A Study and Teaching Outline
The Tears of Men
2:11 Some men today rarely if ever cry. But is that healthy? Tears can be a genuine and appropriate way to express feelings. An inability to ever shed tears may be symptomatic of a problem.
Unlike many men in certain cultures today, the men portrayed in the Bible seem to have had little if any shame about weeping. They apparently felt free to express pain and grief, as well as joy and gladness, through their tears. For example, Jeremiah wept bitterly over the terrible plight of his people after Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians (Lam. 2:11; compare Jer. 9:1).
The table below lists other men in Scripture who came to tears and the occasions that brought them to it. As you consider these men, ask yourself: What moves you tears? If you never cry, why not?
The Time of Lamentations
1. Jeremiah mourns for Jerusalem (1:1-22)
2. God's anger at sin (2:1-22)
3. Hope in the midst of affliction (3:1-66)
4. God's anger is satisfied (4:1-22)
5. Jeremiah pleads for restoration (5:1-22)
Jeremiah grieves deeply because of the destruction of Jerusalem and the devastation of his nation. But in the middle of the book, in the depths of his grief, there shines a ray of hope. God's compassion is ever present. His faithfulness is great. Jeremiah realizes that it is only the Lord's mercy that has prevented total annihilation. This book shows us the serious consequences of sin and now we can still have hope in the midst of tragedy because God is able to turn it around for Good. We see the timeless importance of prayer and confession of sin. We will face tragedy in our life. But in the midst of our afflictions, there is hope in God.