Study Guide

Lamentations Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

Trials and Tribulations

  • The Poet has seen all this awful stuff with his own eyes. He's personally experienced it, too. We sense he's speaking on behalf of all Judah.
  • Trust us. The Poet knows what God's wrath is. God has abandoned him in times of trouble and left him to find his way out in the dark. Next time, bring a flashlight, guy. God has also filled the Poet's heart with bitterness and then trapped him there like a prisoner.
  • The Poet cried out for God to help him, but the Big Guy wouldn't listen. God ignored his prayer requests and returned all his fan mail, too. Stone cold.
  • God was like a lion pacing outside of the Poet's prison cell. He was just waiting to tear the Poet to pieces as soon as he stuck his head out. Or maybe he was like an archer just itching to use the Poet as target practice. The poor Poet! Poor Jerusalem!

Keeping the Faith

  • But even in all this misery and horribleness, the Poet doesn't lose heart. Really?
  • Yup. He just remembers one really important thing—God can't stay mad at him forever.
  • That's right. God is loving. God is merciful. So, at some point he's gonna have to come around and start helping the Poet again, right?
  • Every morning the Poet wakes up is a chance for him to renew his relationship with God. If he has patience, God will be good to him in the end.
  • And if in the meantime God asks him to go through a couple of trials (like watching his city be destroyed, his friends and family murdered, and his children starve to death) then he'll deal with it.
  • Sure, God causes all kinds of trouble for people, but he's also compassionate.
  • And in any case, it's not like God enjoys making all this bad stuff happen. His heart's just not in it. When there's evil stuff happening in the world—God sees it and takes copious notes for later.
  • But no one can do anything—good or bad—unless God says it's okay.
  • Everything comes from God. Even starving babies.
  • Really, all God's doing is doling out justice. You can't complain when God is just giving you what you deserve, right?
  • That's why the people of Judah need to take a good look at themselves and return to God. They were sinful and disobedient, so he got angry and destroyed them. He ignored their prayers, left them for dead, and watched as their enemies crushed them. Note: this is not an overreaction.
  • Judah's enemies have hunted him down and captured him for no good reason. But luckily, when he complained to God about it, God heard him.
  • God told the Poet not to be afraid. He said he would help him and make things better.
  • Now, all the Poet wants is for God to right the wrongs that have been done to him. God saw all the horrible things these enemies have done. Now, all he has to do is smite the heck out of them.
  • It's payback time, God. Get angry. Curse them. Destroy the Poet's enemies because they've done so many awful things. Come on. You know you want to. They never were your special people.

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