Lamentations 1:18-22 " The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.
19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls.
20 Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death.
21 They have heard that I sigh: there is none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me.
22 Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions: for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint."
Lamentations 1:12-18 " Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day.
14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.
15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.
16 For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.
17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.
18 The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity."
As we close this series on the Christian (Incremental) Graces we are implored not to be idle or unfruitful or else we are blind, unable to see or even recognize these graces--a dangerous place to be. We may still be saved, but if we forget our sins and what the Lord has done for us. Rather we are encouraged to give diligence (haste) to make our calling and election sure. That is, having confidence in our faith and His sacrifice. Then one day we will enter into heaven with a great reward as all these graces are preformed (as a dance) perfectly with no sin, praise the Lord!
In this first session it is important that we understand that in the New Birth and giving us the Holy Spirit, that the Lord is beginning to recover us from all that sin has done to us. He will give to us the precious grace which will recover us from our sin, and countless times bring us back from what we have done to ourselves in our sin, so that we will be able to live the Christian life, and find joy in doing so.
It is crucial to understand the large-scale narrative arc of these chapters before looking more closely at the details. God reiterates His promise to accompany Israel in His angel, only to have Moses insist twice that Israel won't budge without Him. And so the issue of the "God to go before us" comes to a head: Is Yahweh going to accompany Israel? Moses boldly insists that God come with them, and in response God graciously reveals Himself to Moses and promises to accompany Israel. The passage is stunning in its magnitude. In it, God reveals Himself as one who acts for His people for the Mediator's sake; He shows Himself to be the God who goes with His people despite their sin; He shows Himself to be the God who keeps and renews the covenant even after His people shatter it; and He even shows Himself to be the God whose glory is contagious, making the face of His servant shine. The glory of God is writ so large in the text before us that we are only going to be able to hit the highest points in our sermon this evening. Over the next month or so I hope to discuss most of this passage in more detail. But tonight, we will see the large-scale movement of the passage, which is this: God refuses to travel in Israel's midst, but through Moses' intercession He agrees to do so after all, and condescends to reveal His glory to Moses, renew the covenant with Israel, and even make Moses' face shine with Divine glory.