Zoom Bible Study for April 21st @ 7:00 p.m., CDT
(Zoom sign-on instructions are here. Notes from the Boyd Adult Christian Life Sunday School Book, April – June 2021.)
Unit I: Prophets of Restoration
Lesson 2: “Overcoming Losses and Brokenness”
Lesson Scripture: Lamentations 5
Background Scripture: Lamentations 5
“Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.” (Lamentations 5:21, KJV)
The book of Lamentations is written by the prophet Jeremiah. He sits among the ashes of Jerusalem and writes five poems crying over its decimation. The book is written in Hebraic poetic form from beginning to end, and it is the poetry that allows its readers to see the beauty in the midst of destruction.
Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, cries out because he is surrounded by loss and brokenness. He cries out so that the loss and brokenness that surround him do not infect his core. In this way, Lamentations is cleansing for Jeremiah, who wrote it, and those of us who read its words many years later.
Lamentations is a reminder that amongst the ashes that sometimes fill our lives that God does not desert us nor leave us to our own devices. It also demonstrates that God can handle the difficult questions and statements we make from our human frailty and sad brokenness. Jeremiah calls us to recognize that God hears about our hopes and grants us the strength to endure the pain of today so that we can reach the brightness of tomorrow.
This lesson is a reminder that often, the disgrace that takes hold of us is sometimes partially due to our failures and lack of accountability. God continuously gave warning to Jeremiah's people, and yet they refused to listen. For this, God punishes them but not without hope for the future. It is in this space that Jeremiah cries out trusting that God has not rejected them.
SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Lamentations (5) is often said to be awfully depressing in points and quite thorough in its depiction of despair. What’s the point, the purpose of Lamentations?
2. What must we do to ‘overcome losses and brokenness’?
3. How is regret different from repentance? Can a person skip ‘regret’ go directly to ‘repentance’? How does regret work in your own life? What are its effects?
4. How can we learn from and grow from our failures, our sins, and times when we have not obeyed?
5. Verse 22 asks if God is “angry with us beyond measure”. Like our parents, God can become disappointed and angry with us, but is it ever to the point of “beyond measure”?