Daily Encouragement

October 30 – The Hebrew Acrostic of Lamentations

Lamentations 3:1-66
Hebrews 1:1-14
Psalm 102:1-28
Proverbs 26:21-22

Hebrew Alphabet

Lamentations 3:1 — A little bit of “technical analysis” is in order. Lamentations 1, 2, and 4 are a Hebrew Acrostic – each verse starts with a different Hebrew letter (Aleph/A, Beit/B, Gimel, Daleth, He, etc.), so each chapter is 22 verses long since there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

Lamentations 3 is 66 verses – the first 3 verses all start with Aleph, the next three verses start with Beit, the next three verses start with Gimel. Remember that Hebrew is written from right to left. In other words, this is clearly poetic writing and not narrative (I did this, then he did that). Narratives can explain battles, but poetry can explain pain.


Lamentations 3:21-23 — Three chapters in and it seems there is no hope. Ah, but there is – there’s always hope in the Lord’s mercy, compassion, and faithfulness! Great is Thy Faithfulness!

Lamentations 3:24 — I saw a statistic on the internet the other day. One in three people who touch alcohol end up becoming drunk. One in 300,000,000 win the lottery, and we think that the next time it could be me! Hope is not “wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin'” as a pop singer sang. Biblical hope is “confidence in a future event.”

Hope is the theme of the mid-section of Lamentations 3:

  • “my hope is perished” (vs. 18)
  • “have I hope” (vs. 21)
  • “will I hope in him” (vs. 24)
  • “man should … hope” (vs. 26)
  • “there may be hope” (vs. 29)

Our confidence is that grief is followed by compassion (Lamentations 3:32). Anger is followed by favor (Psalm 30:5). We must, however, acknowledge our sins, accept the punishment (Lamentations 3:39), and radically adjust our ways (Lamentations 3:40).

Lamentations 3:53 — Jeremiah isn’t speaking in hyperbole. He actually knew what a dungeon was like (Jeremiah 38:6).

Lamentations 3:54 — Near drowning is a horrifying experience. Vic Eliason shared how his brother saved him from drowning as a young boy, and Vic never forgot the experience. Let’s look at biblical references to near drowning:

  • Jeremiah – “waters flowed over mine head (Lamentations 3:54)
  • Jonah – “waters compassed me about, even to the soul” (Jonah 2:5)
  • Psalmist – “the waters are come in unto my soul” (Psalm 69:1)

Lamentations 3:66 — Jeremiah gave to God his right to vengeance.  Like David, Jeremiah knew he was a sinful man, but God has mercy and will forgive. Even though we grievously offend our God, He still answers prayers such as David’s prayer that God would turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (2 Samuel 15:31).

Hebrews 1:1 — From E. Schuyler English:

Hebrews 1:3 — Who is this Son? The Agent of Creation (Hebrews 1:2), the Brightness of His glory, the Image of His person, the One Who upholds all things. “Upholding” is the same idea as “by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). He holds the universe together! Oh, and He’s so much better than the angels (Hebrews 1:4). This is not the mere brother of Lucifer. This is not the mere spirit creature named Michael. This is not a mere good teacher. Enjoy reading about the greatness of our Savior – the only Son of God!

Hebrews 1:14 — Angels are ministers to the heirs of salvation. Who are the heirs? We are (Galatians 3:29, Romans 8:17, Titus 3:7, 1 Peter 3:7)! Yes, angels are serving us!

Psalm 102:2 — When life is easy we don’t need to call upon God. And if we do accidentally say grace over a meal, we don’t need a speedy answer. We don’t need to bother the Almighty with our insignificant needs. But He wants to hear from His children! He has made us heirs of salvation. Fanny Crosby developed this theme – reminding us of our “Blessed Assurance!”

Proverbs 26:22 — Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

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