The CREATION STORY was written to provide a deeper understanding of our by shedding light on who is, why God created the , and why dwell within it.


Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:2

Genesis 1:3-5


Genesis 1:9-13

Genesis 1:20-23

Genesis 1:24-31

Genesis 2:1-3


What are you hoping for in life?

Biblical hope is an , a .

Hebrews 11:1

Lamentations 3:21-24

1 Peter 1:3-4

Christian hope is a hope in a God.


2 Corinthians 5:21

Luke 24:1-8

John 3:3-7; 16-17

1 Peter 1:6-7

An example of what NOT to do on vacation!

God doesn’t always heal our , but God can take away our .


Lamentations 5:1

Jeremiah asks God to look and see, but there is a twist: see our .


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Isaiah 47:3 (the only other place we see “see my disgrace”)

There is no in shame.


  1. God’s people have been .
  2. God’s people have been .
  3. God’s people have been .
  4. God’s people have become .

(Click HERE for the image above with labeled sections)

Lamentations 5:2-18


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Lamentations 5:7 (a recurring issue throughout the book)


List some things that our fathers have done that continue to stay with us. How is the brokenness of our past revealed today?

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We live with systemic .


Lamentations 5:19-22


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The rest of the story: Our hope is found in


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Lament beckons us to mourn the around us and within us and to in the God who saves us.


Lament shines a light on our hearts’ .


What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. A counterfeit God is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. (Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods, p.xvii-xviii)


Sorrow comes from losing one good thing among others…Despair, however, is inconsolable, because it comes from losing an ultimate thing. When you lose the ultimate source of your meaning or hope, there are no alternative sources to turn to. It breaks your spirit. (Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods, p.x-xi)


Expressions of Idolatry in Lamentations 4

  1. Feasting on .

Lamentations 4:1, 5

  1. Feasting on .
  2. Craving .

Lamentations 4:2-4; 9-10

  1. Feasting on .
  2. Craving .
  3. See Others as .

Lamentations 4:7-8; 20

Lamentations 4:12-16

There is Hope! | Lamentations 4:22

Jeremiah 33:14-16


21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone

Lamentations 3:21-26; 31-33 (NIV)


Lament beckons us to mourn the sin around us and within us and to in the God who saves us.


“The acrostic reminds the lamenter that God orders the universe. In the midst of chaos and beyond the immediacy of suffering, God demonstrates control. Even as the fullness of suffering is unleashed and the complete story is revealed, God remains faithful and offers his shalom to a broken world.”

–Soong-Chan Rah, Prophetic Lament, p.114



  1. Lament with others
  2. Lament for others.
  3. Lament holds out for ourselves and others.


What is God inviting us into?

  • How can we become embodied acrostics that provide space for healing, reconciliation, and hope amid the suffering around us?
  • How can we become embodied acrostics that move into the communities around us, bringing God’s shalom to hurting people?
  • How are we responding to the prophetic call today? How are we moving beyond our culture’s hyper-individualism to follow the biblical example of Lamentations?
  • Consider memorizing Lamentations 3:21-26. Reflect on God’s character and why that is an anchor of hope.





  • The suffering of the
  • The suffering of the
  • An invitation to our lament to God.


Lamentations 2:1-5 (ESV)

How the Lord in his anger
    has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!
He has cast down from heaven to earth
    the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
    in the day of his anger.

The Lord has swallowed up without mercy
    all the habitations of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
    the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
    the kingdom and its rulers.

He has cut down in fierce anger
    all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn from them his right hand
    in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
    consuming all around.

He has bent his bow like an enemy,
    with his right hand set like a foe;
and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes
    in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.

The Lord has become like an enemy;
    he has swallowed up Israel;
he has swallowed up all its palaces;
    he has laid in ruins its strongholds,
and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
mourning and lamentation.


“He has poured out his fury like fire.” (v. 4)

There is in our suffering.

1 Corinthians 12:26 (ESV)

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Lamentations 2:11-13 (ESV)

My eyes are spent with weeping;
    my stomach churns;
my bile is poured out to the ground
    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
because infants and babies faint
    in the streets of the city.

12 They cry to their mothers,
    “Where is bread and wine?”
as they faint like a wounded man
    in the streets of the city,
as their life is poured out
    on their mothers’ bosom.

13 What can I say for you, to what compare you,
    O daughter of Jerusalem?
What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,
    O virgin daughter of Zion?
For your ruin is vast as the sea;
    who can heal you?


“my bile is poured out…” (v. 11)

“their life is poured out on their mothers’ bosom.” (v. 12)




To see our suffering, you need to see how the are suffering.


Lamentations 2:19-22 (ESV)

“Arise, cry out in the night,
    at the beginning of the night watches!
Pour out your heart like water
    before the presence of the Lord!
Lift your hands to him
    for the lives of your children,
who faint for hunger
    at the head of every street.”

20 Look, O Lord, and see!
    With whom have you dealt thus?
Should women eat the fruit of their womb,
    the children of their tender care?
Should priest and prophet be killed
    in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 In the dust of the streets
    lie the young and the old;
my young women and my young men
    have fallen by the sword;
you have killed them in the day of your anger,
    slaughtering without pity.

22 You summoned as if to a festival day
    my terrors on every side,
and on the day of the anger of the Lord
    no one escaped or survived;
those whom I held and raised
    my enemy destroyed.


  • Arise
  • Cry out
  • Lift up your
  • Pour out your to God





1  How deserted lies the city,
once so full of people!
How like a widow is she,
who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
has now become a slave.

2 Bitterly she weeps at night,
tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.

3 After affliction and harsh labor,
Judah has gone into exile.
She dwells among the nations;
she finds no resting place.
All who pursue her have overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.

4 The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,
her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
and she is in bitter anguish.

5 Her foes have become her masters;
her enemies are at ease.
The LORD has brought her grief
because of her many sins.
Her children have gone into exile,
captive before the foe.

18 “The LORD is righteous,
yet I rebelled against his command.
Listen, all you peoples;
look on my suffering.
My young men and young women
have gone into exile.

19 “I called to my allies
but they betrayed me.
My priests and my elders
perished in the city
while they searched for food
to keep themselves alive.

20 “See, LORD, how distressed I am!
I am in torment within,
and in my heart I am disturbed,
for I have been most rebellious.
Outside, the sword bereaves;
inside, there is only death.

21 “People have heard my groaning,
but there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my distress;
they rejoice at what you have done.
May you bring the day you have announced
so they may become like me.

22 “Let all their wickedness come before you;
deal with them
as you have dealt with me
because of all my sins.
My groans are many
and my heart is faint.”

The New International Version (La 1:18–22). (2011). Zondervan.


Lament beckons us to the sin around us and within us and to in the God who saves us.




Lamentations teaches us that has severe consequences.



Lamentations and lament draws us in and teaches us how to pay to the suffering around us..


“Part of the horror of human suffering is to be unheard, forgotten, and nameless, thrown aside with all the long-lost detritus of aeons of human brutality. Lamentations is a summons to remember realities endured by real people like ourselves, to bear witness and pay heed to their voice.”

–Christopher J.H. Wright, The Message of Lamentations: Honest to God, p.21


Lament tells the that suffering around us and in us results from .


  1. Take some time this week to read through the book of Lamentations. What do you see? How does it make you feel?
  2. One of the ways in which we learn to pray and to lament is to see how the people of God have done so in the past. The Psalms are a good place to start! Try reading 5 Psalms a day to help shape your prayer.

When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.