The Hebrew name for the book of Psalms is Tehillim, or “Praises.” Perhaps this is what we might expect from a book that concludes its very final chapter, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!!” (Ps 150:6, English Standard Version). It often strikes modern readers as shocking when they find out the single most prolific genre in the Psalter is “lament.” A lament is basically an expression of woe, a realistic examination of the writer’s tough situation and a raw depiction of the author’s desperation. And get this: This is the liturgical book of Israel! They sang these songs, often in corporate worship!With this in mind, answer the following questions:
Why do you suppose there are more laments than anything else in a book titled “Praises”?
How do the expressions of lament in the Psalms differ from modern expressions of laments, even from your own laments?
Think about your life experience. First, has your background encouraged or discouraged lamenting in your life? Why?
What do you think would be the impact of regularly incorporating lament into your life? What would it look like? What might be some challenges