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Root 66 – Lamentations

Jul 16, 2017
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Root 66: Lamentations
The book of Lamentations is known as the saddest book of the Bible. Jeremiah wrote this book of 5 poems after he had warned his people for 40 years about the impending judgement that they would receive if they didn’t turn their hearts back to God. In God’s character of justice, sin had to be punished, so God allowed the Babylonians to ransack and destroy Jerusalem. This is a time of utter despair and chaos. Children are begging for food and dying in the streets, mothers have turned to cannibalism and are eating their children, the nobles are hanged, priests are defiled, and women are ravaged in the streets. In all of this chaos and pain, Jeremiah writes 5 poems that are acrostics. These acrostics use the 22 letter Hebrew alphabet. Chapters 1, 2, and 4 all use 1 verse/letter, but chapter 3 uses 3 verses/letter. As a Hebrew reading this, the structure and order of these poems surely brought some relief in a time of pain.
Poem 1 – Lament of the city as a widow weeping
Poem 2 – Lament connected to their sin
Poem 3 – Hope
Poem 4 – Lament of the ruin of the city and the Temple
Poem 5 – Prayer ( only one not an acrostic…doesn’t really have an ending…)
In Chapter 3, Jeremiah shows how hurt he is and feels like God has left him. BUT, in verse 21-24, he writes, “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.”
“I call to mind” – we have the ability, option, and choice of what we are going to allow to be at the forefront of our mind. We have a choice as to what we are going to dwell on in each of our circumstances.
The love of the Father is greater than the pain and suffering from the sin in life. His mercy is new EVERY MORNING and gives us exactly what we need for each day’s situation.
God is immutable (unchanging) – In a world that is in constant chaos, God is an anchor for our soul.
The LORD is my portion – a portion was an allotment of land, and land was everything to the Hebrew people. Your land gave you an identity. Jeremiah is saying, “The Babylonians took my land, but God is enough. HE is my identity!”
To Discuss Today:
1. Are you honest with God about your despair or dark place? Say it out loud to Him. Write it down. He is not intimidated or offended by your anger or pain.
2. Look back at the pain and brokenness from your past. How have those situations helped shape who you are today?
3. Can you truly say that “God is your portion”? Is He enough? What do you need to hold more loosely to allow that statement to be true in your life?