Rev. James Preus, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottumwa, IA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Lamentations 3:40-66.
Jeremiah calls upon the people to return to the LORD in repentance. Together they lament that their transgressions have brought the LORD’s punishment upon them. This has happened because they have rejected the preaching of Jeremiah and persecuted him instead. Jeremiah recounts his suffering at their hands, yet prays for the LORD’s justice. Jeremiah’s experience mirrors Jonah’s and foreshadows what Jesus did in His own death and resurrection. Christians today are right to take up Jeremiah’s prayer in the book of Lamentations, confessing their sins and praying for the LORD to win the victory over their enemies.
“Mercy for Mourners” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Lamentations. As Jeremiah and the people of Judah mourn over the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, they acknowledge God’s just wrath against them, confess their iniquity, and plead for His deliverance. In this way, the book of Lamentations teaches us to pray in repentance and faith so that we would see Christ as the One who has taken the wrath of God on Himself in our place to deliver us by His death and resurrection.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
40 Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord!
41 Let us lift up our hearts and hands
to God in heaven:
42 “We have transgressed and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven.
43 “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,
killing without pity;
44 you have wrapped yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through.
45 You have made us scum and garbage
among the peoples.
46 “All our enemies
open their mouths against us;
47 panic and pitfall have come upon us,
devastation and destruction;
48 my eyes flow with rivers of tears
because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 “My eyes will flow without ceasing,
50 until the Lord from heaven
looks down and sees;
51 my eyes cause me grief
at the fate of all the daughters of my city.
52 “I have been hunted like a bird
by those who were my enemies without cause;
53 they flung me alive into the pit
and cast stones on me;
54 water closed over my head;
I said, ‘I am lost.’
55 “I called on your name, O Lord,
from the depths of the pit;
56 you heard my plea, ‘Do not close
your ear to my cry for help!’
57 You came near when I called on you;
you said, ‘Do not fear!’
58 “You have taken up my cause, O Lord;
you have redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;
judge my cause.
60 You have seen all their vengeance,
all their plots against me.
61 “You have heard their taunts, O Lord,
all their plots against me.
62 The lips and thoughts of my assailants
are against me all the day long.
63 Behold their sitting and their rising;
I am the object of their taunts.
64 “You will repay them,[a] O Lord,
according to the work of their hands.
65 You will give them[b] dullness of heart;
your curse will be[c] on them.
66 You will pursue them[d] in anger and destroy them
from under your heavens, O Lord.”[e]
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.