Lament

John Koedyker

READ : Micah 1:8-16

For this I will lament and wail; I will go barefoot and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches. (v. 8)

Today’s passage is a lament. Lament was a very common practice in the Hebrew culture of the Old Testament. It was a way to express sorrow over death, destruction, or disaster. As we read verse 8, we realize that lamentation must have been a loud and dramatic demonstration.

These verses show us the heart of Micah the prophet. Micah did not delight in telling the news of destruction for Judah and Jerusalem. He agonized over the judgment that was coming for the cities and people he loved. Jesus expressed a similar emotion as he wept over the city of Jerusalem (see Matthew 23:37). The apostle Paul, too, anguished deeply that many of his fellow Jews refused to believe in Jesus as the Messiah (see Romans 9:1-3).

Lament is a powerful alternative to hateful condemnations and accusations. Although it didn’t change the prophet’s message of judgment, it softened the blow and encouraged the people to repent and change their ways. In a world where many despicable things take place, should we not also lament? Who wants to see our world self-destruct? Micah’s lament did not go unnoticed. Eventually the people repented. Could not the same thing happen today?

PRAYER

Dear Father, we lament over the way our world lives. Amen.