We call this book Lamentations because it is a collection of sad poems. The five poems are about *Jerusalem.
God wanted his people to take care of *Jerusalem and the special house in it. That house was the *temple. God wanted the *Jews to *worship him there. The people who lived in *Jerusalem did not obey God. In the end, he became very angry with them.
God allowed armies from another country to destroy *Jerusalem. And God let them take the *Jews away.
There was a man who loved God. And he loved his own people. He was very sad to see *Jerusalem all burnt and broken. He wrote this book of five poems about 586 years before Jesus was born. The *Jews called this man *Jeremiah. Some people think that he also wrote the book called Jeremiah.
In the first two poems the writer himself speaks. Then he makes the city’s people speak as if the city were a woman. In the next two poems, only the writer speaks. In the last poem, he writes as if the city’s people are praying to God. The first poem is about the lonely city. The second poem says that God was like an angry enemy. In the third poem, the writer remembers that God is good. God wants people to love him. Then the writer begins to be hopeful. In the fourth poem, the writer describes what the terrible enemies did to the people in the city. In the last poem, the city’s people realise that they have been bad. They are sorry and they appeal to God to forgive them.
It is good for us to read this book. In it we see what God thinks about people’s *sins. God always punishes us for our *sins unless we are really sorry. Lamentations reminds us about that. It also reminds us that God wants us to love him. And he wants us to obey him. If we do that, he helps us to do good things. We may not love him and we may do bad things. Then he will be angry with us. It is useful to remember what John wrote (1 John 4:19). ‘We love because he first loved us.’ We should want to please God because he is kind to us.