Memory Verse
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Lamentations 1:8

Lamentations is a poem expressing personal and national grief for the ravages that disobedience brings. The title of this book is the short Hebrew word, “eka,” or “how.” It indicates a loud cry. Jeremiah is appealing to a nation under judgment to help them to examine how they came to be under judgment, the results of their disobedience, and how they were to move forward. Lamentations answers all three of these questions.

Hymn: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Sheet Music
Top 5 Facts to Remember
  1. The destruction of Jerusalem was part of God’s sovereign plan (Lam. 2:17).
  2. God’s compassions are new every morning (Lam. 3:22–23).
  3. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him (Lam. 3:25).
  4. Jeremiah emphasized the Lord’s sovereignty when he asked rhetorically, “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?” (Lam. 3:37).
  5. During the siege of Jerusalem, food became so scarce that women were cooking their own children (Lam. 4:10).
Theme: Grief

In Lamentations, God is glorifying Himself through grief, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.

Author: Jeremiah

While Lamentations makes no claim about its authorship, both the Septuagint and Jewish tradition attribute the book to Jeremiah.

Time of Writing: 586 B.C.

Lamentations provides eyewitness testimony of Jerusalem’s destruction by the Chaldeans (586 B.C.). Lamentations was probably written before Cyrus’ decree to return and build the temple (538 B.C.), since this event is not mentioned or alluded to in the text.

Key Verses:

“How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!
“She weeps bitterly in the night,
Her tears are on her cheeks;
Among all her lovers
She has none to comfort her.
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
They have become her enemies.”

Lamentations 1:1–2

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22–23

“You, O Lord, remain forever;
Your throne from generation to generation.
Why do You forget us forever,
And forsake us for so long a time?
Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored;
Renew our days as of old,
Unless You have utterly rejected us,
And are very angry with us!”

Lamentations 5:19–22

  1. Calamities sometimes come as a result of national sin.
  2. If a nation refuses to listen to God’s prophets, they are heading for judgment. 
  3. In times of calamity, pour out your heart to the Lord.
Christ in Lamentations:

Jeremiah is a type of Christ. Throughout the book of Lamentations, we see Jeremiah interceding on behalf of a sinful people. That is what Christ does for us.

  1. A Broken City (Lam. 1)
  2. A Broken People (Lam. 2)
  3. A Suffering Prophet (Lam. 3)
  4. A Broken Kingdom (Lam. 4)
  5. A Praying/Repentant Nation (Lam. 5)
Study Questions

What does the word, “Lamentations” mean
“Loud Cries.”

When was the book of Lamentations written?
After the destruction of Jerusalem (586–537 B.C.).

What is the book of Lamentations about?
It laments the destruction of Jerusalem.

Why did God destroy the city of Jerusalem?
So that people would pass by and see that God judges His people.

What kind of animal does Jeremiah compare the princes of Judah to?
Deer (Lam. 1:6).

Why did Jerusalem become vile?
Because she had sinned gravely (Lam. 1:8).

What was the Lord’s attitude toward Judah’s sin?
He was angry (Lam. 2:1).

What was Jeremiah’s response to the destruction of Jerusalem?
Sorrow (Lam. 2:11).

Was God’s judgment on Judah a rash judgment?
No, the Lord fulfilled the word that He had commanded long before (Lam. 2:17).

What does Jeremiah say about the mercies and compassions of God?
They are new every morning (Lam. 3:22–24).

What does Jeremiah say the people should do?
Examine their ways and turn back to the Lord (Lam. 3:40–41).

Was God’s punishment upon Judah completed?
Yes (Lam. 4:22).

What is the last request that Jeremiah makes in his prayer?
That God would restore the people of Judah (Lam. 5:19–22).

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