OT: Lamentations 1:1-2:19
Okay, I'm going to be a slacker and not research this book (I'm way too tired). But I am going to guess who wrote it. Hmmm, let's see...it's either Jeremiah or Ezekiel. Isn't Jeremiah the weeping prophet? Did I read something about him writing it when I read Jeremiah? I think so. I'm going with Jeremiah.
Argh. Now I have to check.
Yep, Jeremiah. At least, it's Jeremiah according to the first thing that popped up on my yahoo search:).
In that case, I'd say that this book gives a unique window into the prophet's personal sorrow over the sack of Jerusalem. In the earlier book, he didn't seem happy or anything, but his tone was one of warning and frustration, rather than sorrow per se. But here, you just see the sadness. And the images of Jerusalem are haunting:
"My eyes fail from weeping,
I am in torment within,
my heart is poured out on the ground
because my people are destroyed,
because children and infants faint in the streets of the city" (2:11).
"Arise, cry out in the night,
as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
in the presences of the Lord
Life up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint from hunger
at the head of every street" (19).
Oh, man. That is so awful. I have a thing about kids suffering. I'm sure most people do, but...man, that's just awful.
And also, I thought Jeremiah conveyed his sorrow really well in verse 11. I was particularly moved by the image of his heart being poured out on the ground. Very vivid. My heart was moved by that whole section.
NT: Philemon 1:1-25
Today, we begin and conclude the book of Philemon. I find this letter to be fascinating. It's like this little personal window into these people's lives. I am always awed by the way Paul "works" Philemon. And I put that in quotes b/c I don't think of it as a negative thing. Rather, I am just impressed with his persuasiveness, with the way he strong arms Philemon at the same time that he puts the ball in Philemon's court, so to speak. I have always wanted to know how the story turned out, but honestly, I can't imagine Philemon doing anything else but accepting Onesimus as a brother, especially since Paul wrote the letter to the whole church:). I mean, really, what else is he going to do?
It also highlights yet another dimension of Paul's views on slavery. He doesn't tell Onesimus to return to his believing master and to be a good slave, a la the letter to Titus. No, he tells Philemon to free him. At least, that's the impression that I got. I guess he didn't just come out and say that, but that was my understanding.
Anyway, an interesting letter, all around.
I like the first three verses, but in some ways, David sounds a bit...a bit haughty in this psalm. I guess you can also read it as zeal for righteousness.