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SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 2015

The "Standing with the Bagwells" Page continues each morning with a bit of personal news, often including a prayer request.

And don't forget that the "Site Map" can point you to any one of dozens of Bible Expositions here on the Website.

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Deb and me after a recent Revival Service

 

 

Think of the planning necessary to write a story, any story, letting each new sentence begin with a certain predetermined letter of your alphabet!

That's what has been done in the Old Testament Book of Lamentations!

And it is not a story! Or not just a story. It is history! A factual account of a Nation suffering then nearly dying!

Writing non-fiction, that precisely!

And still being accurate.

Really, four of Lamentations' five chapters are so arranged. Perhaps not without exception, but nearly so. Close enough that it is apparent, the goal in the author's mind.

Why?

Why write prose in such a poetic manner?

The most common answer is that such a pattern aids memory. And yes, Jewish boys and girls (along with every priest, rabbi) did learn by heart these words. All 154 verses!

Yet does such consistency also "hint" that the judgments being so clearly described are also "in precise order?"

God warned His people, both in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, what would happen if they persistently disobeyed.

And in Lamentations ... God unfolds His litany of "punishment for sin" ... exactly as He promised it!

Lamentations chapter 1 gives us an overview of the City, Jerusalem, during her lowest moments, during and after her "Fall" to Babylon. Here's verse 1 for a sample: "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!"

The first word in Hebrew, the "how" in English, begins with a "aleph," the "a" in Hebrew! It's "silent," but it's there! Like "aeykah."

It's an interjection!

A cry of surprise, shock!

Jeremiah, the writer, is "overcome" by what he sees! "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! 

"Solitary" means "in isolation!"

She who was the daughter of God ... now a widow lady! Her Husband, because of her rebellion, has forsaken her! She is here called a "widow" because all her men are dead, killed in battle or tortured to death after the battle!

"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!"

The adjective "tributary" is "mas" in Hebrew. It means "forced into slavery." Made to pay "tribute" to an invading power!

Why this suffering, which here is just beginning?

Lamentations 5:16 most succinctly tells the answer. "The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!"

We have sinned.

Nations, beware!

              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

To read yesterday's "Lamentation" Lesson ... visit HERE on the Website. Or go to the bottom of the Site Map Page and access it there.

Now to read all twenty-nine "John, A Disciple's Life Story" Lessons ... just visit ("click") right HERE on the Website.

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