Our final lament appears to be from the viewpoint of the people who were not taken. Those left behind watched as their beloved city changed before their eyes. Living in that crumbled reality, they mourned the loss of a happy, content life.
Gone were the parties and fancy clothes. Now the people faced violence and famine with their enemies in power. God had allowed all of this to happen. The people felt forgotten, finally realizing that they were paying the penalty for sin, their own and their ancestors.
Continue reading “Lamentation 5:1-22 – Don’t Forget Us, Lord!”
A rollercoaster of emotions concludes the third lament. I’m sure you can recall a time in your life when you were on that “ride.” The writer wisely suggests the solution is to turn back to God. No matter what we may be going through, the answer is always to invite God into our situation. Yet, the writer’s guilt is clear. He feels unforgiven, unable to imagine God’s mercy.
Is that what stops us from devoting ourselves to God? Do we feel guilty, unworthy of his love? Thankfully, those are feelings we can control. We are indeed guilty of living sinful lives and should acknowledge that. Never forget that despite what we’ve done, we are loved beyond measure by our heavenly Father. Instead of feeling guilty for our blunders in this life, we should focus on how we can do better. For us Christ followers, we need to follow our leader and be more like Jesus!
Continue reading “Lamentations 3:40-66 – Emotional Rollercoaster”
This section of the third lament begins with hope rather than despair. The author wants the people to understand the hope that comes from depending on God. Clearly, living through the destruction of Jerusalem and watching loved ones die or be taken away was a brutal reality. Hard times are so much more devastating when we don’t rely on God.
This passage speaks of submitting to the “yoke of his discipline.” That is, we are to come willingly to God, accepting his discipline as a way of teaching us something. Have you ever thought that everything that happens to us in life has a purpose? The author encourages readers to accept what was happening and learn from it.
Continue reading “Lamentations 3:25-39 – Hope in Despair”
Chapter 3 presents a triple acrostic, so we’ll split up this chapter a bit so we can reflect a bit on each thought. We hear first in our reading today from the perspective of God’s people experiencing deep spiritual sufferings. Like a breath of fresh air, we are also returned to a sense of hope. No matter how dark our times may seem, it is always good to know there will be a “light at the end of the tunnel.”
It’s good for us to remember what happened to the people of Jerusalem. Those are “our” people as believers in Christ. They were Jesus’ people, too. These laments give us a picture of what our future could be if we continue to distance ourselves from God. Why should it be any different for those who stray to other “gods” in our day?
Continue reading “Lamentations 3:1-24 – Is There Hope?”
While the first lament was of a sorrowing widow, Jerusalem, the second poem comes from the perspective of God’s anger and the devastation it can wield. The author was consumed with sadness and fear. What was going to happen? Writing these words in his own anguish would help people never forget. Do you think that was the author’s intent in the moment?
Lamentations is a book to read in Hebrew, if you can, because some of these poems are acrostic. That means each of the 22 verses starts with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet. One thought as to why the author wrote the laments like that was to facilitate memorization. We, as well as the original audience, should never forget what God’s anger can do. Lamentations helps us remember.
Continue reading “Lamentations 2:1-22 – God’s Anger”