This is one of those books often overlooked in the Old Testament. I think part of it has to do with the genre, and I think part of it has to do with how short it is. It’s just easy to skip over.
When I mention the genre, what I’m referencing is the title of the book. Honestly, outside of the Psalms, there’s really not another book like it. It’s full of Laments, which by definition are songs and poems of mourning, of sadness, of sorrow. And let’s be honest, who wants to experience any more of that?
But you can be sure if there’s an obscure and overlooked book of the Bible, I’m going to find it, study it, and see if I can find some gold to share. Why not?!
Now, if you read chapter one, I’ll warn you – you’ll want to cry. The imagery, the proclamations, the analogies, and the descriptions are poignant. The writer, Jeremiah, is not holding back.
This is what a destroyed city looks like. This is what exile looks like.
Exile is the opposite of exodus in every way.
Exodus means exiting slavery and bondage, entering into freedom and life.
Exile means exiting freedom and life, entering into slavery and bondage, judgment and punishment.
A miserable place to be, indeed.
But if it’s where you’re at, and it’s what you’re experiencing right now, Lamentations can be a great guide to mourning well and openly laying out your true feelings before your Maker. Much like Psalms, it can give language and validation to what you’re experiencing. And that is why it’s so important.
So read chapter 1 and I’ll meet you in chapter 2.