8.17 Lamentations

Hanah Clifton


Lamentations 1-5

Lamentations was written by Jeremiah out of his intense sympathy for
Jerusalem. Throughout, you see a strong theme of anguish and sorrow
within his writing. The beginning chapter mentions the desolation of
Jerusalem. The second chapter depicts God’s anger against Jerusalem.
In fact, God is portrayed as Jerusalem’s enemy. At the beginning of
chapter 3, Jeremiah shares in his nation’s affliction, but towards the
middle of the chapter, things begin to change. In verse 22, Jeremiah
speaks of God’s faithfulness. This is a great turn around from the
themes of sorrow and suffering that Jeremiah was speaking on during
the first couple of chapters. Chapter 4 speaks of the horrors of the siege
of Jerusalem. Lastly, chapter 5 is a prayer to the Lord.

What is one key verse?

Lamentations 3: 40 “Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the Lord.”

How does what you read change your vision of God?
While reading these chapters, I couldn’t help but think: “If only
Jeremiah and the people of Jerusalem would look at
themselves and see what they need to change, or how they
could turn back to God.” Finally, verse 40 of chapter 3 comes
along. We can so easily blame God for our pain and our
situations we are in. It’s easy to question God and to get
angry with Him, knowing he is the Creator of all things, it is
easy to blame Him because He didn’t “do this or that” for us.
But sometimes we need to just take a hard, long look in the
mirror and ask ourselves: “What have I done that could’ve
brought me here? Who have I wronged? How have I sinned
against God?” These are just a couple of questions to ask
ourselves. This can be very difficult because it’s easier to lay blame or to make excuses for ourselves… But once we take responsibility for our current state we are in, then we can
experience true freedom and peace in God. That is how this
passage changed my view of God. It helped me to see that
we can blind ourselves with our own pride and stain His
perfect image, when really WE are the ones who are at fault.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

It’s evident that man is prideful. I struggle with pride myself. It
is one of the most difficult sins because it can creep into
everything, as it could be someone’s root, or core sin. This
scripture made me realize how prideful I, or any other person
can be. But with humility and truly taking responsibility for
ourselves, we can praise and worship God without any
hesitation or complaint because we know He works all things
together for our good.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I will now be extremely aware of myself. It is good to reflect and to
examine your heart, but it is evident that if our hearts are in the wrong
place then we can tend to lay blame on the wrong people. I desire to
talk with God and ask Him to reveal any pride in me so that I can see
Him in His perfect image and not get so caught up in myself. In my daily
prayers, I will now be asking for God to make it clear where I can die to
myself so that I may glorify Him and be grateful for everything He has

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think
about Jesus?)

In chapter 3, verse 52, Jeremiah speaks of his prison
sentence. He says that “Those who were my enemies without
cause hunted me like a bird.”

This makes me think of Jesus because he had many enemies
hunting him day and night. He would call out to God for help
and guidance, and although the situations he would be in
were very hard, he never lost hope. Jeremiah expresses that
in speaking to God, he told him to not fear. This reminded me
of Jesus’ amazing surrender, knowing that God always had
his back.

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