This message builds on the Genesis 3:15 Torah teaching, confirmed in Rabbinic exegesis, see
זרע זה מלך המשיח מדרש רבה כג ה
that Moshiach, through his sufferings, will win our victory over Satan.
DO YOU KNOW THE DERECH HASHEM [REQUIRES LITERACY IN HEBREW]?
DO YOU KNOW THE ONLY SEFER KADOSH THAT TELLS HOW TO HAVE INTIMACY WITH HASHEM [REQUIRES LITERACY IN HEBREW]?
ARE YOU DEPRESSED [THIS IS IN ENGLISH]?
First let's get something clear about erroneous notions of Paul and his founding a new religion, which he didn't. True, the halakhah of his Judaism switched from the Pharisaic oral law to the Ruach Hakodesh, but his religion was still one of the Judaisms of the time, not a new non-Judaism Gentile religion.
Lam. l:21; 2:21f speak of two phases of the Day of the L-rd, the
first already past in the fall of Jerusalem and the dissolution
of the people of Judah, and a second in store for the gloating
enemies of G-d's people. Therefore those who speak of "Israel's
Final Holocaust" had better be reminded that it will also be a
holocaust for all the nations of the world. Jeremiah is the
traditional author of Lamentations in the closing days of Judah's
conflict with Babylon around 586, the date of Jerusalem's final
capitulation to Nebuchadnezzar.
The ninth of Ab (August) is the Jewish commemoration of this
disaster, and on that day this scroll is read in the synagogue
following the evening services. The other minor fast days
associated in some way with this event are the Tenth of Tevet
(marking the beginning of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem), the
Seventeenth of Tammuz (which marks the first breach in the walls
of Jerusalem during the Babylonian siege), and the Fast of
Gedaliah (commemorating his assassination after he was appointed
Governor of the Jewish people by
In this book, Jerusalem is personified and she weeps bitterly
(1:2) because Judah has gone into the Galut (Exile)--see 1:3-5.
The prodigal city remembers the wonderful days of old when her
festivals brought rejoicing multitudes to her Beis Hamikdash
sanctuary. Now those days are gone, and she is mocked and
despised, and enemies have invaded her sanctuary (1:10). Like
the Moshiach, hanged on the aitz, the city is naked and
humiliated and left to be seen by passers-by. "Is it nothing to
you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow
like my sorrow which was brought upon me, which the L-rd
inflicted on the day of his fierce anger" (Lam. l:12). See Lam.
Jerusalem remembers her false prophets with their false and
misleading visions (2:14) and her prophets who obtain no vision
from the L-rd (2:9) and she remembers her own rebellion against
G-d's word (1:18), and sees that all this desolation of altar and
sanctuary, all this abolition of festival and Shabbos, is just
punishment from the L-rd Himself. The Gentile enemies gloat over
her when they see Jerusalem's destruction in the Babylonian
Exile, but she calls on G-d to bring on the Day of the L-rd when
all the Gentile nations of the world will become as Jerusalem is
(1:21). Judgment only begins at the household of G-d. See 3:64
and Zech.l:l5; 2:8.
A terrible picture of gehinnom is seen in 3:7-8, for here we view
a people (pre-Exilic Jerusalem) who refused to know G-d and we
see them frozen in the gehinnom-like divine judgment. We are
reminded again of the pierced Moshiach surrounded by mockers when
we read 3:14. See also 3:30, 52-57.
The burden of proof today is still on Judah's religious leaders
as to whether or not they rebel against G-d's word (1:18), since
it was their sins which caused the destruction of Jerusalem
(4:13-16). They were as unreliable as that ally Egypt, a nation
that could not save" (4:17). Jewish religious leaders must prove
that they rightly interpret the word of G-d, because desolate
Jerusalem is still a rebuke and a challenge against them.
Note for street ministry: homelessness is mentioned in 3:19.
Jerusalem's survivors are homeless after G-d's judgment falls on
them. But see the song of hope in 3:22-23. We see that to be
thus humbled is good (3:27-29). There is hope in 3:31-32. If we
don't grow bitter toward G-d but instead test and examine our
ways and return to the L-rd, then there is indeed good in being
humbled by the L-rd (3:39-40).
The hope of Israel's ultimate return to G-d is stated in 4:22 and
5:21. This is still the great hope of all Biblically defined
Princes are strung up by their hands; elders are shown no
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