Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning,
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations is a funeral song, thick with grief and tragedy and wailing. It is heavy with mourning and weeping. It is an honest and raw reflection on the bitter afflictions that Jerusalem endured. Three waves of Babylonian destruction on the heels of Judah’s rebellion. God will never break his covenant, but his broken people have a pattern of disobedience, forgetting their rescue and running headlong into defeat.
Lamentations is a collection of five distinct poems of lament, represented as five chapters in our English Bibles. Chapters 1, 2, 4, and 5 each contain twenty-two verses. Each verse of these chapters (except the concluding chapter 5) begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in succession. But what about chapter 3? Does it repeat the pattern? No. It triples the pattern. There are sixty-six poetic lines in chapter 3, located at the center of this collection. And what happens at the center of this central chapter? Here in the verses we catch the only glimpse of hope we find in the entire book. This book begins and ends with gut-wrenching lament. But even in the midst of that reality we find this one unshakable hope: great is God’s faithfulness. Our hope is not in the promise that our situation will change. Our hope is in the promise that God will never change.
Father, you are my unchanging hope. Your faithfulness is the one thing that holds firm as everything on either side of it gives way.
What is your lament? What tragedy or trial do you mourn? How has God been faithful in the midst of that?
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