“Fake It ‘Til You Make It”
HOST: Michael Whitworth
Lamentations is one of the darkest books in the Old Testament. Along with Job and Habakkuk and others, Lamentations refuses to play by the usual rules of piety. It is fearless in its screaming out to the heavens at God as the author witnesses the despair and disappointment of a destroyed Jerusalem. Lamentations is raw and disturbing for those unacquainted with grief and loss. But for those who have walked the valley of the shadow of death, Lamentations is a strangely comforting. It will dredge up painful emotions, but it will also refresh us with the knowledge that it is OK to complain and be angry at God as long as we continue to trust Him and respect his sovereignty.
Lamentations was written in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple about 586 BC. Its author has traditionally been identified as Jeremiah, though the book is itself anonymous. In fact, it was the Septuagint translators that added this header to Lamentations: “And it came to pass that Jeremiah sat weeping and composed this lament over Jerusalem and said—”
Most all scholars claim that the book could not have been written more than about 75 years after the destruction of Jerusalem—the claim is that the language is simply too emotionally charged or raw to have been written any later than that. Obviously, if Jeremiah was the author, the book was written in or shortly after 586 BC.
- We must recognize God’s justice.
- Sin mars and destroys God-given beauty.
- Mercy sustains us through mourning.
- Sin steals freedom and enslaves the sinner.
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