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Rev. Cedric Crossley, pastor of the Jerusalem Baptist Church, is one of the fine preachers of Monroe, La. Hear ye him.



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Chapter 3:22,23

3:22-23 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.<br>

Despite Israel's exiled conditions, Jeremiah noted that each morning he saw new evidence of God's mercy and goodness indicating that God had not abandoned them nor forsaken them.

The biblical record is punctuated with accounts that indicate to us the extent of God's faithfulness. Psalm 89 is a major text that tells us about God's faithfulness. It tells us that his faithfulness is an inseparable part of his character and nature. His ultimate nature is displayed in the heavens and natural order of things. Psalm 89:2 says, "You established your faithfulness in heaven itself." It's in the order of things: the rising and setting of the sun, the rotation of the earth on its axis, the movement of the planets in the solar system; all are indicators of God's faithfulness, dependability, reliability and timeliness. Thus, Psalm 89:8 concludes, "Your faithfulness surrounds you."

The biblical record is also careful to delineate a difference between the faithfulness of God and the faithfulness of man. Numbers 23:19 - "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"

When God says it, it will be done. When God promises it, it will happen and happen on time. The New Testament echoes this theme repeatedly: 1 Corinthians 1:9 - "God is faithful." 1 Corinthians 10:13 - "And God is faithful." 1 John 1:9 - "He is faithful."

When it comes to God's faithfulness, the preponderance of scripture indicates that being faithful is a part of God's nature. He keeps his word and executes it on time, because if he didn't, he wouldn't be God!

Chapter 5:1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,16,20

5:1 Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.

  Lamentations consists of five separate chapters or poems. In chapter one the prophet dwells on the manifold miseries that oppress the city that sits as a solitary widow weeping sorely. In chapter two these miseries are described in connection with the national sins that had caused them. Chapter three speaks of hope for the people of God. The chastisement would only be for their good; a better day would dawn for them. Chapter four laments the ruin and desolation that had come upon the city and temple, but traces it only to the people's sins. Chapter five is a prayer and an expectation that Zion's reproach will be taken away in the repentance and recovery of the people.

   According to tradition, Jeremiah retired after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to a cavern outside the Damascus gate, where he wrote this book. It is filled with mournings over the loss of power, prestige and national sovereignty by the people. They had been carried off to a foreign land. They were treated as second class citizens. They were forced to work for low wages. Their supply of food and water was scarce. They felt even worse because their men were unable to defend or provide for their families. They became totally dependent upon the government for their sustenance.

   Their experience was like a famine. It made them black on the outside, but even worse, they were Black inside, defeated, destroyed and without hope.

   Verse by verse Lamentations chapter five lists the details of Israel's Black experience.


5:2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.

   Inheritance lost. (v2) In exile in Babylon, the people were estranged from their native land and distant from their mother country.


5:3 We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.

  Strength of the men destroyed. Their leaders and men had been successfully destroyed with respect to their roles as champions of their families and the nation. The men in their families were not dead, but for all practical purposes they could have been. Their lack of initiative left them "as" orphans and widows.

   Lost the ability to provide for themselves.

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