The author of Lamentations – quite possibly Jeremiah, or maybe Baruch – is under no illusions about why this calamity has befallen them, for “Jerusalem sinned grievously; therefore, she became filthy.” Therefore, “The LORD has done what He purposed.” Yet the author pours forth lament. This is not contradictory: sit at the author’s feet and let him teach us of repentance and grief.
In the original Hebrew, chapters 3 and 4 are again acrostic poems. In chapter 3, the lines are in series of three: the first three lines begin with aleph, the second three begin with bet, etc., for a total of 66 lines, or 22 sets of 3. In chapter 4 each line begins with the next letter in the alphabet. Chapter 5 is simply a 22-line oracle that culminates with a plea: “Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days of old – unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.
But I want to highlight the very center of the book, where the author’s own steadfast faith is revealed. Consider when and where and how this is written:
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
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.”
Our verse for this week is Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.
Lamentations 3 through 5. Now let’s read it!
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,