Lamentations 2 has the prophet talking about the dire effects of God’s hand coming against His people. “The Lord has swallowed up; He has not spared…. He has poured out His wrath like fire”. The description given in this chapter is pretty clear. God has allowed His people to be punished and judged for what they have done. And it is all consuming. Sin does not go unnoticed nor unpunished. God doesn’t miss anyone. He doesn’t spare the rod of correction on any. And His people are reeling from the power of His hand.
In much of their history, they experienced God as their protector and provider. Now they see Him through different eyes – He is judge and punisher. “The Lord has become like an enemy”. And taken to the extreme, He’s become like an enemy to them. That’s a pretty big shift. God is angry with His people. God has been thorough in destroying Jerusalem’s wall. He has allowed the enemy to invade the city, and now all Jerusalem’s leaders are gone. This is intense and broad destruction.
And it impacts the prophet powerfully. These are his people too, and they are suffering in an intense way. “My eyes fail because of tears, My spirit is greatly troubled; My heart is poured out on the earth Because of the destruction “. Can you imagine having to watch this knowing you have warned for many years that this would be the outcome. God wants and demands repentance. And the prophet shouts that from the top of his lungs. “Let your tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no relief, Let your eyes have no rest”. Nothing will change until repentance happens.
One thing that we really need to learn is how to respond to things when it seems God is our adversary. It’s not the nature of God to be at odds with us – He loves us. But because of that love and His very nature, He does expect us to live in obedience to His Word. When we fall short, we need to get right with Him. It looks something like this – rather than running from God we need to run to Him. We need to confess our sin, repent and come back to Him. “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”. That’s the power of God’s love. He’s there with open arms waiting to receive us!