Author name: Dan Blackburn

Lamentations (4)

Exposition | by | Volume 30, Issue 2 | March – April 2024

In the previous two chapters, the problem and consequences of sin are laid out with the recognition that Yahweh is righteous in all his judgments. In this third song, the same picture of suffering is presented, but this time through the lens of the “man that hath seen affliction” (Lam 3:1). Out of the blackness of the first two chapters, this man emerges, to take us on a journey from ‘how could this happen?’ to ‘why did this happen?’

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Lamentations (3)

Exposition | by | Volume 30, Issue 1 | January – February 2024

The first song of Lamentations introduces Jerusalem’s affliction and the sin that was the source of the problem. We find Jerusalem as a widow, alone and reeling from the recent invasion of the Babylonians. The second song (chapter 2) builds on these themes. Particular emphasis is placed upon the role that God himself played in the destruction of Jerusalem. Whereas chapter 1 recognises that Yahweh is righteous, chapter 2 acknowledges God’s justification in personally being involved in Jerusalem’s downfall. While the Babylonians may have been the instrument, God was the true architect. The fall of Jerusalem in AD70 is expressed in similar terms when we read of Christ coming at the head of the Roman army in the seventy weeks prophecy (Dan 9:26-27). Throughout the New Testament, AD70 is described as the “coming of the Son of Man” (eg: Matt 24:37) when our Lord used the Romans as the tools of God’s justice. Once again, the book of Lamentations would repeat itself through history.

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Lamentations (1) An Introduction: Mourning for Jerusalem

Exposition | by | Volume 29, Issue 5 | September – October 2023

As the story has it, Napoleon was walking through a small village in France, when he heard weeping coming from inside a small ramshackle building nearby. The sound was enough to stop Napoleon in his tracks and compel him to investigate this commotion. As he entered the building, he happened upon a group of Jews sprawled pathetically across a stone floor, reading a scroll by candlelight, weeping as they read. In astonishment, Napoleon turned to his men, wanting to know what great calamity had befallen the Jewish people for them to weep in such a way. 

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