The theologically correct response to bad leadership.
It’s a lament, a song expressing sadness over the last Kings of Israel. I think it is part prophesy, as one king had not experienced the failure of his leadership yet.
The first two are compared to lion cubs that fall into traps, and the third to a fruitful vine that, ironically is burned to uselessness by a fire lit by a staff made of is own wood.
The change of metaphor signifies that the first two Kings, Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin were not of the line of David.
The lament calls them Princes of Judah, as opposed to the third, Zedekiah, who is described as of the vine from the glory days of David and Solomon, when the southern kingdom of Judah and Israel were one.
They are all Kings that I just wrote off as pathetic when I read Kings and Chronicles. But to the Israelites who lived though the cruel 3 month reign of Jehoahaz, he was the leader, he briefly represented hope. King is a role which parallels in many ways that of God.
Sadness, singing of how far things are from right. That is a good response to the failure of human leadership.
Anger can galvanise you to action… occasionally. But it must subside to indignation and outrage to be effective, because it only harms you in the long run to live in the grip of the emotion of anger. Surely.
Lament is the start of the process of pointing the frustrations of this wrongness back to God.
They hoped in these kings in some small way, or at very least were poignantly reminded of a time when they could trust in them.
I feel it strongest when narratives won’t be neat. When dumb decisions are made. When you can see the happy ending but it won’t just fall into place, whether it’s affecting you or others. The sadness of the fall.