Category Archives: B90X

B90X2012 “Lamentations”

Lamentations-  Originally the title of the book was “Ah, how!” from the Hebrew words ‘ek ah.

This short book is not connected to a specific author or prophet, however, tradition puts it in the lap of Jeremiah.  It is mainly composed of funeral songs for Jerusalem.  Since Jeremiah does not deport in the exile, he has time to survey the damage left by the departure of the presence of Father.   The year is 586 B.C., the Babylonian King is furious with his Vassal Zedekiah who would not keep his word.  The temple is completely sacked and the city is left in piles of rubble.  The people weep from the feeling that God has abandoned them.  The poems show the people’s sense of guilt, confession, and repentance as they realize how deeply they have hurt God by their sin and unfaithfulness.

Structure-  The book is made up of five chapters or sections.  Each of the sections is an acrostic, meaning that the Hebrew alphabet is used to start each verse or line of the section.  So verse 1 is starts with the letter ‘a’, verse 2 starts with the letter ‘b’, verse 3 starts with the letter ‘c’, and so on.  Since there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, you see the number of verses in chapters 1, 2, 4, and 5.  The only one which is different is chapter 3 which repeats the pattern three times, hence the 66 verses.  Also look for patterns of three.  Either three lines in each verse or three verses clumped together.

The laments express the full impact of the covenant curses and prophetic pronouncements of judgments at the horror of the people’s loss is realized.  The city was the place God had chosen for his temple to be built and his presence to be manifest.  Its destruction represents not only the loss of homes and life but also the abandonment of the people by God.  He withdrew his presence and his favor as he said he would if the people were unfaithful.

Key concepts-
Lament targets not only one’s situation but one’s spiritual condition.
Any circumstance in life can provide an opportunity to know God better.

The highlight of the book is in chapter 3 where, in first-person form, the full grief of the poet is revealed.  He gives voice to the despair of the corporate people and the personified city.  But at the bottom of his grief he turns to the unfailing faithfulness of the LORD and his compassion toward his people.  The call to repentance anticipates God’s acts of deliverance and mercy for his people and judgment on the enemies who carried out the destruction.  The book ends in a fervent prayer of restoration.

Key Teachings about God-
God’s wrath is terrible.
God is righteous and will judge.
God’s faithfulness and compassion never fail.
God is good to those who hope in him.

The key verses of hope are found in 3:22-27 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”

B90X “Jeremiah” pt. deux

A few things from our reading Jeremiah today which grabbed my attention:
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B90X2012 “Servant Song #5″

The fifth and final song comes in Isaiah 61:1-11.  The good news comes.  The Servant is anointed to bring the messianic jubilee, where the people will be restored to the land after exile.  There is no introduction by God.  The servant says, ‘here I am.’  Lots of review and progression from the previous Songs.

Look at all the verbs involved in what the Servant has done and is going to do- preach, bind, proclaim, release, proclaim (again), comfort, provide, bestow, rebuild, restore, and renew.

Isaiah’s tree imagery pops out in v. 3- ‘oaks of righteousness.’

Jesus broke the silence and the mystery of who the Servant was in Luke 4 when he preaches his first sermon.  He purposely turns to Isaiah 61 and reads a portion of that Song.  He purposely stopped short at the section about vengeance because that day has not come yet.  His time on earth at that time was for revelation about Father and reconciliation of humanity.

Then ironically, right after this first sermon and the unveiling of his Messiahship, the crowd wants to take him out and push him off a cliff.  Now that is a flashy kick-off to a preaching tour.  Kind of makes me not feel so bad.  Folks didn’t want to kill me after my first sermon.

Everything explodes with Jesus!  He is the Servant.  He is the mystery man.  Everything stated in the five Servant Songs is true and is fulfilled.  A new definition of freedom- not just socio/economic, but physical and spiritual as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour into this special literary aspect of Isaiah.  It is so cool to find this stuff and see how the Holy Spirit wove it into the Word.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Prov. 25:2

B90X2012 “Jeremiah”

We are now in the thick of the warnings and woes of the prophetic call.  I used to think that these guys said the same things over and over to the same people.  It seemed kind of redundant and way over the top.  What I found out was that they were on a preaching tour around the country and that these words were shared with different groups of folks.  So what may sound familiar was that the prophet was repeating himself as he moved around.  He would just find a different way to say the same thing over and over.  Hence the appearance to us that it is so monotonous.  There are very few markers that tell us that it is a new group or a new town.

Some stuff about Jeremiah:
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B90X2012 “Servant Song #4″

The Fourth Song is the most well-known of the Servant Songs comes to us from Isaiah 52:13-53:12.  The most graphic and appalling of descriptions regarding who the servant is and what the purpose of his mission on the planet is.  The fourth song is the most elaborate and poignant of them all.  It is the zenith of Isaiah’s message and discussion about who God is and what he is about.  It is as though we forgot the message and Isaiah needed to remind us with suddenness and intrusiveness.  Almost as if he is screaming at us, “Don’t you get the picture.  Let me draw it out for you one more time.”  The irony of it all- the servant is exalted yet abused and quiet. Buried within the Song is kind of a macro view of birth to death.

Vv. 52:13- 53:1 God is speaking

Vv. 53:2-6 Israel is speaking

Vv. 53:7-12 God is speaking

Notice in this whole section who says nothing.

Servant Song #1 was a picture of a king, #2 had hints of a prophet, and in this one we have the qualifications of a priest (52:15).

In the Ancient Near East (ANE), one would cover their mouths with their hand as they approach another king.  Here is 52:15, we see that the Servant is the King of kings, all, including kings, will shut their mouths because of who this servant is!  What a picture.

I love the flow at the end of the song- The dead (9) is alive (11), the condemned (8) is righteous (11), and the helpless (7) is the victor (12)!!  That is us friends.  The whole reason for Jesus coming to the planet.  The story of redemption and presence in our lives.