- Genre: Poetry
- Written: 586-538 B.C.
- Author: Jeremiah
Lamentations is a collection of five poems, or laments, that wrestle with the pain, grief and horror the ancient Israelites experienced at the hands of the Babylonians. Their nation conquered, their temple destroyed, and their children taken captive, they were a devastated people. Lamentations was written and/or collected by the prophet Jeremiah and read in unison every year on the anniversary of the destruction of the temple. Lamentations teaches the reader how to grieve. It also teaches lessons about God’s judgment, compassion and sovereignty.
Included with this study is a collection of 60 images to be used as a discussion opener for each study. Lamentations uses word images to convey message and meaning. In the same way, use the photos to get the participants to think abstractly, to identify and communicate message and meaning.
- Week 1, Family (Lamentations 1)
The importance of family and connections in the grieving process.
- Week 2, Judgment (Lamentations 2)
What does God’s judgment mean? What is its place in our lives?
- Week 3, Compassion (Lamentations 3)
Even when the end is not in sight, it is possible to see God’s compassion and hope in our suffering.
- Week 4, Sovereignty (Lamentations 4-5)
God’s power and authority is absolute; what does that mean when we suffer?
Videos that could be used with any of the lessons:
- Overview: Lamentations, The Bible Project: https://youtu.be/p8GDFPdaQZQ
- Overview: Jeremiah, The Bible Project (use this to give some context to what is happening in Lamentations, as it was written by Jeremiah): https://youtu.be/RSK36cHbrk0
About this Series
Why is this series called “The First Testament”? Words often communicate unintentional messages. While we have called the testaments “Old” and “New” for centuries, these labels have had an unfortunate consequence: for many, the word “old” conveys the ideas of irrelevance and being outdated. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Paul wrote, “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4 (NLT). When he wrote this, he was speaking of the Old Testament! Perhaps a better set of titles would be the “First” and “Second” testaments; together they give us the message of hope! The First Testament, two-thirds of the Bible, gives us the foundation from which Christ fulfills God’s will!