The destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587 BC is the likely setting for the book of Lamentations. This was the most traumatic event in Old Testament history, as Israel faced extreme human suffering, the destruction of the ancient city, national humiliation, and the undermining of all that was thought to be divinely guaranteed, such as the Davidic monarchy, the city of Zion, and the very temple of their God. It is out of such unspeakable pain that Lamentations speaks, through poetry of astonishing beauty and intricacy, although soaked in tears.
If we neglect this book of the Bible, says Chris Wright, we miss the challenge and reward of wrestling with the massive theological issues that permeate it. How can suffering be endured alongside faith in an all-loving, good God? If death and destruction stalk the land, can Israel's faith in the covenant God of faithfulness and mercy be sustained?
Through this commentary, Wright shows that we must not isolate Lamentations from the rest of the Bible, nor should we read the rest of the Bible without Lamentations. It is a crucial part of the narrative that still has many messages for us to learn from today.
Part of the beloved Bible Speaks Today series, The Message of Lamentations offers an insightful, readable exposition of the biblical text and thought-provoking discussion of how its meaning relates to contemporary life. Used by students and teachers around the world, the Bible Speaks Today commentaries are ideal for those studying or preaching the Bible and anyone who wants to delve deeper into the text. This revised edition of a classic volume features lightly updated language and a new interior design.
1. No comforter (1:1-22)
2. In the day of God’s anger (2:1-22)
3. Hope in the pit of despair (3:1-66)
4. It is finished (4:1-22)
5. Restore us to yourself (5:1-22)