Here is the introduction I wrote for my Ugandan friends on Lamentations.
Lamentations A lament is a song of mourning and sorrow. Lamentations is a collection of five (5) poems mourning the fall of Jerusalem. We do not know who wrote Lamentations. Tradition identifies Jeremiah as the author, but the style is significantly different from the book of Jeremiah. The images in Lamentations would strongly suggest a contemporary of Jeremiah and someone who was an eyewitness to the burning and destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. Although Lamentations is a poem of deep grief and sorrow, it is also a document of extraordinary faith and hope. This document is read aloud in Jewish synagogues in mid-July every year to mark the anniversary of the destruction of the temple in 587 BC and the later destruction of King Herod’s temple in AD 70.
Lamentations can be outlined as follows:
· Lamentations 1:1-22 Desolation of Zion (Jerusalem)
· Lamentations 2:1-4:22 A compassionate God judges suffering Zion
· Lamentations 5:1-18 A prayer for remembrance and restoration
Vital Lesson: Even in darkest times, God is always faithful.