Lamentations 4:1-6 :
How the gold has become dim!
The most pure gold has changed!
The stones of the sanctuary are poured out
at the head of every street.
The precious sons of Zion,
comparable to fine gold,
how they are esteemed as earthen pitchers,
the work of the hands of the potter!
Even the jackals offer their breast.
They nurse their young ones.
But the daughter of my people has become cruel,
like the ostriches in the wilderness.
The tongue of the nursing child clings to the roof of his mouth for thirst.
The young children ask bread,
and no one breaks it for them.
Those who ate delicacies are desolate in the streets.
Those who were brought up in purple embrace dunghills.
For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom,
which was overthrown as in a moment.
No hands were laid on her.
When I look at my world today, it appears that most popular entertainment assumes that God isn’t there. TV shows, movies and even the commercials promote things that go against God’s word. It’s as if there’s this assumption that Christianity is just a silly little pretend thing that some people like to do. At the same time, everyone seems to be getting and staying quite wealthy as if they are right in what they are thinking. What we read here in Lamentations, reminds us that what we see now, could disappear completely.
What Jeremiah witnessed was the fall of a great civilization and he lived to write about it. The expensive and great buildings of Jerusalem were turned into broken down slums. The children of this once great culture were lacking food and milk so badly that they were worse off than the wild animals around them. Those who used to live confidently in their wealth were now living in what I would probably call “crap” today. Jeremiah called it “dunghills.” It may have seemed, at one time, like the people were secure in their wealthy self-sufficient lives, but they weren’t.
Jeremiah writes, and God affirms, that “the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom.” Even though the people of Judah and Jerusalem appeared to be doing quite well without following God’s rules, they were actually setting themselves up for complete destruction. What we can learn from this is that what we see may not be even close to the reality of what is coming. It all depends on what God is preparing and that depends on how we treat His word. If a culture chooses to deny God’s word and follow their own way, they are building up wrath, but if they choose to repent and turn to God, they find His favor, even if they are poor. It’s important for us to not to assume that what we see here, represents the truth about a culture. In our current age, things can be turned upside down in a very short period of time.