v12-13: Walls Can Talk! We now hear from the city itself. The stones cry out in a heart rending cry for compassion. v11 bid the LORD to 'look and see', now all who pass by are called upon to do the same. What are we to see? Sorrow! Unparalleled and unprecedented sorrow. But other cities had been destroyed in war? No other city had enjoyed such favour from the Lord or been placed in a position of such prominence. The walls knew the Lord who had raised her up had cast her down in judgement, in fierce anger.
Some say we should not apply these words to the suffering of Christ for there has never been any suffering like his. True, but how can a believer not remember Isaiah 53:3-4 the 'man of sorrows' who 'carried our sorrows'? People measure the power of nuclear weapons as equivalent of so many Hiroshimas, Jesus' suffering was greater than 10,000 Jerusalem's - it was unmeasurable.
The City describes it was like to endure the Lord's anger - v13. God has become her enemy. He used the Babylonians to send fire as they literally burned the city down.
v14-15: The Burden Of Sin. Her sins are fashioned into a yoke that is placed around her neck. The burden weighs her down so that she becomes vulnerable to her enemies. A society decays from within before the enemy without can succeed. See Proverbs 5:22.
The mighty young men are summoned, not for a meal, but to be crushed as grapes trod in a wine-press - v15.
V16-19: All By Myself. No one came to the rescue and no one comes to comfort. We talk of a city 'buzzing' or 'rocking', here it weeps, desolate and defeated. Despised by her neighbours. Dirty.
All this is deserved. Devoid of it's young people. Deceived by her lovers. Dead are the priests and elders.
v18b Hear and see, look and learn. Be warned.
v20-22: Where Can We Run To When The Lord Is Against Us? There is no where to hide. There is no escape. No comfort and the enemy rejoices at our downfall. Run to the Lord - appeal to him. Look O LORD for I am in distress. See Psalm 77:1-10.
The lament closes with an appeal for judgement upon all evildoers and a final lament.
What do you think of this first lament?
LAMENTATIONS 2 - WHEN GOD IS LIKE AN ENEMY!
Again in an acrostic form but with two letters in a different order. See how v1 = v22; v2 = v21; v3 = v20....v11-12.
v1-10: The LORD Has Done This!
v1-3: The Fall Of Jerusalem: He has...set under a cloud...cast down...swallowed up...broken down..brought down..cut-down... withdrawn his right hand burned ...consuming.
The chapter begins as before: Alas, Alas. The anger of the LORD is terrifying to behold. The splendour of Israel has fallen like Satan!
v4-5: The Hunter And His Prey: He has killed...poured out his fury.....swallowed up..laid in ruins...multiplied mourning and lamentation.
v6-7: Not Just A City But A Way Of Life Is Destroyed: The places where the praises of God were sung, festivals celebrated, where kings and priests walked.
v8-10: Fallen, Jerusalem Is Fallen: No walls, no ramparts, no gates, no kings, no princes, no law, no prophets, no sound. Psalm 11:3 "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
v11-22: Weep For Your Children.
v11-13: For Such Belongs The KIngdom Of God: Charities, Missions, Reporters often focus on children. If we will not be moved by the plight of the children then what will move us? Jesus' rebuked his disciples over their attitude to children - Mark 10:13-14.
v14: Why We Must Resist Pluralism: There is not more than one truth. False prophets had a lot to answer for - See Jerm 6:14; 8:11.
v15-17: When Evil Men Rejoice: Were they standing in the same place that the Chief Priests would mock Jesus? Mark 15:29-32. They do not realise this is the Lord's work.
v18-19: When You Laugh...When You Cry Do Not Cry Alone: Once more we see the best (only) thing to do is to cry to the Lord.
v20-22: MISERY! v20 has three rhetorical questions. v21 is like the original picture on the Banner of Truth edition of 'The Plague of Plagues'. v23 Oh my children....
If you can read and meditate on this lament with out a tear in your eye then you haven't read it!