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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Lamentations 4:1-2 How is the gold become dim! How is the most fine gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

As one reads these passages, you may assume them to be questions. However, they are exclamations of fact. They are exclaiming that the gold has indeed, become dim. The most fine gold has changed. The sons of Zion (the Jewish priests or possibly the Jewish nation as a whole), were once comparable to fine gold, but are now compared to the lowly earthen pitchers made by the hands of the potter. Israel, once considered by God as gold, is now mere pottery in His eyes. Israel has lost its godly value!

Lamentations literally means an outward expression of grief. It is more than just sorrow; it is a mournful crying; a deep, deep sorrow expressed by groaning and wailing. Such were the emotions of the author of the book of Lamentations. Jeremiah, as most agree, is its author. Because Jeremiah lamented and mourned for his nation, Israel, he is often referred to as the Weeping Prophet. Jeremiah witnessed some of the most severe and dreadful times of Israel, from King Josiah through King Zedekiah, as well as the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldean armies of Nebuchadnezzar. It was during this era that the chosen people of God, the Jewish nation, were looked down upon as lowly pottery instead of fine gold, as they once were.

The lesson this text suggests is in the form of a question. How does God see you you? Does God behold you as precious gold; as fine gold, polished, shiny and worth uncountable riches? Or does God look upon you as dim gold, worth very little and compared to lowly earthen pitchers, fragile, easily broken, and discarded on the rubbish pile?

To get an idea as to how God sees you, let's consider a few bible passages. A good place to start is John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. First of all, God thinks you are so precious that He does not want to see you perish. Rather He wants you to be saved and given eternal life to live forever with Him in Heaven. Do you think God would ask you to come home with Him if He did not hold you dear to His heart? And look at the way He provided for your salvation. He gave His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for your sin. You have been redeemed by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. How precious are you to God? So precious that He gave His Son, His only Son, as a sacrifice so you could be saved. There can be no more precious gift that this. His only Son was God's gift to the world. That is how much you mean to God.

If Jesus Christ is the best gift God gave to mankind, then mercy must be His second best gift. Ephesians 2:4-5 says, But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved);... Being dead in sins, mankind can be made alive again by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. By accepting this ultimate gift from God, we now have access to His grace. Why? Because He is merciful, and not willing that any should perish in their sins. Verses 6 and 7 indicate that God's grace, extended to the Ephesians, is an example for ages to come, and that spiritually dead souls can be made alive through the forgiveness of sins available to all by the sacrificial blood of His Son Jesus Christ. How do we know the grace of God is a gift? Read Ephesians 2:8-9. For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Although faith and works are necessary for us to be saved, they only put us into the position, on judgment day, for God to extend His saving grace. There is no amount of works whereby mankind can earn salvation. Salvation is attained by the gift of God's grace.

You are precious gold - fine gold in the eyes of God. We are assured of this because He extends the two most precious gifts of all to you - the gift of His Son Jesus Christ and the gift of His saving grace. Our prayer is that you, as gold in God's eyes, will never become dim.