Lamentations 1 Commentary

Lamentations 1 Commentary

There is a place for lamentations in the saint’s life. This fact we know because of the Book of Lamentations.

Lamenting, yes, we always do it. We must do it. We know humanity once lived under the abundance and care of the Creator God in the Garden of Peace and tranquility. Eden was great! Man was in charge – exactly as mandated by the LORD. Genesis 1 verse 28. Humanity was meant to bask in the blessing of increase and prosperity.

But what we have is nothing close to a fake version of what God meant life to be. There is pain and suffering. And we know we are way off the mark – scattered into a world of nothingness and meaninglessness. Why won’t the saint think about man’s fallen position and lament?

The Book of Lamentations opens with a reference to a time when things looked normal though not exactly as planned by Heaven. Israel once occupied the position of a potential winner. The land of promise wasn’t entirely under Israel’s title deed but it was a good resemblance. King David commanded the respect of the region. He was a real power. The LORD would bless his son Solomon with rest – rest from war and not from expansion, influence, wealth, and fame.

The arrival of the queen of Sheba with her wealth in gold fulfilled the LORD’s promise. The nations would bless Israel as they get blessed by the sanctifying machinery of Israel’s God. Israel was a nation then but it didn’t last. The nation was scattered into two – the northern kingdom called Israel and the southern kingdom called Judah. The blessing was halved, in rough terms.

Verse 1 talks of a nation once honored by the world. Then the nation is reduced to a province but still with a measure of dignity. Eventually, everyone is back into slavery! The physical loss of political freedom is simply a manifestation of the actual loss of dominion – the loss of rule as mandated by Genesis 1 verse 28. The population is also reduced. It is a direct reference to the loss of the blessing of increase.

The LORD has brought her grief because of her many sins. Verse 5b. Lamentations should bring us to this point, always. With this admission comes a call for mercy. Let there be grace from the LORD. No one is there to help. Jerusalem sits alone and lonely. Zero options. It is a blessing to get to this point; the point of zero options. Then one can only look up to the LORD in total surrender. Don’t commit suicide. There is the Creator God who can bring back meaning to your existence.

The chapter closes with a prayer that the LORD executes the same punishment on the entire fellowship of wrongdoers. Let others also receive their own punishment. Behind these lines is a prayer that the LORD cleanses His creation. Israel has deserved it; other nations also deserve it. Let them have it. Then all of us can cry for help from the one and only source.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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