THE TEXT: Introduction to LAMENTATIONS
“Lamentation” Dictionary Definition: “the passionate expression of grief or sorrow, weeping…”
Lamentations in the Bible: “a book of the Bible telling of desolation of the nation of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC.”
It is possible to read the writings of the prophets only as valuable contributions to Old Testament history. And, the reader may even be enriched by familiarity with their prophecy of events which have been startlingly fulfilled. But to stop there is by no means to grasp their full and outstanding purpose for today’s living. Right now, God is speaking definitely and definitively to every nation and every individual. He wants that we see ourselves as He saw us–a world of nations and individuals rolling down the hill towards disaster [*See Footnote [i] ].
“GOD BLESS AMERICA”
Psalm 33:12, 18-19 (Amplified Bible):
 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the nation whose God is the Lord; the people He has chosen as His heritage.
 Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness,  To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
LAMENTATIONS 3:40-42 (NIV Bible):
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.”
Although the above Scripture verses are the keys to this Blog study, I believe that God’s dealings with Israel throughout the entire Book of Lamentations is A PICTURE–a perfect example of His dealings with AMERICA, and perhaps your nation, right where you are today.
Israel Was Under Judgment From God Because…
Israel had played the harlot in her spiritual adultery of IDOLS & prostituting themselves to the SURROUNDING NATIONS.
Biblical Apostasy Explained:
The word itself–APOSTASY– is from the Greek word “apostasia” a meaning very much like renouncing or dissociating oneself from a particular religion or certain religious beliefs.
It is similar to a REJECTION of beliefs that were once held and accepting different beliefs and might even be a rejection of the beliefs that were previously held.
Apostasy can also be considered an ABANDONMENT or defiance of what was previously held to be true and practiced while rebelling against those same beliefs and practices.
Someone or some group (nation) who does this are considered an APOSTATE.
BIBLICAL WARNINGS HAVE ALREADY BEEN POSTED FOR ALL OF US –
The Apostle Paul’s WARNING – 1 Timothy 4:1-2 NIV:
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some shall abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings came through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
Jude’s WARNING – Jude 1:3 AMP:
“Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation. [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort [you] to contend for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints…”
The word “contend” in this verse comes from the Greek word “agonizomai”: “To contend about a thing as a combatant.” [NOTE: “contend” also used in verse 9, but the translation is “to separate oneself from”].
Peter’s WARNING –
God’s Ultimate Purpose For Bringing Judgment Upon the NATIONS and Mankind…
God wants to turn man from sinning in true acts of REPENTANCE –
The JUDGMENTS that God allows to fall on a rebellious nation or individual is never pleasant and often misunderstood in their purpose.
While our Just, Righteous, and Holy Heavenly Father must JUDGE SIN and cannot allow it to continue, His JUDGMENTS are always tempered with MERCY & A PROMISE of ultimate deliverance ‘IF’…those under judgment would only turn back to Him.
The Prophet Jeremiah, the Writer of Lamentations –
As he weeps in sorrow for the condition of his own people, he is a type of our Lord Jesus Christ as He stood and wept over the sinners of our world.
As JESUS stood on the hill and looked over Jerusalem, crying…
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murdering the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God’s help)” (Matthew 23:37-38 Amplified Bible).
JESUS still stands today looking down from Glory, looking at each person on earth one at a time and at each nation in turn, and America that was so blessed–cries those same words.
How Great is His love for America? For your nation?
With all of His Loving Kindness for every man and woman–so much so that He died on the Cross for each one of us, and YET…He must and has begun to send JUDGMENT because of our rebelliousness–the APOSTASY as a people and nation.
Prior to and after World War II, America was looked upon as the friend of the world, the PROTECTOR of all that was GOOD.
Every nation, even our enemies, held a healthy respect for the BLESSINGS OF GOD and the things that were good about our nation.
Since the 60’s with the Vietnam Conflict, and continuing today, our power, prestige, and will as a nation, has been on the fast track into oblivion.
The secular world has paralleled our slide to destruction similar to the Roman Empire as it began to crumble, not from attacks of outside enemies, but from corruption and sin within.
The Book of Lamentations As An Example What A Nation Experiences As It Faces God’s Judgments –
The stated examples show what I believe America is already experiencing under JUDGMENT from God by its corruption and sin.
Lamentation 1:1-2 (NIV Bible):
 How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.  Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is none to comfort her; they have become her enemies.
America has always been known as the “great melting pot” of Humanity. People from all nations still come to our country with high hopes and dreams of prosperity and freedom.
It is a testimony that the BLESSING of Almighty God, even when America is in trouble, is still GREAT, economically and militarily.
BUT, the GREATNESS is quickly fading.
“America is great because America is GOOD. If America ever ceases to be good it will cease to be great” – ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE, a French Historian, upon visiting America in the early 19th Century.
ISRAEL FINDS ITSELF IN CAPTIVITY TO ITS ENEMIES –
I believe that America has fallen CAPTIVE to her enemies as well.
Our GREATEST ENEMY is NOT Russia, China, or any other nation or terrorist group. We are our own greatest enemy!
In the early ’60’s during the days of the “former” Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, the then Russian Premier, pounded his shoe on the podium of the UN and shouted to the West, “We will bury you!” The words certainly got all of our attention. Fearing an invasion from Mother Russia, America proceeded to build the most awesome Military Machine in history.
Unfortunately, we forgot something to guard our political homefront being taken over by socialist-communist-liberal activists; who would gain office and destroy American law by the process of gradually installing Communist agenda within our legal system in separate branches of government.
Americans, being the most NAIVE people among the nations, now believe that COMMUNISM is dead.
The real truth is, COMMUNISM has just switched names to become more “politically correct.” Today it is called “International Democracy.” America has now become part of the New World Order atheist government.
The TEN PLANKS of the Communist Manifesto – [See Footnote [ii] }
In my Detective investigation over the past week, I found this interesting document by Karl Marx. You tell me whether we–you, as a nation, have been led down a long road to CAPTIVITY and, we willingly went along and let it happen.
THE TEN PLANKS:
1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rent to public purpose.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to labor and establishment of industrial, armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Continuation of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
10. Free education for all children in governmental schools. A combination of education with industrial production.
The “LAMENTATIONS” Presented –
None is more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are FREE…
AMERICA & The NATIONS Have Become “Tributary”; A Slave to its Own Laws –
Becoming a SLAVE to our own laws, that restrains its FREEDOM and “chained” by its own weighty laws restricts every move we make. There is too much infighting and division to accomplish anything. Are you listening ‘Mr. Government’?
“Judah has gone into exile [to escape] from the affliction and laborious servitude [of the homeland]. She dwells among the [heathen] nations, but she finds no rest; all her persecutors overtook her amid the [dire] straits [of her distress].”
Just as an individual in becoming a SLAVE to SIN in their life, my country has become a SLAVE to its own SIN.
All of our attempts to right every wrong, through Presidential Press Releases, through legislation…instead of REPENTANCE OF THE HEART, created a massive compilation of LAWS which chokes us into servitude.
While most LAWS are meant for our good and for our protection, we’ve overstepped the boundaries between LEGALISM & COMMON SENSE care for ourselves.
Lamentations 1:9 (NIV):
“Her filthiness clung to her skirts; she did not consider her future. Her fall was astounding; there was none to comfort her. Look, O LORD, on my affliction for the enemy has triumphed.”
ISRAEL’S IDOLATRY –
ISRAEL had become so adulterous from worship of idols, they couldn’t remember the days of walking in RIGHTEOUSNESS & HOLINESS before the True God.
Falling so far, so quickly that their younger generation didn’t know the God of their fathers; no recognition of Israel’s BLESSINGS of the past. They lived with an attitude that was now the NORM for the people.
SIN had magnified itself so greatly, as to hide the fact, a PATH of righteousness was to follow.
A PICTURE of Our Society Today –
My Nation, your Nation, is so caught up in gaining wealth…creating a great lifestyle…self-indulgence at all costs, we have forgotten the PATHS of goodness and righteousness presented in GOD’S WORD–your bible.
AND…if you are thinking that the Church is absent from this picture, think again! I see it repeated in Social Media daily, without thinking about what they’re sharing, or displaying to the world. Am I being too legalistic? You will have to decide.
And the Recompense?
OUR YOUTH in the land don’t understand, and haven’t heard of the SACRIFICES in the Biblical foundations of our country. They don’t know the price of FREEDOM because they haven’t been taught.
AMERICA is a great nation ONLY…because of the BLESSINGS of the LORD upon it.
We now have a SOCIETY where the MAJORITY of the people believe… they have a RIGHT–
- A RIGHT to be rich…
- A RIGHT to live in a good home…
- A RIGHT to drive a new car…
- A RIGHT to health care.
All without any of the responsibility and accountability that accompany these RIGHTS.
“WORK” HAS BECOME A DIRTY WORD –
As a nation, we are becoming lazier each and every day. We give no thought as a nation about God or Holiness at all!
Lamentations 1:16 (AMP):
“For these things I weep; my eyes overflow with tears, because a comforter, one who could refresh and restore my soul, is far from me. My children are desolate and perishing, for the enemy has prevailed.”
Lord, how long will Your LOVE continue to BLESS AMERICA, even in JUDGMENT?
Let your MERCIES be extended to us as a nation. Holy Spirit, move in your people.
Let there be a great REVIVAL UNLEASHED OF RIGHTEOUSNESS & HOLINESS UPON OUR LAND.
The EVIDENCE is here!
America is ceasing, perhaps has already ceased to be GOOD. How long can God BLESS a nation who has turned its back on God?
BUT…”JESUS Is Calling America” –
John W. Peterson wrote the lyrics to a song in the early 70’s, “Jesus Is Calling America” from the Cantata, America:
Jesus is calling America,
Calling her back to the fold.
Jesus is calling America,
Calling the young and the old.
The title of the Peterson’s lyrics brought me, and hopefully you, to a bible verse in 2 Chronicles:
IF My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require necessity My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 AMP).
This is a great promise from God’s Word!
HELP US LORD, as a people, as individuals, and as a nation to fall our face in REPENTANCE of our sins.
HELP US to humble ourselves before You, to seek Your face and pray for deliverance.
God loves you and I.
God loves America too.
But God’s LOVE must, one day, give way to justice & righteousness.
Let the body of Christ–the Church, across this nation, cross your nation, CRY OUT to God in REPENTANCE and PRAY for Revival in the Lord.
And REVIVAL always begins in the heart of each and every individual. Unless we do, there is little HOPE that we will survive as nations enjoying PEACE & PROSPERITY.
For God’s JUDGMENTS will increase. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in the trouble to come.
If we, as nations in the world, don’t turn to God in REPENTANCE, social unrest will lead to all out rebellion in the streets and anarchy will reign.
OUR MAIN PROBLEM…
America’s main problem is not social unrest, or lack of health care, inequality of opportunity in the inner cities, poverty or any of these things; although all of these are problems that must be dealt with.
America’s main problem is…we’ve left worshipping the God of Heaven and taken JESUS out of our lives PUBLICLY; removed the Word of God from anything that’s PUBLIC.
REWARDS WILL COME, BUT…
If God’s going to BLESS AMERICA…BLESS YOUR NATION…we all must see those trends reversed.
FOOTNOTES & CREDITS:
Opening Statement – [i] Exerts used from the Amplified Bible (a).
“THE TEN PLANKS” – [ii] The TEN PLANKS of the Communist Manifesto – http://www.criminalgovernment.com/docs/planks Communist Manifesto-All Ten Planks…In America!!!
RESOURCE SEARCH: Jack Wellman @ Christian Crier – http://www.patheos.com
Photo Credits: BEWARE… found at courting of a kingdom.workers.blogspot.com; Google Image Search.