Review on Lamentations
Each book that we encounter has a different impact on us-- whether if it’s for us to laugh, to learn, or maybe for us to cry. One collection specificially holds about sixty-six books that have these different purposes. Surprisingly, this collection is The Bible itself. While the Bible takes a general reputation of being a book focused on God’s holiness, that isn’t actually its sole purpose! Throughout the book are tons of songs, wise sayings, visions and funny stories. Believe it or not, there are even jokes that can be found in the Bible!
Anyways, that’s just a quick glimpse on what the Bible holds. Looking specifically, there is one book in the Bible that has a mix of emotions. That book is called Lamentations.
By the title itself, Lamentations seems like an awfully sad book. It definitely starts on that note. The author of the book is an older guy known as Jeremiah, who walks down the streets of Jerusalem, the holy city. The city recently suffered from a fall after the Babylonians came and plundered it.
He observes the city by writing “How lonely sits the city that was full of people!” (1:1).
Jerusalem was in a desolate state. The city had nobody to help it, and the people within it had been led away into slavery. How awful! But it gets worse. All of the beauty the city once had is now gone, and even children and parents have been separated. Not only loved ones are suffering, but even those of the highest classes are suffering, such as princes and priests. All the people within it thought that God has left them; the God that loved Jerusalem dearly. People cry out to Him, realizing the punishment of their constant sin and carelessness. It was a punishment that resulted in the fall of kings, and mothers eating their own children! The author, Jeremiah, observes all of this and cries out to his God about his deep agony and broken spirit. Why was all this injustice happening? Jeremiah wondered about the injustice he himself received, as many people were targeting him for the truth he told. He knew in advance that Jerusalem would fall, and it was his job to prophesy what would happen. As Jeremiah writes on about the ways he has suffered, there is one important word he mentions in the midst of it all, which is yet. There was something present in Jeremiah’s life that opposed all the suffering and pain he was going through. He had a spark of hope in his life, and that was putting all of his hope in God. How could he put his hope in the God that allegedly abandoned his people? No; Jeremiah knew that God did not abandon his people. He wrote, “Though [God] brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love” (3:32). Even though Jersusalem was suffering in a town filled with desolation and starvation, God was planning to restore them. His anger only lasts a moment; and the falling of Jerusalem was that moment.
This book was definitely one that really opened my eyes when it came to dealing with hardships. When we go through tough times, we can easily doubt that things will get better. We can feel hopeless, and as if nobody can save us from the pit that we are in. What’s incredible is that, it’s okay to feel like that naturally! People aren’t supposed to be excited when they’re struggling, or when something awful happens in their lives. Who would be happy after dealing with loss, or with rejection? Jeremiah himself was a guy who was very truthful and bold, and even he felt hopelessness. But through it all, he put all of his hope in what was always his hope: God. Even if not all of us believe in God, or any powerful beings, it is so key to remember that there is always hope, even if there is a speck of it. That “yet” in the midst of all the sufferings listed in Lamentations is an important factor of our lives. There is better coming. There is restoration coming. I love knowing that. I had to remember that even in the hardest times of my life. If I didn’t know that there was always hope present in my ups and downs, then I probably would be in a corner right now crying, dwelling on what happened. But because there is hope, we have the ability to look and move forward, being the strongest that we can be.