It’s ok to feel sorrow. It’s ok to ask questions. It’s ok to wonder where God is when you suffer. Lamentations proves it.
Having a rough day? You’re in good company. Lamentations is a book recounting the sorrow and difficulty the Israelites felt due to the exile. They felt rejected, lost, and abandoned. Some of us have felt that way before. Note that there is hope in Lamentations. One of the greatest hymns of all times, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” comes directly from Lamentations. No matter what, there is hope.
- Lamentations is believed to have been written by Jeremiah. He is known as the “weeping prophet”. This is written as a response to being exiled and being rejected by God.
- 1-22 – Here the prophet is lamenting or crying out in sorrow at the fate of Israel and Judah as they are exiled and rejected.
- 1-19 – This chapter focuses on the contrast between where the relationship between God and the Israelites was and where it is during the exile. Special aspects of their relationship such as the temple and being set apart are highlighted.
- This letter is from Paul to Philemon and Apphia. It is only one chapter long.
- 8-16 – Paul is writing to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus who, while Paul was imprisoned, formed a special relationship with Paul. Onesimus had been a servant but was now to become a fellow laborer for Christ with Philemon.
- David commits to living faithfully and commits to not tolerating anyone who doesn’t.
- We are all capable of adding fuel to the fire when we gossip and keep angry words flowing. If we choose to stop our words, we can squash arguments.
Only 8 weeks to go to complete our Year of the Bible! Pretty incredible, eh?
This week, we have a bit of a cornucopia of readings. We’ll spend time in Philemon, Hebrews, Lamentations, and Ezekiel, as well as the usual suspects Proverbs and Psalms.
Something you might want to note this week is the connection and resolution between the Old and New Testaments. Both Lamentations and the prophet Ezekiel are longing for redemption and connection with God. They’re experiencing destruction and separation due to sin. But then we read Hebrews, and other portions of the New Testament and we see that the redemption those in the Old Testament longed for has been realized through Jesus.
Sometimes it is hard to read the prophets and other portions of the Old Testament because the people are being punished and are crying out. But the blessing of reading both the Old and New Testaments at the same time is we immediately get to see God’s answer. We have Christ.
Want to read a whole book of the Bible in a short amount of time? Philemon’s your guy! But don’t be surprised when it packs a punch.