Lamentations 1:19-22 :
“I called for my lovers,
but they deceived me.
My priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city,
while they sought food for themselves to refresh their souls.
“Look, Yahweh; for I am in distress.
My heart is troubled.
My heart turns over within me,
for I have grievously rebelled.
Abroad, the sword bereaves.
At home, it is like death.
“They have heard that I sigh.
There is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble.
They are glad that you have done it.
You will bring the day that you have proclaimed,
and they will be like me.
“Let all their wickedness come before you.
Do to them as you have done to me for all my transgressions.
For my sighs are many,
and my heart is faint.
What a beautiful thing it is to read poetry like this. How amazing it is when God allows a person to produce poetry like this. Many agree that these lamentations are amazing works, but we know that it was God who was empowering Jeremiah to do it. That’s how it is with all of us when we trust in the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives.
The thing that came to mind as I read this section is that there were two sins that God had to deal with. The first one was the sin of His own people, Israel. The wonderful thing about what we read here is that Israel was confessing their sins in this song. It says: “My heart turns over within me, for I have grievously rebelled.” The fact that Israel had done wrong was now published in their own poetry. That’s what it means to confess. We come clean before God and admit that there is no excuse for what we have done.
The second sin we read about here is the sin of the enemies of Israel. Their sin had not yet been punished. It says here: “Do to them as you have done to me for all my transgressions.” You can be sure that God had every intention of punishing Israel’s enemies. We read all about that at the end of Jeremiah. As I mentioned before, one of the sins of Israel’s enemies was that they were “glad” that Israel was in trouble. That proved that they had no interest in God’s name being exalted. The goal should not have been trouble, but restoration. We need to remember that when we see sinners being punished around us. Our goal is for them to be saved, not for them to be destroyed.