Lamentations 2:5-10 :
The Lord has become as an enemy.
He has swallowed up Israel.
He has swallowed up all her palaces.
He has destroyed his strongholds.
He has multiplied mourning and lamentation in the daughter of Judah.
He has violently taken away his tabernacle,
as if it were a garden.
He has destroyed his place of assembly.
Yahweh has caused solemn assembly and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion.
In the indignation of his anger, he has despised the king and the priest.
The Lord has cast off his altar.
He has abhorred his sanctuary.
He has given the walls of her palaces into the hand of the enemy.
They have made a noise in Yahweh’s house,
as in the day of a solemn assembly.
Yahweh has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion.
He has stretched out the line.
He has not withdrawn his hand from destroying;
He has made the rampart and wall lament.
They languish together.
Her gates have sunk into the ground.
He has destroyed and broken her bars.
Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not.
Yes, her prophets find no vision from Yahweh.
The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground.
They keep silence.
They have cast up dust on their heads.
They have clothed themselves with sackcloth.
The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
One thing that the fall of Judah and Jerusalem shows us is what it is like to be forsaken by God. I’ve mentioned this before. It’s like experiencing a little bit of Hell. When God turns His back on you, you not only lose your access to God, as is expressed in the fact that Judah had no priests, but you also lose your government, which was expressed in the fact that Judah’s kings were taken into exile. Government may seem like a problem today, but let’s not forget that the absence of government is actually much worse. Government, even in its perverse form today, is still an extension of the hand of God. Even though justice is often poorly applied, it is still applied against many evil doers, even today. The same goes for religion. Because many are still allowed to live as Christians in peace, the 10 Commandments are still in operation among believers in the world. If God were to remove all government and all Christians, the world would experience the kind of Hell that Judah was experiencing here.
Another part of this horror was the fact that they stopped hearing the voice of God. His word was no longer being taught to the people. Proverbs reminds us of what this this is like. Let’s read that again:
Proverbs 20:20 :
Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in blackness of darkness.
It may not seem, like this proverb is talking about God’s word, but I believe that it is pretty clear. When you are cut off from your father and mother, you are cut off from the influence of God’s word in your life as a son or a daughter. The same thing happens when you are cut off from God. The worst thing that happens to you is that you lose your sense of direction. As rebellious human beings, we easily lose sight of the fact that God’s authority and God’s word are absolutely necessary for our well being. All God has to do is take those things away and it becomes painfully clear that we needed them all along.