Lamentations 1:4

Lamentations 1:4
What’s it about?
It goes without saying that it’s about lamenting over the loss of Jerusalem. This passage talks about the roads into the city groaning because they are unused. It mentions why people came to the city, appointed feasts. It mentions the temple workers, not working.

What did it mean to the original readers? 
A painful reminder of reality. The scope of the pain expands from the city as the people who traveled to the city likely had fond memories of approaching the city, going through the gates to the Temple, and depending on the priests to help them complete their sacramental duties. The scope of the exile comes into focus as the lens of the situation is widened.

What does it mean to me?
I don’t think I’m in exile! But certainly there are places and things that I once did that I can’t go back to. When you have incredible memories with people or incredible trips I’ve been on… going back, it is never the same. You look back on those moments with extreme fondness and you long to recreate that feeling “just the same.” And it is never the same as the original. What is the point? Just like the Jews, lamenting only does so much good. We should, and as this book demonstrates, we must look back and reflect on the good… examine our sinfulness and see the ramifications of what we have destroyed by our poor decisions… but we can’t go back. It will never be the same.

All we can do is do our best to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. We can make a new commitment to move forward, sin free, to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. It takes careful and forgetful reflection. Careful to examine the “why” and forgetfulness that comes from knowing you can and are forgiven as you confess and start over.


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