VERSES: Lamentation 1:1-5:22
MEMORY VERSE: Lamentations 3:40 "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again unto the LORD."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Colossians. Write "Colossians" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class.
PRAYER: Pray our hearts will be tender and pure and, when we sin, we will have a heart like David's and repent with our whole heart.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Careful Little Eyes (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circles to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Draw a large Activity (see below) on the chalkboard or whiteboard.
- When Jeremiah, the prophet of God, wrote the book of Lamentations, it was at the saddest time ever for a child of God. "Lamentations" mean grief, sorrow, and extreme sadness. God had allowed the Babylonians to come into Jerusalem, the city of David, and totally destroy it. The Babylonians were ruthless soldiers and were not careful about anything. They wrecked the temple, and took all of the gold and precious things back to Babylon. They set the city on fire. They killed so many people and truly did not care if the person was old, young, man or woman or child. It was a terrible, terrible time for the Jews.
- Why had all of these dreadful things happened to God's people? It was because of their disobedience to God. God is a patient God, but, after warning His people for so long, His patience finally wore out. He had warned the people through Moses, through Joshua, through the judges, and through the prophets, to return to Him and serve Him only, but they did not listen all of those years. God finally said that he had had enough of their sin, their idols, their selfishness, and their lack of love for Him. He allowed a nation from the north, the Babylonians to come and ravage the city and take away the captives as their slaves to their city of Babylon.
- Jeremiah had lived through all of this destruction. He spent his whole life warning the people of Judah to turn from their evil ways and return to God. But, the people would not repent and stop doing their wicked deeds. Jeremiah saw the city destroyed and, when he wrote his book, he wrote like someone had died and he was attending a funeral, but it wasn't someone, it was the city of Jerusalem and God's people. It was so very, very sad.
- Some people call this book of Lamentations, the "Weeping Song." Jeremiah cried over the destruction of Jerusalem, but also over the disobedient people and their stubbornness to do wickedness.
"Older Student" Tips:
- Jeremiah wrote Lamentations after the city of Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were in Babylonian Captivity. This book was read on the anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem.
- The book of Lamentations has a unique writing style. In Hebrew, there are 22 letters of their alphabet. This book is unusual because
- Chapters 1, 2, 4, and 5 have 22 verses in each of those chapters and each of the verses in each chapters begin with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. While chapters 1, 2, and 4 are alphabetized, chapter 5 is not. When the alphabet is used in this way to write, it is called an acrostic form of writing.
- Chapter 3 is unusual because it has 66 verses and the first three verses begin with aleph (the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet), the second three verses begin with beth (the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet), and continues that way throughout the chapter, repeating the complete Hebrew alphabet. Perhaps it was written this way to help the people remember more easily.
- A 'dirge' is a funeral song. Lamentations was a long, sad funeral song.
ACTIVITY: The Tears Of The Weeping Prophet
Materials needed: 9"x 12" tan construction paper, 9" x 12" light blue construction paper, marker, crayons, scissors, glue.
- Hand out tan paper.
- Write "The Tears Of The Weeping Prophet, JEREMIAH" and "Lamentations 1-5" at the top of the paper.
- Write "(Why Jeremiah Cried Over Jerusalem)" at the bottom of the paper.
- Hand out blue paper.
- Fold blue paper twice, so that seven or eight 'tears' can be cut out of paper.
- Write on each tear at a time:
- "Jeremiah's friends had become enemies. 1:2"
- "The beauty of Jerusalem departed. 1:6"
- "Jerusalem sinned a terrible sin. 1:8"
- "Jerusalem had no comforter. 1:9"
- "God was far from His people. 1:16"
- "Jerusalem's enemies were glad. 1:21"
- "Jeremiah's heart was faint. 1:22"