The book of Lamentations is a very grim and dark book among the literary works of the bible. Therefore, most people tend to avoid it for it’s woeful broken words. However, we are warnded in the word not to remove any part of the word and to teach the full council of God. Therefor, this book cannot be excluded nor should it be!
You see, the book of Lamentations is a very important book, as is its purpose. Alone it is a bitter ingredient but as a piece of the whole it is invaluable and necessary to the proving that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. “All things” includes both the good and the bad, the pleasant and the woeful, the bitter and the sweet, the wilderness and the promise. It takes more then sugar to make a cake. Flour, baking soda, oil, or coco in and of themselves are not pleasant ingredients but they are necessary that the whole of the ingredients might work together to make something good in the end.
Lamentations is a bitter ingredient, but a critical one. In this neglected book we see the consequences of sin. That it separates us from God, that it removed His protection (though not His love), that it brings wrath and judgement upon the sinful. It teaches us divine justice, that God is obligated by His own rules that He cannot break because He is not a man that He can lie, to pay out the wages of sin whether He wants to or not, for He is no respecter of persons. If we will not obey, there will be hell to pay and there’s no exceptions to that, not even among the chosen. It also teaches us humility and reverence in the way the Israelite’s in this book begin to recognize their need for God once His protection, favor, and grace had been lifted from them.
The whole of the book of Lamentations is a record and example of what the proper response to the recognition of disobedience in our own hearts and lives and to the sin in the lives of those around us should be. The greatest revelation of lamentation is that we should literally lament over sin, which means “to grieve, as over the lost of a loved one.” Does your own disobedience or the sin of the people, church, or nation around you grieve you like the loss of a loved one does? It should, because it grieves the Holy Spirit of God that way and if you have His Holy Spirit within you, you should feel it grieving through you at every wickedness set before it.
Lastly, it shows us that even in the worse situations we should never blame God, but rather recognize our failures, repent of them, acknowledge and proclaim His majesty. God is the only one who can deliver you from the oppression of the enemy, so never attack the deliverer out of prideful spite that He is not serving you. Humble yourself before the only one who can save you and seek to serve him even in the midst of the trial. Exalt God, declare His greatness, give Him glory, give Him honor, He hears the cry of the righteous so position yourself in your rightful place before Him that He might hear your prayers and deliver you! That place is one of humility, selflessness, and faith.
It all comes down to this. When men determine that they either don’t need God or don’t need to listen to God, He withdraws Himself to show them how wrong they are. When the Lord withdraws, the enemy rushes in like a flood for where the light retreats darkness fills the absence. It is in this state that men must lament, and grieve, and cry out as for the loss of a loved one, because they have lost their first love. Those that do not lament the absence of a loved one only serves to prove that they never really loved that one at all. For man tend not to truly appreciate the light until it is dark. Yet God offers few a way back, and that way is through lamentation. Which is true broken humble heartfelt genuine repentance. In this we see that the book of lamination is a revelation of the direness of sinfulness, the appreciation of the presence of God, a commitment toward application of His grace to empower us into obedience to His words and will, and a picture of repentance for so arrogantly not previously doing so.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” – Isaiah 59:1-2
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
“The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!” – Lamentations 5:15-16
“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” – Psalms 34:15-19