Lamentations 1 and the book are credited by most to Jeremiah. The prophet begins with lamenting the dismal reverse of fortune that happened to his country, confessing at the same time that the situation was the just consequence of her sins. “How lonely sits the city that was full of people….Judah has gone into exile under affliction….for the Lord has caused her grief because of the multitude of her transgressions”. There was clarity around what had happened and why – but the prophet is still lamenting.
After Israel had been carried away captive, and Jerusalem had become desolate, Jeremiah sat weeping: and he lamented with this lamentation over the city of Jerusalem. At the core, he knew the problem. “Jerusalem sinned greatly, therefore she has become an unclean thing”. It appears that the leaders and people of Judah didn’t have much concept of the coming danger as a result of their sin. Unfortunately, we’re too much like that today, thinking that God doesn’t care and will overlook what we do. It just isn’t true.
Jeremiah points out why too. “The Lord is righteous; For I have rebelled against His command ; Hear now, all peoples, And behold my pain”. God’s nature won’t allow Him to ignore sin. Sin always comes with a price. In this case, it was the destruction of Jerusalem and captivity of the people – at least those not killed by the enemy. God has to address sin. It’s why Jesus came to earth and went to the Cross – to be a substitute for you and me in taking God’s wrath for our sin and setting us free. His blood was shed that we may have eternal life through the grace and mercy of His death.
Jeremiah calls out the confession of Judah. “See, O Lord, for I am in distress; My spirit is greatly troubled; My heart is overturned within me, For I have been very rebellious”. They have sinned and faced judgment for that sin. Confession is the first step to reconciliation with God. Jeremiah and Judah finally understand the problem and the need to turn from their wicked ways and obey God. Sin causes us to be in distress and separated from God. We many not even know it, but it always is the result of sin. We need to confess, repent and receive the salvation of Jesus Christ to change that!