Lamenting: Healing our Disappointments. (Part 2)
Sermon Title: Lamenting: Healing our Disappointments. (Part 2)
Sermon Series: Throne Room Living
Text: Supporting Scripture
Speaker: Pastor Damian Mericka
- (RECAP PART 1) From Joy to Sorrow (2 Samuel 1:1-4; 11-13)
Last week we took a very intimate look at Israel’s first king, Saul. We walked through some of the moments that shaped his life, a life that began with humility before God in his heart. Unfortunately, it was a story that ended with wide reaching defeat. The story of Saul began with promise but ended in judgment.
While Saul was running from God, another was running with God. David was increasing in his anointing with God and was experiencing life in ways that grew and matured his faith in Him.
Having experienced the victory against the Amalekites, David and his 600 return to Ziklag with all that had been lost. The abundance was shared with his greater family, the Tribe of Judah. This was a time of great victory- physical and spiritual for David. And then sad news arrives.
Kingdom Key: Lamenting the Cost of Sin
“Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.” -James 4:9
Bridging the gulf between the cost sin has brought into our lives and the promise that God is good is a difficult journey for all of us (Romans 8:28). Sin is the reason all of creation is groaning (Romans 8:18-23). Sin is the source of things we have control over such as hate, lust, deception, etc., as well as the things we cannot control such as natural catastrophe, disease, and death. In a world God created as “good”, sin brings an experience that touches everyone and everything- suffering.
Check out Romans 8:35-39. While we are assured that nothing will separate us from God’s love in Christ, it does not mean that nothing tries to. Life will put our faith in God to the test through the suffering that touches us and those we love. God does not ask us to ignore that reality, but to consider the cost of sin and mourn it. In this place of mourning, God will lead us into His eternal joy.
This week we are invited into the life of David and learn the value of lamenting the suffering sin brings into our lives, to know God’s healing rather than allowing it to lead us into the directions of disappointment and bitterness toward God. (1 Samuel 8:7; Psalm 51:4)
Going Deeper: 1) What can separate us from the love of God toward us in Christ? Does that mean things will not try to? Why is suffering a part of our lives? Is it always something we can control? How can suffering lead us to become disappointed and bitter with God? Are there areas of disappointment you need to deal with?
- Lamenting: A Journey with Promise (James 4:5-10)
James was writing to predominantly Jewish believers who were experiencing suffering to such a degree they were feeling their faith in God struggling- like a rope beginning to fray. James addresses this directly with the same invitation you and me have in Christ today- lamenting.
Vv. 5-6. God yearns for the spirit, the relationship between us and Him, and pours out grace to bridge this chasm.
See -> John 4:23-24. Spirit is our being, Truth is His Revelation, or Word. God desires us to worship Him with our lives guided by His Word- not just Sunday mornings.
- 9. Three steps are presented here to lead us through the journey from suffering to healing.
- Be wretched / miserable. (talaiporeo) This is an invitation to allow the emotions of sorrow to be felt; affirm their presence.
- Mourn. (pentheo) This leads us to lament- to cry out with expression the misery that is within us.
- Note -> Matthew 5:4. God takes this journey with us!
- Weep. (klaio) We then are encouraged to get it all out- there is an ascending / descending cycle. Like a jar filled, we pour it out, then it is refilled, and we repeat until there is no more.
- 10. This is hard for us to do because we affirm things out of our control; and opening ourselves up is a vulnerability we are afraid to experience and get lost in. But God brings us this promise:
- Humble Ourselves (tapeinoo). We must choose to let go our pride and mourn; to take this journey.
- He will exalt (hypsoo) God promises to lead and lift us out of this place to His joy.
- See -> Psalm 30:1-12.
Going Deeper: 2) Who was James writing to? How can suffering attack our faith (image of fraying rope)? Explain the three steps of James 4:9. Share a story where you can relate to this type of lament. Why is it hard for us to humble ourselves like we are asked in James 4:10? What does God promise us if we do?
- Lamenting: David’s Transparency (2 Samuel 1:17-27)
David takes the journey of lamenting the cost sin brought into the lives of those he loves, as well as his own. Suffering touched everyone in this lament.
Vv.17-18. David was not writing with the intention of adding to a Bible, but to connect with a shared suffering among the Nation of Israel (Book of Jasher). We need to remember, that while all Scripture is from God (2 Timothy 3:16), God used very real people with very real circumstances to tell this very real story.
- 19. “How the mighty have fallen” is the theme brought out here, v.25 & v.27.
- 20. It sickened David to think of the joy and celebration the Philistines would make of this turn of events. He appeals that the spread of this news would not be published abroad. Let not the enemies of Israel / God rejoice!
v.21. Fields that have seen God bring His people victory in times past witnessed God’s judgment against His anointed. Saul’s shield would have had a leather strap to secure to his arm; not oiled showed he either went to battle unprepared or prepared to die. This symbolized how his relationship with God had dried up, as a shield with potential but due to neglect unserviceable.
Vv.22-23. We are still family. Jonathan and Saul argued over David; while they had their disagreements, they were still family. They faced the future together. They faced God’s judgment together. David felt this wound, this loss very deeply.
- 1 Samuel 18:1-5. Saul brought David into his family; Jonathan, Saul’s heir, embraced him and shared all with him (co-heir).
Vv. 24-26. Weep (bakah)- deep lamenting / Remembering the Good (The journey of James 4:5-10)
- Lamenting for Saul (v.24)
- Lamenting for Jonathan (Vv.25-26)
- 1 Samuel 20:11-17; 41-42
- John 15:13
- 27. “How the mighty have fallen” is the capstone on this. The cost of sin here brought suffering upon all of Israel.
Going Deeper: 3) What stood out to you about David’s lament here and why? What did the oil of Saul’s shield represent? What role did family play between Saul, Jonathan, and David? What does “weep” mean in verse 24? What was the cost of sin here for David? How did David suffer under Saul? Why didn’t David reflect on the bad of Saul- why did he focus on the good?
III. Lamenting: A Healthy Rhythm for Believers Today
David lamenting Saul and Jonathon is an example of what James is encouraging us as believers to make room for in our lives today. Sin will bring suffering into our lives and those we love. If we are not careful, cautious, sober to this reality our experiences will lead into disappointment and bitterness toward God.
Suffering will seek to fray the rope of our faith anchored in Christ.
Choose to humble ourselves through the suffering, take the journey to lament, and God will raise us up in Him. He will bring us into His Joy.
Going Deeper: 4) How will you make lamenting a healthy rhythm for your life? Are there things of the past you still need to heal from? Are there things presently you are grieving? Reach out to Pastor Damian for prayer, encouragement, guidance- you are not alone, and God will raise you up. Joy will come in the morning!