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Jeremiah – Lamentations

Read and listen to the Bible being read at the same time; also, A. R. Wells, 1908, shares a (self-application) “tiny meditation” on each chapter.
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Jeremiah – a portrait by Guy Rowe

Click for a brief summary of the book of Jeremiah.

Suggestions:
1) Read the “tiny meditation” before and/or after you read the Bible chapter to help make a self-appllication of the scriptures read.
2) Want to use both your eye gate and ear gate in taking in the Word? Just click the “Read” chapter to get started.

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Click to Read Jeremiah 1My Mouth

Thy hand upon my mouth, O Thou God of Speech! My tongue trembles and stammers. I fall back from before the truth. I fear before men. Ah, be my fear directed toward Thee the rather! Touch Thou my mouth, and bid me speak Thy words.

Read Jeremiah 2My Forgetting

I do not forget the adornments of my body, but I neglect the jewels of my soul. I am not unmindful of the bath, till it comes to the cleansing of my heart. I would not go with ragged garments, but I suffer the nakedness of my soul to stand revealed. Oh, when shall I learn proportions, and when shall I keep house in my heart?

Read Jeremiah 3My Treachery

Base as the basest of human treacheries, baser than the treachery of man to wife and wife to husband, is it to play false to God. For He is more to us than husband or wife, or father or mother or any dear one.

Read Jeremiah 4My Desolation

There is a wilderness that grows within my soul, a place of stones and brambles, a place of barrenness and heat, a place of terror and pain. It is the place where God is not, and I fashioned it myself. I drove out the trees. I pulled up the grass. I drained the rivers of waters. Lo, I am desolate, O God; and it is I that wrought the desolation.

Read Jeremiah 5My Desire

If my life is foul with sin, it is because I love to have it so. No fate thrust it upon me. No compulsion binds it upon me. No smith rivets my chains. I hug them to my bosom. I cry out when men would take them away. Let me not deceive myself: I do not hate my sin.

Read Jeremiah 6My Self-Deceit

I often cry to my soul, Peace, Peace, when there is no peace. I often, when I would not think to cheat others, plot to cheat myself. I paint upon the sky my own mirages, and raise my own visions to deceive my eyes. Oh, the desperate folly of one that will not be honest with himself!

Read Jeremiah 7My Trust

A word cannot save me. A name cannot save me. A title cannot save me. Though I prattle forever of holiness, holiness, holiness, I am not thereby less impure. Though I cry daily, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, I am none the more in the temple, nor the temple in me. O God of realities, lead me into the meaning of words!

Read Jeremiah 8My Physician

It is well to know when one is sick. It is better to know where there is medicine. But best of all is it to know where there is a physician. Ah, my soul, fevered and worn, there is balm in Gilead, there is a Physician there; He will touch you with His hand, and the fever will leave you.

Read Jeremiah 9My Tears

I weep enough, but do I weep wisely enough? I have tears a-plenty, but are they well bestowed? Not when they are bestowed upon myself, upon my petty woes, my more foolish fears; but well, when they are bestowed upon my people, the slain by sin.

Read Jeremiah 10My Way

Too often, alas! my way is in myself. Too often I direct my own steps. And then my way becomes a byway and my steps fall into the morass. Then I fall, and there is none to lift me up. Oh, that my way were directed! Oh, that I might cease from self-wandering!

Read Jeremiah 11My Cry

When my cry to God is unanswered, it is never because God does not hear. It is because I do not hear the answer, or because, by reason of my sins, there can be no answer. For my sins block often the way of my prayers, and my iniquities are a barrier before advancing good.

Read Jeremiah 12My Reasoning

The Lord knows, He fully understands, yet will He be informed by His suppliants, yet will He listen to our pleas and be moved by our dull reasoning. In any way we may approach God, however stupid, so it be sincere. And God will be at the end of the way.

Read Jeremiah 13My Spots

If I am a leopard, a spotted leopard I must be. No washing can remove the spots, no medicine can cleanse me from them, if they are leopard spots. There is a washing, that can cleanse. There is a Physician, that can purify. But by long evil there becomes a leopard, and the leopard spots at length—remain.

Read Jeremiah 14My Famine

It is not a famine of food, but of joy; not of water, but of love. That famine eateth sorely. That drought parcheth inwardly. And it is in sight of the Water of Life, in very touch with the Bread of Life. The supreme folly of earth is this famine of the soul.

Read Jeremiah 15My Food

I make my meals upon Thy words, O God. I eat them, I feed upon them, they enter into bone and muscle, they run with my blood, they leap with me, they are my strength all the day. They never fail me, but are become a feast in the wilderness, and a full table in the midst of the sea.

Read Jeremiah 16—My Argument

If I will not hear the argument of love, the Lord will cause me to hear the reasoning of terror. If my memory of Egypt fails, I shall have the fresh remembrance of Babylon. For the Lord will press Himself upon me; yea, with words that I must hear, and in some fashion deal with.

Read Jeremiah 17My Self-Deceit

I can fool others, but far better can I fool myself. I can dissemble to others, but I can be a perfect dissembler to myself. I can hide to myself. I can paint my own face, and look in the mirror and say, Behold, how fair! I can even fall in love with myself

Read Jeremiah 18My Pits

All around me are pits for my soul. My enemies have dug them, and laid pleasant branches over the mouths of them, and drawn pleasant paths to them, and hidden behind them the enticements of song. Yes, and still I see them to be pits, and know that my enemies are there in ambush. Yes, and still I walk into them!

Read Jeremiah 19My Breaking

As a potter’s vessel, thrown upon the ground, a heap of worthless shards, so shall I be, my Judge, unless I heed Thy words. As a potter’s vessel, turned perfectly on the wheel and fired perfectly in the oven, to grace the table or the shelf, so shall I be, my Judge, if I follow Thy hand and am obedient to Thy turning.

Read Jeremiah 20My Persecution

What though all the world rise up against me, since the Lord has not risen up against me? What though my feet are fast in the stocks, so long as my thought is free to roam? What avails the persecution of man against the protection of God?

Read Jeremiah 21My Opponent

If the Lord march against me, I am indeed undone! Before other advances I may set up a barricade, but none against His. Against other weapons I may raise a fort, but none against His. Oh, woe to me if the Lord march against me!

Read Jeremiah 22My Injustice

All wealth of mine that is not wealth for others also is loss to me. All my pleasures that are sorrows for others shall become griefs to me. Every injustice of mine to others shall rebound upon my own head. Oh, Thou God of all righteousness, Thou perfect Judge, be Thou the director of my life!

Read Jeremiah 23My Hiding

How many secret places have I sought, to hide from the Lord! I have concealed myself in self-love, I have lurked in hypocrisies, I have covered myself with sophistries, and I have retreated behind all evasions. But God has been everywhere I have gone, and beneath all covers I have seen His piercing eye.

Read Jeremiah 24My Basket

In which basket shall I lie, among the good figs, or the bad figs? among those whose lives are sound and healthy, sweet and wholesome, or among those of inward pollution and outward disgrace? There is no third basket.

Read Jeremiah 25My Cup

The Lord has a cup for me; one of two cups for me. One is the wine of His love. The other is the wine of His fury. I must drink the one or the other, and I must drink it all. I am reaching out my hand to take the one or the other. He will not give me both. He will not let me choose. He will give me one cup or the other. Which shall it be?

Read Jeremiah 26—My Turning

The Lord’s repentance is not like man’s repentance. That God may repent Him of His purposed evil, man must turn from the evil he has done. God cannot, with all His power, turn from the ways of wrath till man turns from the ways of iniquity. Thus even the way of the Almighty is in my hands.

Read Jeremiah 27—My Choice

Life possible–and to choose death! Freedom–and to choose serfdom! Blessedness–and to choose misery! No insanity so foolish as the insanity of the wicked. No folly so insane as the folly of those that despise their God.

Read Jeremiah 28My Prophecy

Whether pleasing or displeasing, grant me courage, O God, to speak Thy words. Whether easy or hard, whether the way of persecution or of popularity, let me speak the truth to all men as I see the truth for all men, and let me know no word that is not of the truth. For Thou, O God, art the Truth.

Read Jeremiah 29My Search

What is worth finding, save my God? What is worth seeking, save what is worth finding? My search is for folly, and half my striving is after emptiness. O God, teach me the value of things, and lead me to pursue the true values.

Read Jeremiah 30My Lovers

I will count my lovers, not by their words but by their memories. I will reckon my friends, not by their promises but by their completions. If they forget me, I will forget even my love for them. But there is a Friend that never forgets, a Lover who loves everlastingly.

Read Jeremiah 31My Knowledge

Why am I taught of the Lord but to know the Lord? To what avail are all these books and sermons, these witnessings heard and these evidences seen, the books of the Lord, written and growing? I should be far past hearing and seeing. I should know, and I should know that I know.

Read Jeremiah 32My Confidence

All I have shall be cast upon the chance of the Lord’s victory. All I am shall be hazarded on the Lord’s side. Fields to buy, they shall be bought. Armies to fight, they shall be met. Nations to face, they shall be confronted, and God’s power will overcome them. There is no risk, on the Lord’s side.

Read Jeremiah 33My Abundance

What is the abundance I seek? A plenty of gold and goods. What is the plenty God holds out? An abundance of peace and truth. And the plenty I seek is scarcity, but God alone abounds. Oh, that I may cease from my unwisdom.

Read Jeremiah 34My Liberty

The liberty I refuse to others shall be a chain about my own neck. It shall be a liberty to the sword, a title to the pestilence, a freedom for famine! There is no liberty to me, if I will not enfranchise others!

Read Jeremiah 35My Obedience

Jeremiah Offering Wine to the Rechabites, Jeremiah 35:5
J35Be the obedience of others my disgrace, if I am not also obedient. Be the grandeur of the law my shame, if I disobey the law. Be every possibility of nobility that I miss a swift certainty of ignominy. Oh, to do the words of the law, fully, freely, and forever!

Read Jeremiah 36My Pen-Knife

There are other knives than those made of metal which may cut leaves from Holy Writ, and thrust them into the fire. Indifference will do it, and carelessness, and indolence, and infidelity, and selfishness, and absorption in worldly cares. Ah, let me keep my pen-knife in its sheath!

Read Jeremiah 37My Enemies

They charge me falsely. They put me in prison. Prisons of contempt. Prisons of ridicule. Prisons of deprivation and loss. What of it? What of it? Do not they imprison my God with me, since the charges are false? And when God is in the prison, in it are the liberties of all fair lands.

Read Jeremiah 38My Dungeon

It is dark and foul. The air is a horror. I sink in abominable mire. It is the dungeon of my own evil thoughts, and there is no other dungeon for me in all the earth. Oh, for an Ebed-melech, to let down any rags and lift me out into the pureness and sunshine again! And my Ebed-melech is ever at hand.

Read Jeremiah 39My Captivity

My captivity, if it is ever accomplished, will be wrought out by myself. My own guns will be trained against my walls, my own mines will blow them up from beneath, my own forces will storm the breaches, and my own chains will be passed around my body. Let me ascribe to no one else, on earth or below it, the deeds I do with my own brain and spirit.

Read Jeremiah 40My Dwelling-Place

If I speak God’s words and do God’s will, I may dwell as I please in God’s land. All its valleys of peace are open before me, all its hills of power. Its fruitful orchards are mine, and its living waters. There is no confining of my pleasures, no stinting of my will, if my pleasurable will is to do the will of God.

Read Jeremiah 41My Stores

I may buy off my life from my foe. My stores may purchase peace and safety for my body. But what store can I lay up, what treasury can I fill, that I may buy my soul’s safety and peace? None; ah, none! But a ransom is ready, and I shall be bought.

Read Jeremiah 42My Fear

If I flee from my fear, it shall overtake me. If I pursue peace and safety, they shall flee from me and escape. If I would save my life, I shall lose it. My fear brings with it the evil that it dreads. O my soul, rest thou in the Lord! O my soul, bide thou blessedly at home.

Read Jeremiah 43My Refuge

If it is not the refuge that the Lord appoints, I shall hide there wholly in vain. Though the land is far to which I flee, though its armies swarm about me and its walls span all frontiers, it is no refuge for me. But if the Lord appoints me to the open desert, the unwalled plain, that is my refuge, and there I may not be touched.

Read Jeremiah 44My Prosperity

In my prosperity I forgot the Lord and turned to the gods of this world. Shall I therefore say that those gods brought me prosperity? No, for they could not maintain me in it. Now that I am fallen into adversity, it is of the Lord; and He who brought me low is He who can lift me again, into all the prosperity from which I have fallen.

Read Jeremiah 45My Greatness

Seekest thou great things for thyself? O soul, seek them not! Let the Lord seek them for thee. Let the Lord build thy house, let Him fashion thy crown. The greatness that He seeks for thee shall be thine; but the greatness that thou dost seek for thyself, no least part of it shall ever be thine.

Read Jeremiah 46My Stand

If the Lord drive me, surely I shall not stand; but if men drive me, and not the Lord, certainly I shall not be driven, but shall stand unshaken. Oh, in my heart of hearts to be sure of this! Oh, to have an unshaken confidence in my God!

Read Jeremiah 47My Sword

If I wield the sword of the Lord, if He has given it into my hand, though it is heavy to hold, though I groan at the swinging of it and its hiss through the air, yet it must never go to the scabbard till the Lord says, “Rest, and be quiet.” Alas for any peace that is not the Lord’s peace!

Read Jeremiah 48My Negligence

Ah, yes; cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord negligently! The curse is not from the Lord, but from the neglected work. It shall rise up against me, if I am the sluggard. It shall drive a dagger to my soul.

Read Jeremiah 49My Deep Dwelling

Dwell deep, O my soul! Dwell truly deep, O my soul! Pierce to the heart of the world. Enter into the secret of affairs. Know that the heart of things is God. There is no deep beyond His depth, no center around which He moves. Reach Him, O my soul, and you have reached the Ultimate.

Read Jeremiah 50My Flight

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet
J50As I am bidden, I will flee out of the midst of Babylon, I will go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans. Their ways shall not be my ways nor their desires my desires. Those that the Lord is wroth against must not be my friends; they must not fail to be my foes.

Read Jeremiah 51My Drunkenness

The world offers me a golden cup, full of sparkling wine. Its fumes leap out and enwrap my brain. I am promised all happiness. I dream of all power. I stagger with pride. I am besotted with folly. O my God, when shall I have the manliness to strike this golden cup, and forbid it my lips forever?

Read Jeremiah 52My Allowance

I am a king. Do I accept an under throne in serfdom? I own a realm. Am I gladly receiving a change of prison garments? All wealth is mine. Am I shamefully grateful for an allowance from my captors? Oh, final ignominy of sin, that the royal soul forgets its rights!
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Click for a brief summary of the book of Lamentations.

Read Lamentation 1—My Heedlessness

Jeremiah mourning over Jerusalem, Lamentations 1:1-2
L1Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” Am I also among the heedless throng? Have I no ears for the moaning of Christ’s brothers, no eyes to see their wretchedness? However their misery came, surely it is here; and I am here; and Christ is here. Is it nothing to me, while it is so much to Him?

Read Lamentations 2My Enemy

The Lord may become my enemy! No fate such as that, to be feared, and to be avoided. His pity, even, may cease toward me, and the stream of His love be turned away from me, and all help fail. Oh, may this, the one sorrow of heaven, happen no more upon the earth. At least, let it not ever come to me, or to those whom I can save from it.

Read Lamentations 3My Mercies

They are new every morning, Thy mercies toward me. Great is Thy faithfulness, O my God. They hold me from the fire of Thy anger, that I may not be consumed with my sins. They maintain me in the sunshine of Thy love, that I may grow and rejoice all the day.

Read Lamentations 4My Fine Gold

Has my fine gold become as clay? Is it suffering the sad transformation? Let me guard against the coarsening of my life! Let me see to it that my purest and best is kept at its best and purest.

Read Lamentations 5My Turning

Turn Thou me, O Lord, and I shall be turned. Not in my own wisdom or strength can I turn from any evil. It is too strong for me. Its allurement debauches my will. I am as an infant in its hands. But an infant, O God, that reaches out its hands to Thee.

 

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