In The Word
Read: Lamentations 2
God’s Anger over Israel
2 How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion
With a cloud in His anger!
He has cast from heaven to earth
The glory of Israel,
And has not remembered His footstool
In the day of His anger.
2 The Lord has swallowed up; He has not spared
All the habitations of Jacob.
In His wrath He has thrown down
The strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
He has brought them down to the ground;
He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
3 In fierce anger He has cut off
All the strength of Israel;
He has drawn back His right hand
From before the enemy.
And He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire
Consuming round about.
4 He has bent His bow like an enemy;
He has set His right hand like an adversary
And slain all that were pleasant to the eye;
In the tent of the daughter of Zion
He has poured out His wrath like fire.
5 The Lord has become like an enemy.
He has swallowed up Israel;
He has swallowed up all its palaces,
He has destroyed its strongholds
And multiplied in the daughter of Judah
Mourning and moaning.
6 And He has violently treated His tabernacle like a garden booth;
He has destroyed His appointed meeting place.
The Lord has caused to be forgotten
The appointed feast and sabbath in Zion,
And He has despised king and priest
In the indignation of His anger.
7 The Lord has rejected His altar,
He has abandoned His sanctuary;
He has delivered into the hand of the enemy
The walls of her palaces.
They have made a noise in the house of the Lord
As in the day of an appointed feast.
8 The Lord determined to destroy
The wall of the daughter of Zion.
He has stretched out a line,
He has not restrained His hand from destroying,
And He has caused rampart and wall to lament;
They have languished together.
9 Her gates have sunk into the ground,
He has destroyed and broken her bars.
Her king and her princes are among the nations;
The law is no more.
Also, her prophets find
No vision from the Lord.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion
Sit on the ground, they are silent.
They have thrown dust on their heads;
They have girded themselves with sackcloth.
The virgins of Jerusalem
Have bowed their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes fail because of tears,
My spirit is greatly troubled;
My heart is poured out on the earth
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
When little ones and infants faint
In the streets of the city.
12 They say to their mothers,
“Where is grain and wine?”
As they faint like a wounded man
In the streets of the city,
As their life is poured out
On their mothers’ bosom.
13 How shall I admonish you?
To what shall I compare you,
O daughter of Jerusalem?
To what shall I liken you as I comfort you,
O virgin daughter of Zion?
For your ruin is as vast as the sea;
Who can heal you?
14 Your prophets have seen for you
False and foolish visions;
And they have not exposed your iniquity
So as to restore you from captivity,
But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.
15 All who pass along the way
Clap their hands in derision at you;
They hiss and shake their heads
At the daughter of Jerusalem,
“Is this the city of which they said,
‘The perfection of beauty,
A joy to all the earth’?”
16 All your enemies
Have opened their mouths wide against you;
They hiss and gnash their teeth.
They say, “We have swallowed her up!
Surely this is the day for which we waited;
We have reached it, we have seen it.”
17 The Lord has done what He purposed;
He has accomplished His word
Which He commanded from days of old.
He has thrown down without sparing,
And He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you;
He has exalted the might of your adversaries.
18 Their heart cried out to the Lord,
“O wall of the daughter of Zion,
Let your tears run down like a river day and night;
Give yourself no relief,
Let your eyes have no rest.
19 “Arise, cry aloud in the night
At the beginning of the night watches;
Pour out your heart like water
Before the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to Him
For the life of your little ones
Who are faint because of hunger
At the head of every street.”
20 See, O Lord, and look!
With whom have You dealt thus?
Should women eat their offspring,
The little ones who were born healthy?
Should priest and prophet be slain
In the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 On the ground in the streets
Lie young and old;
My virgins and my young men
Have fallen by the sword.
You have slain them in the day of Your anger,
You have slaughtered, not sparing.
22 You called as in the day of an appointed feast
My terrors on every side;
And there was no one who escaped or survived
In the day of the Lord’s anger.
Those whom I bore and reared,
My enemy annihilated them.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Jeremiah described God’s anger over His people’s disobedience and rebellion. He also explained how prophets had spoken false messages about peace and prosperity instead of God’s truth that described the impending consequences of sin. “Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; and they have not exposed your iniquity … (Lamentations 2:14)” It seems the prophets were more interested in being liked than obeying God, and a confrontational message could have led people to reject them. They knew that some prophets had been killed because they spoke God’s confrontational message.
What made it easy for people to accept the false prophecies was because they did not want to face their own sin. They wanted the blessings from God but not the difficult work of crucifying their flesh. Some people find it hard to hear confrontational truth, even though it is better for them. That is why Paul said there will be people who, because they want “to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4).”
When people reject the convicting truth of God’s Word, they go down a path away from God toward destruction. But when people are willing to hear and obey God’s truth, though it may be challenging to face, then they find life and godliness. When you hear a message that touches on a sin area, do you listen or ignore it?