Last week, we noted two reasons God gave us the very sad book of Lamentations. First, to show us the awful reality of sin and its devastating consequences so that our hearts will long for reconciliation with our holy Creator. Second, to remind us how much we need God’s faithfulness, mercy, and love and how ready He is to forgive us when we repent and turn to him by faith. Today let’s consider a third reason to study this oft-neglected book.
Reason #3. To reveal the sovereign faithfulness of God in both judgment and mercy—His hatred of sin, His holy wrath, and His loyal love (1:12b–15, 18; 2:1–8, 17; 3:21–26, 37–38, 54–66; 4:11, 16, 22; 5:19; cf. Leviticus 26:14–33; Deuteronomy 28:15–57; 32:15–43).
It is interesting to note that Babylon and the Babylonians are never mentioned in Lamentations. Only Edom is cited as an adversary (4:21–22). The perspective of this book clearly leads to the conclusion that God was ultimately sovereign over the horrendous events that happened. Certainly the Bible teaches that God is not the source of evil, but Lamentations stresses that He is sovereign over it—and will use the evil of men to accomplish His purposes. It is precisely because God is sovereign that His disciplined and grieving people can have hope in the midst of pain and tragic circumstances.
Check out The Discipline of Mercy: Seeking God in the Wake of Sin’s Misery (includes study guide & personal application projects)