Week 33: Lamentations

Prepare these questions for November 10, 2013.

Like Jeremiah predicted, Jerusalem fell to Babylon and the people were pretty bummed out. So, they lamented (which means they cried out in pain). The book of Lamentations is five poems about the destruction of Jerusalem and the regret and anguish the people felt during that time. Some traditions have that Jeremiah himself wrote the poems, but that is not definite. Each of the five chapters is one poem and each poem contains 22 stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet (which probably made it easier to memorize and pass down to others).

1. Who does the author (or authors) blame for the woes of the city of Jerusalem?

2. In Hebrew poetry, the center of the poem or collection was the most important thought or idea. Read Chapter 3 and identify what you think was the most relevant idea that the writer wanted people to remember.

3. Choose images of suffering from these poems that stand out to you (i.e., "her eyes fail from weeping" or "she groans and turns away"). Why is the city personified in these phrases? Have you ever felt pain or sorrow that made you unable to see through your tears or forced to turn away from the pain?

4. Read verses 5:19-22. Do you ever want to ask God any of these questions? Try to write your own poem/prayer that admits your sins and asks God the hard questions you have for Him. You might want to start each line with a letter from our alphabet to give you guidelines and structure.

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