These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!

Lam 4:17 — “we watched for a nation which could not save”
So true today—God give us eyes to look up to You instead.

Some notes from my study Bible: Lamentations is a neglected book. That is unfortunate because it presents key theological concepts composed creatively during an important era in Israel’s history. Hope, not despair is the final word in Lamentations.

The notes include with 3:19-24, “it affirms God’s faithful, never ending mercy. Therefore readers can know God is not finished with his people even when they win greatly.” Amen

Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Lam 3:19-26

Great message about His character in the context of these dirges and laments.

“But, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love…”

Reading Lamentations has been a good experience this week, especially after diving into the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah over the last month.

Similar to our discussion during the last two prophetic books, Lamentations seems to have the similar pendulum between God’s wrath and his grace. Despite all of the horrific consequences of their disobedience, God’s compassionate and forgiving heart shines through.

Verses that stood out to me:

“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.” (1:18)

Here the author recognizes his sin, and realizes the consequences. Part of me feels like the whole book would not exist without this part. We cannot repent without the recognition of our sin. The closer we walk with the LORD the more we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the more willing we are to repent.

3:22 “His commpassions never fail”
3:23 “Great is your faithfulness”
3:25 “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him.”
3:32 “Though he brings grief he will show compassion”

Here is where we see the depth of God’s forgiveness and his steadfast unchanging nature.

God wants us to be reconciled to him, and it hurts him deeply when we stray from him.

The only thing I might add:

I was touched by the fact that so much of Lamentations is the honest assessment of how bad things had gotten. Not as much prayers to fix and change it, but more acknowledging it and sort of sitting in it for a moment at least. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a pity party. Instead, I see it as gospel-centered lamentation: a recognition of our sin, God’s wrath toward sin, but also Gods grace and forgiveness. But it just gave me a sort of license to just openly lament some tough things around us, as opposed to thinking I need to quickly pray for God to fix it, if that makes sense.

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