Lessons from Lamentations

Lamentations is a short book that packs a powerful punch. I was actually surprised when I realized it was over in my Bible reading plan. Jeremiah goes on for fifty-two chapters, yet wraps up a Lament for Jerusalem in just five chapters. 

A lamentation is defined as “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.” It is a crying out filled with desperation, isolation, and loneliness. As the faithful (and even the not-so-faithful) looked on at the ruins of Jerusalem and all of their homeland when they walked away from the Promise Land to Babylon, these feelings must have consumed them. Imagine walking for hours, days on end, with only destruction to distract from hunger, fatigue, dirty sweat, and blistering feet. Going back is to risk a beating or worse. Going ahead means slavery. What else is there to do but cry out to God?

Yet in the middle of his lament, the prophet rejoices! He calls upon the people to remember the Lord, His goodness, and His mercy. Perhaps the faithful talked of the prophecy, 70 years in captivity. The young among them may have added up the years, considering they could outlive their conquerors. When we call to mind all that God has done, even when we are in the middle of tragedy, HOPE begins to bloom.

I plan to go back and re-read this short book again to call to mind God’s faithfulness in all circumstances. God has a perfect record when it comes to keeping His promises


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