Today, we continue our journey through the Bible with today’s study of Lamentations. May God show us what He wants us to learn?
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
As we study the Bible alone or in a group setting, there are several questions we can ask ourselves to help us dig deeper. The five questions are:
- What does the scripture say about God
- Then what does the scripture say about me
- Does something in this passage challenge me
- What gives me hope in this passage
- Is anything unclear to me
I hope these questions help you as much as they help me.
Book of Lamentations
- Author: Jeremiah.
- Audience: Exiled people of Judas.
- Date Written: after 587 BC.
- Length: 5 Chapters.
- Keywords: How.
- Key Verses: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the Lord brought on me in the day of his fierce anger? (1:12).
- Key People: Jeremiah and the people of Jerusalem.
Summary of Lamentations:
The book of Lamentations expresses the humiliation, suffering, and despair of Jerusalem and her people following the destruction of the city by the Babylonians in 587 BCE. And, like the book of Job, Lamentations shows Jeremiah baffling over the results of evil and suffering in the world. However, while Job dealt with unexplained evil, Jeremiah grieved a calamity entirely of Jerusalem’s making.
The entire book is poetic. The first, second, fourth, and fifth mourning’s all contain 22 verses, reflecting the number of characters in the Hebrew alphabet. And, each verse within the chapters begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. Chapter three deviates from this form and has 66 verses. In a similar fashion to the other chapters, three verses began with the first Hebrew letter, followed by three from the second Hebrew letter, etc.
Sections of the Book:
The book of Lamentations contains five significant themes, which are:
- Jerusalem’s standard devastation (ch.1).
- Lord’s Wrath (ch.2).
- The Basics of Comfort (ch.3).
- Comparison of Zion’s past and present (ch.4).
- Seeking forgiveness and pleasure (ch.5).
Messages in Lamentations:
The central message of Lamentations is for the global church today. God sustains us with His grace during our suffering. We see all the global problems of poverty, mismanagement of wealth, assaults on the dignity of many people, and conflict of all kinds. Persecution, too, is widespread and becoming more volatile than ever it was before. But Lamentations shows us God draws near to his suffering saints.
Even during this low point in Israel’s history, hope remains. At the peak of the book, God’s promise faithfulness is confirmed and celebrated. “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases” (3:22). God “will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love” (3:32). And that message still holds true for us today.
And like so many other books in the Bible, we see God’s character on display in this book. They are:
- Faithful-3: 22-25; 5: 19-22.
- Merciful-3:22; 23, 32.
- Indignant-1: 5, 12, 15, 18; 2: 1, 17, 20-22; 3: 37-39.
Also, Jeremiah’s tears flowed from the deep love he had for the Israelites (3: 48-49). Likewise, Christ cried over the city of Jerusalem. Christ judges those who rebel against him, but he is faithful to all those who follow him. His mercies and love never cease.
All Lessons from the Bible
Each book of the Bible contains lessons for us to learn and historical information. We must study God’s Word to see what to do and what not to do in life. Paul reminds us of the importance of the words within the text in 2 Timothy 3.
2 Timothy 3:14-17; “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Please grant me the understanding and knowledge of You and Your word. As I open my Bible to read the scriptures, it gives me wisdom and discernment. And even as I sit and listen to the pastor, preacher or apostle reveal what Your Holy Book is speaking into my life, help me see and understand. Help me know Jesus Christ and how He lived His life so I can follow in His precious footsteps.