Showing posts with label Lamentations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lamentations. Show all posts

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lamentations 5

The final lament is a prayer in light of Jerusalem's grave situation.

LORD is called upon, to look at the humiliation they are going through. Just to name a few troubles they are encountering,
Lamentations 5:2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
    our homes to foreigners.
3 We have become fatherless,
    our mothers are widows.
4 We must buy the water we drink;
    our wood can be had only at a price.
5 Those who pursue us are at our heels;
    we are weary and find no rest.
6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria
    to get enough bread.
The list is long, and there is no more joy in their hearts. Their dancing has now turned into mourning. Their prayer is to restore them, and to renew them so that they could remember their good old days.

Lamentations 4

This lament explains those horrors experienced by the Jews during the Babylonian siege. The chapter is organized as below:

  • Judgments [1-12].
  • Zion. Confession [13-20].
  • Retribution of Jehovah [21-22].
The precious children of Israel have lost their luster, and do not even have bread. They have nothing to drink, and the mouths of those infants have turned dry. Even those clothed in royal robes have met the same end. The punishment seems to be similar to that of Sodom. The extend of famine is so bad - women have eaten their own children

Lamentations 4:10 With their own hands compassionate women
    have cooked their own children,
who became their food
    when my people were destroyed.

The wrath of LORD is upon the people due to it's prophets and priests. 
Lamentations 4:13 But it happened because of the sins of her prophets
    and the iniquities of her priests,
who shed within her
    the blood of the righteous.
Their hands unclean, and defiled with blood. They show no honor to elders. 

The punishment of Zion is now complete. The ruin of the Edomites and the end of it's wickedness is predicted. Jerusalem, in an ironic invitation towards Daughter Edom, invites her to rejoice, drink and be naked. 

Nobody should even think about rebelling against the LORD, despite their social status or background. Rebellion against LORD's holiness will lead to disaster.

Lamentations 3

Tucked away in the middle chapter is the central message - Hope. This chapter has 66 verses and is organized as below:
  • The Judge [1-21].
  • Remembrance of LORD's mercies [22-36].
  • Zion, sin confessed [37-51].
As a man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath, LORD has brought Jerusalem into darkness and old age. He is not listening anymore to her prayers. He pierced her heart with arrows and now she is a laughing stock of all her people, who mock her in songs. 

She has been hurt, deprived of peace and forgot what prosperity is. She has hope in the LORD: 
Lamentations 3:22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassion 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.
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,
    to the one who seeks Him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the LORD.
There is call for repentance and prayer for vengeance upon the enemies.

A conviction that LORD is in the midst of us, during times of pain, can bring us peace and serenity. 

Lamentations 2

This chapter speaks about the LORD's anger, and the verses are divided into"
  • The Judge [1-13].
  • Zion - sin not confessed [14].
  • Recrimination of passers by, the Prayer [15-22].
LORD's anger has covered the daughter of Zion. With no pity, He has swallowed up the dwellings of Israel. He has withdrawn His right hand.  He has pour out his wrath like fire which burned Judah. Like an enemy, He has swallowed up Israel, and taken away His tabernacle. His presence has now departed. Throughout Zion, feasts and festivities have been forgotten.

The elders of Zion sit in silence, wearing sackcloth casting dust on their heads. Women and infants torment and faint.

LORD had done what He planned.
Lamentations 2:17 The LORD has done what He planned;
    He has fulfilled his word,
    which He decreed long ago.
He has overthrown you without pity,
    He has let the enemy gloat over you,
    He has exalted the horn of your foes.
Hopefully, this suffering will lead towards their turning back towards Him. 

Lamentations 1

The first lament focuses on Jerusalem's plight. This is how the chapter is broken down, by verse:

  • The Judgments of Zion [1-7].
  • The Confession of Zion [8-13].
  • The Appeal to Passers By [14-22].

Jerusalem city sits in solitary, like a widow, who once had full of people, but is almost empty now. Continued sin and rebellion of her people against the LORD has caused her this loneliness and disaster.

Her beauty has disappeared, and her nakedness has been exposed, which courts dishonor. She sits in distress weeping, and nobody is around to comfort her. She wants the entire world to learn from her mistakes.
Lamentations 1:8 “The LORD is righteous,
    yet I rebelled against his command.
Listen, all you peoples;
    look on my suffering.
My young men and young women
    have gone into exile.
The daughter of Judah is crushed as in a winepress.

Lesson learned: Entrenched wickedness leads everyone towards great agony. 

Lamentations - An executive summary

Executive Summary
The Book of Lamentations is a collection of 5 poems. Each poem is represented by a different chapter. The original 4 poems in Hebrew contain acrostic - each verse starting with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each of those 4 chapters contain 22 verses each.

The poem is a figurative conversation between Jerusalem and the author - Prophet Jeremiah, as most believe it to be. Prophet Jeremiah understands that the Babylonians were LORD’s tool for bringing judgment upon Jerusalem.

In this book, he laments over the destruction, and his lamentation makes it clear that the inhabitants of Jerusalem were stubborn in repenting and continued in their sinful lifestyle of idolatry, even after LORD sent them many prophets. Lamentations is the eulogy for the fall of Jerusalem.

There is still hope for the nation of Israel and Jerusalem to be restored if the people repent and turn back to God.