“Lamentations is read during the ninth of Ab, a fast that commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples. The author was an eyewitness to the destruction of Jerusalem, a skillful poet, and a person who deeply felt the distress of his people. But would a person overcome with grief express his feelings in such formal verse? One might expect a heart cry to come out in sentence fragments or free verse. However, deep emotions and formal poetry are compatible. Indeed, people turn to poetry precisely for its ability to express emotion. Consider Shakespeare’s sonnets. Also, the form itself, sometimes contributes to meaning: the acrostic may have been employed to express the completeness of the destruction and despair—from A to Z, as it were. This also suggests an explanation for why chapter 5 is not an acrostic (nor does it have the rhythm perceived in the other chapters): the lack of form expresses the chaos and despair of the time.” (HCSB)

Throughout the entire book, the author spoke honestly on the faults of the people and the fact that they have turned away from God and because of that, their temples were destroyed. I found 3:19-26, 33, and 39-40 to be truly inspiring: “Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison. I continually remember them and have become depressed. Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion; therefore I will put my hope in Him. The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the LORD. For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind. Why should any living person complain, any man, because of the punishment for his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD.” These verses still apply to Christians today. Because we live in a fallen world, we will experience depression at different times throughout our lives. It is important that no matter what we go through, we keep our hope in God because of His love that He showed us at the Cross. If there is some type of obstacle blocking our path in the journey of our life, we should pray about the situation, and examine what we are currently doing and what we plan on doing if we continue on that path. God allows obstacles to come our way for a purpose and we should use discernment to decide if we are following His plan for our lives.

Advertisements