Jerusalem has fallen
Israel’s exile was the direct result of their constant rebellion against God's covenant despite his persistent warnings through prophets. After the exile, now surrounded by war, grief and suffering, the people of Israel acknowledge their sin and cry out to God for restoration and repentance in these lament poems.
These poems are powerful and raw expressions of confusion, anger, and heartbreak. The poet is unafraid of being brutally honest with God, helping us understand how a true and honest expression of our pain to God is not only good, it is holy—a sign of a covenant partnership and trust in a holy God. Lament is an appropriate response to evil in the world, and it’s something we can learn to practice through meditating on the words of Lamentations.
A God Who Hears
The book of Lamentations is a collection of funeral poems offered on behalf of Jerusalem after its destruction by Babylon. Despite its bleak subject matter, it offers a biblical view of how humans can respond to God in their grief and distress. Hope is found through the complicated process of lament, a process that leads to true intimacy with a God who hears the cries of his people.
At a Glance
NIV Bible Lamentations Introduction
When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and deported much of its population, some residents were left behind in terrible conditions in and around the shattered city. To express their deep shame and grief over the destruction of their home, they wrote songs about its desolation and about the sufferings they were witnessing and experiencing. The book of Lamentations does not tell us who wrote these songs, although tradition ascribes them to Jeremiah. Here we witness people of faith putting into words their struggle to understand how God could have allowed the city they loved to be so devastated.
Each of the five songs preserved in the book has 22 stanzas. The first four songs begin with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in consecutive order. In the third song the letters are repeated at the start of each of the three lines in the stanza. There are few expressions of hope, but they are placed in the center of the book to give them extra prominence in a situation where they are badly needed. Overall, this collection of laments reminds us that expressing anguish over a broken, fallen world is a legitimate part of the biblical drama.
2019 Lamentations Series (Sundays)
2023 Lamentations Series (My Small Group)
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