitions God to restore the Israelites to the days of old when thing were joyous. He seems to be asking God to please grant the Israelite people Mercy and Grace instead of Justice.
- God’s Word is True. Even God’s chosen people were punished for their disobedience, so what make us think that we will escape and not reap what we sow whether it be good or evil.
- Things are never so bad or terrible that we cannot approach God with a contrite spirit seeking His forgiveness and restoration.
- We must believe that God hears and answers His children’s prayers.
Bible Verses to Keep in Mind:
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8 KJV
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” Hebrews 12:5-6 KJV
“Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] free spirit.” Psalms 51:11-12 KJV