Rev. Dr. Nathan Jastram, professor of theology at Concordia University Wisconsin, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Lamentations 4:1-11.
In the fourth poem in Lamentations, Jeremiah describes in painful detail the horrific suffering the people experienced during the siege and fall of Jerusalem. Although they had the preaching of Jeremiah to warn them, they hardened their hearts against the Word of the LORD, a greater sin than even Sodom had committed. For this great sin, the LORD had sent this great suffering as punishment. That recognition forces the people back to the LORD as their only help; they must cry to Him in repentance for their sin and look to Him alone for salvation by His grace. In this way, lamentation brings us closer to God, as we cry out to Him for help and trust in Him as the One who has freely won and given our salvation through Jesus taking the wrath of God upon Himself in our place.
“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.
4 How the gold has grown dim,
how the pure gold is changed!
The holy stones lie scattered
at the head of every street.
2 The precious sons of Zion,
worth their weight in fine gold,
how they are regarded as earthen pots,
the work of a potter’s hands!
3 Even jackals offer the breast;
they nurse their young;
but the daughter of my people has become cruel,
like the ostriches in the wilderness.
4 The tongue of the nursing infant sticks
to the roof of its mouth for thirst;
the children beg for food,
but no one gives to them.
5 Those who once feasted on delicacies
perish in the streets;
those who were brought up in purple
embrace ash heaps.
8 Now their face is blacker than soot;
they are not recognized in the streets;
their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it has become as dry as wood.
9 Happier were the victims of the sword
than the victims of hunger,
who wasted away, pierced
by lack of the fruits of the field.
10 The hands of compassionate women
have boiled their own children;
they became their food
during the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11 The Lord gave full vent to his wrath;
he poured out his hot anger,
and he kindled a fire in Zion
that consumed its foundations.
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.