This is the longest of Jeremiah's poems. Like the other four it is an acrostic but unlike the others there are three verses that begin with each of the 22 Hebrew letters. Verses 1-3 begin with aleph, verses 4-6 begin with beth, 7-9 begin with gimel, and so forth. Psalm 119 follows the same acrostic pattern. Of course the subject matter and number of verses are completely different in Psalm 119 than the poems comprising the book of Lamentations but the poetic form is the same. Many printings of the Bible show the Hebrew letters above each stanza of Psalm 119 for those who would like to view the Hebrew alphabet.
It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (verses 22 and 23)This poem exhibits all of the elements of the ACTS of prayer. Examples of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication can be found within Jeremiah's deeply mournful - yet hopeful - piece.
Does God issue any commands?
- God does not speak.
Does God make any promises?
- God does not speak.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- The loneliness and despair of being separated from God even in prayer, experiencing God's punishment for wickedness, being the target for God's bow and arrow, being scorned by his own people, and removing his soul from peace which are the testimony of Jeremiah are also the testimony of Jesus Christ at the time of His crucifixion.
- Jeremiah remembered a time of communion with God and it gave him hope of God's future mercies. This is also the testimony of Jesus.
- Knowing that there is coming a day when all things will be set right Jeremiah says that a man can bear the yoke, sit alone in silence, speak humbly, turn the other cheek to someone that attacks him. This was demonstrated by the life of Jesus and we are commanded by Jesus to live in such a way.
- Jeremiah stated that although he was at his lowest, emotionally and physically, while enduring the suffering in the pit, God did not leave him there. Jesus endured the pit emotionally and physically also. He was in agony over His separation from God the Father while on the cross where He physically died. He was then placed within a pit in the earth but God did not leave Him there either.
- Jeremiah called upon God to avenge him against His enemies. Jesus called upon God to forgive those who placed Him on the cross because they didn't know what they were doing. However, Jesus was avenging us and Himself of all our enemies because His death, burial, and resurrection defeated the real enemies: Satan, sin, and death. (We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against . . . spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12)
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- In desperate times Jeremiah still hoped in the LORD and in His promise of good times to come. This describes the life of the Christian who is awaiting the fulfillment of God's promised eternal kingdom.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. (verse 26)
- God does not cast off forever! He will have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. The day is quickly approaching when His compassion toward His people will be openly demonstrated.
- Jeremiah tells of the time when God would no longer allow sin to continue in Judah. He punished them for their rebellion and would no longer pardon their iniquity. One day time will run out on God's patience with the inhabitants of earth and the time allowed for repentance will end.