Book type: Prophets (Major)
Author: Jeremiah the prophet, son of Hilkiah.
No. of chapters: 5
Key character(s): God.
Brief description: Lamentations – Hope is all we have.
01) The appalling price of sin (1:1-22)
02) God is the one who punishes sin (2:1-22)
03) A personal cry to God (3:1-66)
04) A graphic portrayal of suffering caused by sin (4:1-22)
05) A plea to God (5:1-22)
A lament is an elegy or dirge; a form of poetry.
Can God be defeated? Israel had reason to wonder!
The year was 586 BC. Jerusalem had fallen. The nation [of Israel & Judah] had been destroyed. The temple [of Solomon] had been demolished, its sacred vessels taken as spoils of war. The priests had been killed or taken captive to Babylon. Jeremiah had warned of impending disaster & now it had come.
Several theological themes stand out in this brief book:
01) God is a just God.
02) Sinful people will be punished for sins.
03) God is not partial; even his own elect people will be held accountable for their sins.
04) If a people will repent & trust in God, they may have hope in the future.
The book describes in horrifying detail the ravages of war, famine & pestilence (see Lam’ 4:1-10). But just as plainly, the book states that the punishment was richly deserved:
01) Jerusalem had grievously sinned (Lam’ 1:8).
02) Jerusalem rebelled against God’s Word (Lam’ 1:18).
03) Jerusalem committed spiritual adultery by worshipping false gods (Lam’ 1:19).
04) The prophets had failed to expose the people’s sin & had given false prophesies (Lam’ 2:14).
Lamentation reminds us of the appalling consequences of sin.
God does not treat our sin lightly.
We are responsible for our own sins.
There is good news: none of us is beyond God’s help.
If we repent & confess, our gracious God will forgive us.
We still have the opportunity to respond through Jesus the Christ. Thein lies our only hope.
[Source: NIV Disciple’s Study Bible]