Portland News

May 22, 2020

Friday Evening Bible Study

Tony Boyce, the pastor in Dallas, Oregon, taught the Discovery lesson on the Book of Lamentations, written by Jeremiah shortly after the destruction of Judah in 586 B.C. The five chapters in Lamentations are a series of five dirges, or laments. Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet because of his grief over the destruction of his beloved Judah. The key verse for the lesson was Lamentations 3:22-23, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Lamentations chapter 1 lists many of the calamities that had befallen Jerusalem. Just a small remnant of Jews were left, and because they were destitute, they felt like hunted prey. Judah had no sense of security because they had rejected God, and He had sent judgment upon them. Brother Tony brought out that the Lord did not delight in the destruction of Judah. He had called them many times to return to Him, but they had refused.

Lamentations chapter 2 highlights the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Brother Tony stated that it had taken Solomon twenty years to build the Temple,     and at one time, God’s presence had filled the Temple. However, because of Judah’s sin, God had allowed the Babylonians to completely destroy it.

After reading Lamentations 3:21-36, Brother Tony pointed out that in spite of Judah’s destruction, Jeremiah had hope because He knew that God is faithful, and that He would once again be merciful to the Jews if they would turn to Him.

In Lamentations 5:17-20, Jeremiah lamented that Judah had formed alliances with other ungodly nations rather than turning to God for help. Brother Tony stated that nobody on earth can circumvent what God has decreed, and God had decreed judgment on the people of Judah for their rejection of Him.

In Lamentations 5:18, Jeremiah mourned that after the destruction of the Temple, foxes inhabited the place where it had once stood in all its glory. The holiest place on earth had become a pile of rubble. Chapter 5 also highlighted the humiliation that the people of Judah had suffered. It was a challenge to survive because of the lack of food and other necessities. The children were forced to labor, and the elders no longer congregated at the gates. Brother Tony brought out that God did not desire to humiliate the people, but His desire was for them to humble themselves and submit to Him. In verse 21, Jeremiah prayed that God would turn Judah back to Him.

Brother Tony encouraged the listeners to humbly approach God and serve Him with their whole hearts so that they can receive what He has for them.

Watch the full service in the Media Center.

Click here to read the Discovery lesson.