The Prophet is Sad Over Jerusalem’s Fall

In 303, Emperor Diocletian inaugurated the most terrific onslaught the world has known against the Bible. Almost every Bible was destroyed, myriads of Christians perished, and a column of triumph was erected over an exterminated Bible with the inscription: “Extincto nominee … More

Destruction

Each of the five chapters of Lamentations expresses grief over the destruction of Jerusalem, but this passage give the most serious weeping. It describes the utter destruction of the capital city caused by her grievous sin. Israel is no longer a super-power among the nations, but rather she is now like a widow (v. 1). Jerusalem has become as an abandoned and solitary widow, once great but now a pitiful person. Tears stream down her checks, She is comfortless and forlorn. The nations who once vied for her friendship are now her enemies. The allies to whom she looked for help have deserted her (vv. 2-3). Egypt, Tyre and Sidon failed to come to her rescue when Babylon invaded. Some even joined forces with Babylon against her. The roads leading to the city were no longer busy thoroughfares filled with pilgrims attending the festivals (cf. Ps 42:1-4). The gates no longer throng with crowds. No one attends her religious feasts (vv. 4-5). Because of her continuing sin, her inhabitants were deported and her leaders were like malnourished deer (harts) unable to escape the hunters (v. 6). All the splendor, beauty, pride, and glory of Jerusalem was gone.

Jerusalem remembered how it used to be but now they are condemned to roam (v. 7). In her wanderings scattered throughout the earth (Jer 9:16; (Jer 18:17; 30:11), afflicted and homeless Judah too late remembers ‘all her pleasant things,’ all her precious possessions she had in the days of old, gracious gifts of her Lord, to be cherished highly. She had despised both the gifts and the giver. Now nothing remains but affliction and wanderings and grievous sins (v. 8), filthy sins, defiling her skirts (v. 9), manifest in spite of her self-righteousness, her formal worship, her hypocritical boasting (Jer 7:4ff.), sins unforgiven. Her temple has been desecrated by intruding strangers (v. 10) and her people are starving because she has become vile in the sight of God (v. 11).

Application

I can only expect to be blessed, respected and affirmed as I stay true to following God’s Word. Lord help me to never get away from operating on the principles of your Word.

Lamentations 1:1-11 (English Standard Version)

How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave. She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies. Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress. The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the festival; all her gates are desolate; her priests groan; her virgins have been afflicted, and she herself suffers bitterly. Her foes have become the head; her enemies prosper, because the LORD has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe. From the daughter of Zion all her majesty has departed. Her princes have become like deer that find no pasture; they fled without strength before the pursuer. Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and wandering all the precious things that were hers from days of old. When her people fell into the hand of the foe, and there was none to help her, her foes gloated over her; they mocked at her downfall. Jerusalem sinned grievously; therefore she became filthy; all who honored her despise her, for they have seen her nakedness; she herself groans and turns her face away. Her uncleanness was in her skirts; she took no thought of her future; therefore her fall is terrible; she has no comforter. "O LORD, behold my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed!" The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things; for she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom you forbade to enter your congregation. All her people groan as they search for bread; they trade their treasures for food to revive their strength. "Look, O LORD, and see, for I am despised."

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