The books of Jeremiah and Lamentations cannot be separated from the political conditions of ancient Judah. Beginning with the righteous king Josiah, who ushered in a time of glorious but brief religious reform, Jeremiah reflects the close tie between spiritual and political prosperity or disaster, between the actions and heart of Judah and her kings and their fortunes as a nation. While few of us today have any firsthand understanding of what it means to live in a theocracy, the central theme of Jeremiah and Lamentations remains clear and still holds true: God first, politics second. The words, prayers, and poems of "the weeping prophet" serve to realign us with God's priorities, turning us from evil and encouraging us to pursue God and his ways. With emotion and spiritual depth, these prophetic writings beckon us toward a spiritual integrity that can still affect the course of individuals and nations today.