SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

“What We Learn From Grief and Compassion?”

Text:

Lamentations 3:31-33 “For the Lord will not cast off forever. 32 Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion According to the multitude of His mercies.
33 For He does not afflict willingly, Nor grieve the children of men.”

About Lamentations –

Author: Jeremiah

Title: From the Hebrew ‘Ekhah’, which means; “Oh How”, and is the opening thought of the text (1:1). When the ancient texts were translated into Greek, it was given the title, ‘Qinoth’; which is translated into the English “Lamentations” or “Elegies”, which is appropriate to the context.  

Occasion: The truly tragic events that Jeremiah was made to witness surrounding the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

Elegies: The fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the sanctuary, the exile of the people, the terror of the sword and fire, and the famine in the city.

Style: This letter is written in the acrostic style. Jeremiah begins each chapter with the first Hebrew letter (‘aleph’), he then progresses verse by verse through the Hebrew alphabet; literally weeping from A to Z. 

Lesson: This letter stands as a reminder to any future generation that may turn their back on God to suffer His wrath.

Outline:

Chapter 1-2: The Siege of Jerusalem.

Chapter 3: The Exile of the People.

Chapter 4: The Ruin and desolation of the City.

Chapter 5: His Prayer for the People in the Dispersion and Captivity.

Notes on Chapter 3 –

Chapter 3 is the one chapter that is written in acrostic triplets; the first three verses begin with ‘aleph’, with each three verses after beginning with the consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (22 letters in all, to equal 66 verses instead of 22, as in the other four chapters).

The three verses of our text are right in the middle of this chapter, comprising the final triplets of the first half of the chapter, and uniquely the book; summarizing the first half theme.

It could also be the heart cry of every saint in any age experiencing God’s chastening hand.

Although Jeremiah had not been part of the great sin of his people, his nation as a whole had turned their back on God and come under the rod. The prophet could only assure his people that God would renew His compassion on the faithful. God does not willingly send affliction.

In the first two chapters, the destruction of the city is described. The third chapter brings the subject into clear focus by giving a description of these events from the perspective of a single person. As individuals, we are often moved to sympathize by the plight of individuals. Being brought near to something is a requisite for sympathy.


What We Learn from Our Text –


Two Primary Thoughts of Our Text –

Grief: Grief signifies pain of the body or mind. It is always brought on by things that cause grievances or sorrow.

1 Peter 2:18-19 “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.”

Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Ezekiel 14:14 “Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.”

Ezekiel 14:20 “even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Compassion: Signifies mercy or pity with a desire to help. A feeling of distress brought on by the calamity of others that inspires a desire to relieve.

2 Peter 2:9then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of  - of judgment”

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

This impressive paradox is answered for the children of God in two ways:

Physically – To recognize that the love of the world is separation from God (1 John 2:15-17); thus to overcome trials of this life produces joy, patience, and faith (James 1:2-6); which finally leads to the knowledge of the true path of comfort – obedience to God (1 John 5:3). This is the knowledge that all good gifts come from God (James 1:17).

Spiritually – To know that the wages of sin is death (sin is lawlessness against God – Romans 6:23); this then creates godly sorrow that ‘leads’ to the need to repent and return to God (2 Corinthians 7:10), and once set free from sin, we are the beneficiaries of eternal life (Romans 6:22).

In both cases, there is no guarantee that we will not suffer in the flesh. In fact we learn from our text that the righteous suffer in this life right along with the unrighteous. The unique difference is that only the righteous have hope!!!

What Do We Learn?

If we suffer in this life, as surely we will! God will provide compassion for the faithful!

 

Ezekiel 14:22-23 “Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. 23 And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it,” says the Lord GOD.”

 

2 Peter 1:10-11 “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”