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Reflection Questions: Lamentations 4

For the message, It is Finished given by Pastor John Ferguson


at New City Church of Calgary on April 2, 2017

These discussion questions are designed primarily to help you apply the message from the Scriptures
by helping you think through application to your personal life, your church life, and your citys life.
You can use these by yourself for reflection, or with your family or small group for discussion.
To review the sermon, go to NewCityChurch.ca/sermons

INTRODUCTION

Pray. Take a moment to pray asking God to guide you in reflecting upon the Scripture text.

Read the Scripture text: Lamentations 4

A summary of the sermon: Lamentations is the 4th poem composed by Jeremiah after the destruction of Jerusalem. It
serves a a funeral dirge for the city that died and sets us up for the final 5th poem in chapter 5 which serves as one final,
long, limping prayer / lament directed to God. In chapter 4, the Poet directs our gaze to the suffering of the city as he
recounts how poverty has overtaken all, mothers resorted to barbarity, and the prophets led Israel astray.

Key Quotes:

Jeremiah 5:28; 6:6, They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to
make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. Shall not I punish the for these things? declares the
Lord. This is the city that must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.

Christopher Wright, God cannot look on the suffering of his own people, even under judgment, with out the pangs of
covenant memory: these wretched, scavenging, starving, dehumanized living deadthese are my people. The Poets
emotions are Gods too, just as the prophets tears flow from Gods heart, just as the Messiahs tears would flow for
the suffering of Jerusalem in a later century.

Jeremiah 23:14, in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies;
they strengthen the hands of the evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to
me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah. for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into the land.

Bottom Line:

Lament can hep us find our voice to express the reality of pain, evil, and suffering in our world and in our lives.

QUESTIONS

1. How does this text apply to your life?

What was the most difficult part of chapter 4 to stomach? Why do you think the Poet is directing our gaze to look at
things wed rather not look at?

How do you think a culture degenerates to the point where life becomes so cheap that not only would adults offer
children in sacrifices, but also ignore them in poverty and even consume them?

How does the beginning of verse 22 (The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished - It is
finished) serve as one commentator put it, The most hopeful note in the entire book of Lamentations?

2. How does this text apply to us as a church community?

Israel, as a community of faith, hardened her heart over time. She believe lies and worshiped and served anything
and everything.
Reflect on Hebrews 3:12, Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall
away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today, that none of you may be
hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

What role is your church (and even your small group) supposed to play in your spiritual development?

How might we move towards being more intentionally encouraging to one another? What are some practical steps
we might take?

What kind of community is this text calling us to become for the sake of the world? In other words, how does this
text form our missional identity to live out and proclaim the gospel of Jesus?

What is the cost if we are not transformed by this text? In other words, what is lost if we ignore the message?

3. How does this text apply to our city?

How does Lamentations 4 challenge the thinking of our city that sin is no big deal? That God would never hold
anyone accountable for anything?

How does this text critique our citys way of life? Its idols?

How does this text help us understand Gods mission in our city?

CONCLUSION QUESTION

What is the one thing you want to take away from this study to remember or to make a change in your life?

PRAYER

What are some ways you can turn what you are learning into prayer? List them as bullet points.

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