Leaning Toward the Lamentations – 2

Posted on: January 14th, 2024

Royce Bell

This is the second of four short articles intended to help you be ready for our study of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, one of the most neglected, yet profoundly important and interesting sections of scripture. Last week, as I Narrowed the Focus, I said, “The Lamentations of Jeremiah are an excellent and very important study in the consequences of disobedience.” But, that’s not all contained in the book. In fact the very title suggests another purpose: The expression of deep, intractable sorrow, both in Jerusalem and (more perceptively), Jeremiah.

A Short Reading

Lamentations 2

A View of the Broader Context

1. In reading chapter 1, you may have noticed how Jerusalem is described under the figure of a female and female characteristics: She, widow, daughter, beauty, her princes, virgin daughter, my lovers, etc. Notice how chapter 2 reflects the same under the figure, “daughter of Zion.”
2. Both chapters 1 and 2 are structured with 22 verses, presented as stanzas of three lines each. Take note of that in your own Bible, using a slash ( / ) to separate the 3 lines of each stanza / verse. Hint: ALWAYS mark your Bible with pencil (easily erased)!
3. Point: Where chapter 1 focuses on the judgment of God (cf. 1:8-9) and Jerusalem’s self-pity (1:12-19), chapter 2 identifies the source of the judgment as God and His righteous anger (2:1-8 specifically identifies 32 Judgments: Count them).

Narrowing the Focus

If one compares the judgment on Israel at the hands of the Assyria (see prophecy of Amos), and (in Lamentations) the judgment on Jerusalem and Judah at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, the question arises: Was Shechem really worse than Ninevah, or Jerusalem worse than Babylon? Then, why?

Last week, I wrote, “Interestingly, the Lamentations of Jeremiah are about sin consequences toward the covenant people of God, His city, and the place where God recorded His Name.” But, it is more than that: Have you ever suffered deep grief? Sometimes, it’s the loss of loved ones, parents, children, even grandchildren; but think about grief you brought upon yourself. How did it feel? Did you weep? Did you come to realize the futility of resentment? What benefit came from your anger?