THE BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS

THE BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS

Author = BRAINS

T R E A S U R E... S E E K E R S ... I N ... T H E ... O L D ... T E S T A M E N T - Lamentations

STUDY ON - THE BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS

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T R E A S U R E... S E E K E R S ... I N ... T H E ... O L D ... T E S T A M E N T

'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path......Where your treasure is there is your heart also'

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LAMENTATIONS

Firstly, I apologise that there isn’t as much “application” in this study as I would have liked.
Ezekiel, in particular, is a really “meaty” book, filled with visions and symbolism, and it would take a lot longer than I have tonight to cover it completely! Treasure Seekers is only meant to
give an overview of the books, and that is what I will attempt to do tonight.

Lamentations

Lamentations is officially “anonymous” but it is generally accepted that it was written by Jeremiah in approx 586 BC.
Its purpose was to teach people that to disobey God is to invite disaster, and to show them that God suffers when His people suffer.

Whereas the book of Jeremiah predicts the destruction of Jerusalem, Lamentations looks back
upon it.

It consists of five laments. The structure is unusual and quite deliberate. The first verse of each chapter begins with the appropriate letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is an acrostic, which is a
poem or song which begins with successive letters of the alphabet.

Acrostics are used to indicate completeness; it has been suggested that Jeremiah is
demonstrating that the suffering of the people has gone from A-Z across the complete range of experiences.

All of the laments except for the third one contain 22 verses; the third lament contains 66 verses (three x 22). There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

Orthodox Jews read the book aloud on the ninth day of Ab, the traditional date of the destruction of Solomon’s temple in 586, as well as the date of the destruction of Herod’s temple
in AD70.

Many also read it each week at the Western (Wailing) Wall in the old city of Jerusalem.

In addition, the book is important in traditional Roman Catholic liturgy, where it is read during
the last three days of Holy Week.


Known as the “book of tears” it is a funeral song written for the fallen city of Jerusalem.

As prophesied in Jeremiah, God has now carried out His promise to destroy His city and temple.

(2:5) The Lord is like an enemy, he has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation for the Daughter of Judah. (6) He has laid waste His dwelling like a garden; He has destroyed His place
of meeting. The Lord has made Zion forget her appointed feasts and her Sabbaths; in His fierce
anger He has spurned both king and priest. (7) The Lord has rejected His altar and abandoned
His sanctuary. He has handed over to the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have raised a shout in the house of the Lord as on the day of an appointed feast.”

Those who have not been exiled or destroyed lie desolate in the streets, dying or scavenging for
food.

It is worse than the scene of the aftermath of a natural disaster, for at least then aid is usually
not far behind.

There was no aid for the people of Jerusalem. Parents were so hungry that they ate the bodies of their dead children!!!!!

(2:11) “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the
ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city. (12) They say to their mothers, ‘Where is bread and wine?’ as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city, as their lives ebb away in their mothers’ arms.”

(20) “Look, O Lord, and consider: Whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?”


In the midst of all the laments, Jeremiah breaks off from weeping to proclaim the faithfulness of God. It is from this lament that one of the classic worship songs of all time, “Great is Thy
Faithfulness” was inspired:

(3:22) Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. (23) They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (24) I say to myself, “The Lord is
my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”

(32) Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. (33) For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”

Amen!!


In Chapter 5, Jeremiah reminds God of what He has done and begs Him to restore His people
to Him. It is the final word from Jeremiah, and it ends on a sombre note:

(5:19) You, O Lord, reign for ever; Your throne endures from generation to generation. (20) Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? (21) Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old (22) unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.”

Here endeth Lamentations!!