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Lamentations 2, Psalm 40

Though Lamentations 2 describes the Babylonian invasion and exile, you will not find Babylon mentioned. Why is this? The entire perspective of this lament is that God is the active agent bringing the grief and desolation of Judah. The Lord even gives the altar into Babylon’s hands that these enemies might celebrate in the house of the Lord (Lamentations 2:7). If one takes times to read this lament, and consider from the eyes that view children gasping for breath in the city streets and the elderly crying to the heavens for mercy, we might share in the writer’s weeping  (Lamentation 2:11). Yesterday, I noted that biblical lament includes recognition of sin. I would also add that Biblical lament acknowledges God’s agency and hand in all that happens under the sun, fortunate or destruction. This lament doesn’t have a simplistic theology that teaches, “This isn’t what God wanted.” In fact, this is exactly what God is doing and the writer is coming to terms with this truth. The chapter ends with an accusation against God that the Lord struck down the loved ones of this writer. It is clear that God is the one treating Judah like this (Lamentations 2:20). When God’s ways hurt us, anger, bitterness, and hopelessness are emotions that attend . We see hints of all three emotions in this passage. We do well to read, and reread this chapter to learn how to sit and talk to God in times of disappointment and disillusionment.

Jeremiah Vaught