Lamentations 2:15-17 :
All that pass by clap their hands at you.
They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying,
“Is this the city that men called ‘The perfection of beauty,
the joy of the whole earth’?”
All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you.
They hiss and gnash their teeth.
They say, “We have swallowed her up.
Certainly this is the day that we looked for.
We have found it.
We have seen it.”
Yahweh has done that which he planned.
He has fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old.
He has thrown down,
and has not pitied.
He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you.
He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.
There was a time when Jerusalem was so wealthy that silver was as common as gravel. Foreigners would travel from far away to see it. It wasn’t just the beauty that they wanted to see. It was the wisdom that they longed to hear from the God of Israel. Jerusalem was a sign to the world that God was real and that He wanted a relationship with mankind, but now, after the exile and the destruction, the city became something else.
This passage reminds us that “Yahweh has done that which he planned.” As a reminder, let’s go look at those plans.
Deuteronomy 29:22-28 :
The generation to come—your children who will rise up after you, and the foreigner who will come from a far land—will say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses with which Yahweh has made it sick, that all of its land is sulfur, salt, and burning, that it is not sown, doesn’t produce, nor does any grass grow in it, like the overthrow of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which Yahweh overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath. Even all the nations will say, “Why has Yahweh done this to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?”
Then men will say, “Because they abandoned the covenant of Yahweh, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, and went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods that they didn’t know and that he had not given to them. Therefore Yahweh’s anger burned against this land, to bring on it all the curses that are written in this book. Yahweh rooted them out of their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and thrust them into another land, as it is today.”
Why would God plan such a beautiful thing, only to destroy it because of mankind’s failures? We now know that God did it to demonstrate the seriousness of our sin problem. The fact is that mankind has no hope in religion. There is no process by which we can make ourselves sinless. God used the history of Jerusalem to demonstrate that to us. When we try to be religious, we may start out well, but because sin is still living inside of our minds, it eventually works its way back out. God cannot coexist with sin and because of that, something had to be done about our sin before God could live with us.
Jerusalem was built back up but not with its original glory. Someday, it will be more glorious than it has ever been. That’s because mankind’s sin problem has been permanently removed by Jesus. When the time is right, He will return and restore Jerusalem and it will never be destroyed again.