Lamentations 1

Talks for Growing Christians

Jerusalem’s Misery and Desolation

Lamentations 1

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Lamentations contains specific details of the desolation and destruction of Jerusalem.
  2. Lamentations contains prophetic implications of the coming Messiah and future godly remnant.

Practical Application

  1. Think ahead!


  1. According to the traditional view, who was the author of Lamentations?
  2. Lamentations is a series of 5 laments or funeral dirges. What do they describe?
  3. Lamentations is written in _________ poetry and each of the first 4 chapters is an __________ poem.
  4. Why did the Lord allow such a sad situation to come about in Jerusalem?
  5. Lamentations not only gives us a great amount of detail about Jerusalem as it was when the book was written, but it also has other important implications. What are these other implications?


  1. Evidence supports the traditional view that Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah soon after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC, while the fallen city was still suffering.
  2. The 5 laments of Lamentations describe the desolation and destruction of Jerusalem after its fall to the Babylonians. The Temple was desecrated and destroyed and all the Temple treasures were taken away to Babylon. Conditions were so desperate that even cannibalism took place as a matter of survival.
  3. Lamentations is written in Hebrew poetry, and each of the first 4 chapters is an acrostic poem. The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. Chapters 1, 2 and 4 have 22 verses each and every verse begins with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Chapter 3 has 66 verses with every three verses beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Chapter 5 is a Hebrew poem of 22 verses but it is not an acrostic poem.
  4. God’s people had committed many transgressions (v 5). Jerusalem had committed spiritual adultery (v 8) and apostasy (v 9). The people also had allowed idolatry into the land (v 10).
  5. In addition to the very detailed descriptions of Jerusalem and the conditions of God’s people, Lamentations has important prophetic implications. Three of them are: a. Just as Jeremiah lamented over the sad and desolate condition of Jerusalem, so our Lord would mourn over the Jerusalem that rejected her Messiah. See Matthew 23:37-38. b. As Jerusalem suffered the judgment of God because of her sin, so the Lord suffered the judgment of God because of our sin. See verse 12. c. The future godly remnant of the Jewish people will recognize that their desolate and sorrowful state as a nation down through the years has been because of their rejection of the Messiah.


  1. Discuss the depth of the destruction and desolation God’s judgment had brought upon the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people as described in this chapter. Consider their signs of repentance in the final 3 verses of the chapter. Are you able to identify any signs of repentance from the people of sinful cities and nations today?


  1. The Jewish people of Jeremiah’s day did not consider the consequences of their many transgressions. They had disregarded the truth that God hates and judges sin. They had reaped what they had sown. Have you put your faith in God’s Son, the Messiah, that you might experience God’s forgiveness of your sins rather than His judgment against them? Trust Him today.

Key Verses

  • “How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow is she, who was great among the nations! The princess among the provinces has become a slave.” Lamentations 1:1 “See, O Lord, that I am in distress; my soul is troubled; my heart is overturned within me, for I have been very rebellious.” Lamentations 1:20a

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