Lamentations – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – Remember, O Lord, what has come upon us; look, and behold our reproach!

Verse 2 – Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens, and our houses to foreigners.

Verse 3 – We have become orphans and waifs, our mothers are like widows.

Verse 4 – We pay for the water we drink, and our wood comes at a price.

Verse 5 – They pursue at our heels; we labor and have no rest.

Verse 6 – We have given our hand to the Egyptians and the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.

The inheritance, the gift from God, no longer belonged to God’s people. They had to pay for the water and the wood they used. They had made alliances with the Assyrians and the Egyptians instead of God. How foolish and futile to rely on anything or anybody but God.

Verse 7 – Our fathers sinned and are no more, but we bear their inequities.

Verse 8 – Servants rule over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand.

Verse 9 – We get our bread at the risk of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness.

Verse 10 – Our skin is hot as an oven, because of the fever of famine.

Verse 11 – They ravished the women in Zion, the maidens in the cities of Judah.

Verse 12 – Princes were hung up by their hands, and elders were not respected.

Verse 13 – Young men ground at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood.

Verse 14 – The elders have ceased gathering at the gate, and the young men from their music.

Hardly anyone was left in Jerusalem. The elders who used to sit at the city gates, were no longer their; princes were hung by their hands; and the young boys labored under enormous loads.

Verse 15 –  The joy of our heart has ceased; our dance has turned into mourning.

Verse 16 – The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned!

Verse 17 – Because of this our heart is faint; because of these things our eyes grow dim;

Verse 18 – Because of Mount Zion which is desolate, with foxes walking about on it.

the fallen crown symbolized Israel’s loss of honor and glory.

Verse 19 – You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne from generation to generation.

Verse 20 – Why do You forget us forever, and forsake us for so long a time?

Verse 21 – Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days  of old,

Verse 22 – Unless You have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us!

A high calling flouted by low living results in deep suffering. Lamentations shows us that Judah’s sin caught up with them and God turned His back on them. How sad! Every material goal that they lived for had collapsed. Although God turned His back on them for a time, He did not abandon them. Our grief should turn us toward Him, not away.

 

Lamentations – Chapter 4

The Conditions During the Siege

Verse 1 – How the gold has become dim! How changed the fine gold! The stones of the sanctuary are scattered at the head of every street.

Verse 2 – The precious sons of Zion, valuable as fine gold, how they are regarded as clay pots, the work of the hands of the potter.

The nation was supposed to be as fine gold before God, but was now smeared with sin and were regarded as clay jars, like pieces of broken pottery.

Verse 3 – Even the jackals present their beasts to nurse their young; but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like ostriches in the wilderness.

Verse 4 – The tongue of the infant clings to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the young children ask for bread, but no one breaks it for them.

Verse 5 – Those  who ate delicacies are desolate in the streets; those who were brought up in scarlet embrace ash heaps.

Those who had been raised on delicacies and clothed in purple now had to go hungry and huddle in garbage heaps. You talk about stubborn! They would rather watch their children starve to death than repent and turn back to God.

Verse 6 – The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, with no hand to help her!

Greater revelation from God brought greater responsibility and a greater sense of guilt of wrongdoing. Sodom was destroyed because of its great wickedness (Genesis 18:20-19:29). God said Judah’s sin was greater than Sodom.

Verse 7 – Her Nazirites were brighter than snow and whiter than milk; they were more ruddy in body than rubies, like sapphire in their appearance.

Nazirites, signify separated ones, who either in respect of birth, education, estate, or place of magistracy, were distinguished from the rest of the people.

Verse 8 – Now their appearance is blacker that soot; they go unrecognized in the streets; their skin clings to their bones, it has become dry as wood.

Verse 9 – Those slain by the sword are better off than those who die of hunger; for these pine away, stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.

Starvation is a slow and agonizing death.

Verse 10 – The hands of the compassionate woman have cooked their own children; they became food for them in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

What these people did when they began to starve, is too horrible to even imagine.

Verse 11 – The Lord has fulfilled His fury, He has poured out His fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion, and it has devoured its foundations.

Verse 12 – The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem –

Verse 13 – Because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in her midst the blood of the just.

Verse 14 – They wandered blind in the streets; they have defiled themselves with blood, so that no one would touch their garments.

Verse 15 – They cried out to them, “Go away, unclean! Go away, go away, do not touch us!” When they fled and wandered, those among the nations said, “They shall no longer dwell here.”

To be unclean meant to be defiled, not fit to enter the temple or to worship before God. The priests and the prophets did evil and led the nation into sin and caused their ultimate downfall.

Verse 16 – The face of the Lord scattered them; He no longer regards them. The people do not respect the priests nor show favor to the elders.

Verse 17 – Still our eyes failed us, watching vainly for our help; in our watching we watched for a nation that could not save us.

Judah had asked Egypt to help them fight the Babylonian army, but Egypt gave them false hope. They had started to help, but then retreated. Jeremiah had warned Judah not to ask Egypt for help, but rely on God.

Verse 18 – They tracked our steps so that we could not walk in our streets. Our end was near; our days was over, for our end had come.

Verse 19 – Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens. They pursued us on the mountains and lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

Verse 20 – The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was caught in their pits, of whom we said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.”

Although King Zedekiah was called “The Lord’s anointed,” he had little spiritual depth and leadership power. Instead of listening to Jeremiah and putting his faith in God, his trust was in the false prophets. The people followed the king’s example.

Verse 21 – Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, you who dwell in the land of Uz! The cup shall also pass over to you and you shall become drunk and make yourself naked.

Verse 22 – The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; He will no longer send you into captivity. He will punish your iniquity, O daughter of Edom; He will uncover your sins!

Edom had actively aided Babylon in the siege of Jerusalem. As a reward, Nebuchadnezzar gave the outlying lands of Judah to Edom. Edom would be judged for the treachery against her brothers.

Lamentations – Chapter 3

Jeremiah’s Cry of Despair

Verse 1 – I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.

The rod of God’s wrath was Babylon, where Assyria is described as the rod of God’s judgment.

Verse 2 – He has led me and made me walk in darkness and not in light.

Verse 3 – Surely He has turned His hand against me time and time again throughout the day.

Everything the people of Judah went through, Jeremiah had also walked though. Even though Jeremiah was bringing the message from God, he too suffered along with the people, if not more so.

Verse 4 – He has aged my flesh and my skin, and broken my bones.

Verse 5 – He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and woe.

Verse 6 – He has set me in dark places like the dead of long ago.

Jeremiah had grown old before his time because of dealing with Judah’s sin.

Verse 7 – He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy.

Verse 8 – Even when I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayer.

Verse 9 – He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked.

Do you remember back in 7:16, in Jeremiah, God told Jeremiah not to pray or lift up  a cry for them, nor make intercession to Him? He said “For I will not hear you.” God was done with Judah and it was time for judgment.

Verse 10 – He has been to me like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in ambush.

Verse 11 – He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces; He has made me desolate.

Verse 12 – He has bent His bow and set me up as a target for the arrow.

Verse 13 – He has caused the arrows of His quiver to pierce my loins.

Verse 14 – I have become the ridicule of all my people, and their taunting song all the day.

Verse 15 – He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood. (Wormwood-with severe bitterness and dispensation).

Verse 16 – He has also broken my teeth with gravel, and covered me with ashes.

Verse 17 – You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity.

Verse 18 – And I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord.”

Maybe not to this extent, but we’ve all felt as Jeremiah did at one time or another, but he’s about to change his perception of God, as we do the same.

Verse 19 – Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall.

Verse 20 – My soul still remembers and sinks within me.

Verse 21 – This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.

Verse 22 – Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassion’s fail not.

Verse 23 – They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Verse 24 – “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”

The fact that Jeremiah was still alive, is proof of God’s faithfulness. God’s grace and mercy is greater that any sin. Trusting in God’s faithfulness day by day makes us confident in His great promise for our future!

Verse 25 – The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.

Our God doesn’t allow us to suffer unjustly. Sometimes we are too impatient to wait on His guidance or answer, that’s when we see chaos. But this verse says, He is good to those who wait on Him. Seek Him while your waiting.

Verse 26 – It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

While we wait, don’t complain.

Verse 27 – It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth.

By learning lessons early in life, he finds it more easy to be calm and patient later on. We willingly come under God’s discipline and learn what He has to teach. This can entail several things: (1) silent reflection on what God wants, (2) repentant humility, (3) self-control in the face of adversity, and (4) confident patience in knowing God will do what He says He will do.

Verse 28 – Let him sit alone and keep silent, because God has laid it on him;

Verse 29 – Let him put his mouth in the dust – there may yet be hope. (Don’t speak out of anger)

Verse 30 – Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach (attitude of humility).

Verse 31 – For the Lord will not cast off forever.

Verse 32 – Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.

Verse 33 – For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

God’s compassion and mercy outweighs the sorrow. God did not enjoy the judgment that rained down on His people.

Verse 34 – To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth,

Verse 35 – to turn aside the justice due a man before the face of the Most High,

Verse 36 – or subvert a man in his cause – the Lord does not approve.

God does not look favorably on humanity’s cruelty and injustice. None of the injustices done to others falls outside of God’s oversight. He sees it all and keeps accurate books. Disregarding human rights, given by God, invites God’s judgment.

Verse 37 – Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?

Verse 38 – Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed?

Both adversity and good, comes from the hand of God. Yes, bad things do happen to good people, according to God’s wisdom. He won’t override our free-will. However, Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Verse 39 – Why should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

Verse 40 – Let us search and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord;

Verse 41 – Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

Verse 42 – We have transgressed and rebelled; You have not pardoned.

Parents discipline children to produce right behavior. God disciplined Judah to produce right living and genuine worship. Correction from God should bring the kind of behavior in our lives that is pleasing to Him.

Verse 43 – You have covered Yourself with anger and pursued us; You have slain and not pitied.

Verse 44 – You have covered Yourself with a cloud, that prayer should not pass through.

It was impossible for God to answer the people’s prayers as long as sin festered in their lives. The prayers could not penetrate the heavens. The very first prayer that God hears is when a humble heart is repentant and receives His forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ. That’s not a heart that intends to continue to live in sin.

Verse 45 – You have made us an off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples.

Verse 46 – All our enemies have opened our mouths against us.

Verse 47 – Fear and a snare have come upon us, desolation and destruction.

Verse 48 – My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Verse 49 – My eyes flow and do not cease, without interruption,

Verse 50 – till the Lord from heaven looks down and sees.

Verse 51 – My eyes bring suffering to my soul because of all the daughters of my city.

Verse 52 – My enemies without cause hunt me down like a bird.

Verse 53 – They silence my life in the pit and threw stones at me.

Do you remember when Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern, and he was left to die in the mire, but God rescued him. Jeremiah used this experience as a picture of the nation sinking into sin.

Verse 54 – The waters flowed over my head; I said, “I am cut off!”

Verse 55 – I called on Your name, O Lord from the lowest pit.

Verse 56 – You have heard my voice: Do not hide Your ear from my sighing, from my cry for help.”

Verse 57 – You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, “Do not fear!”

Verse 58 – O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.

Verse 59 – O Lord, You have seen how I am wronged; judge my case.

Verse 60 – You have seen all their vengeance, all their schemes against me.

Verse 61 – You have heard their reproach, O Lord, all their schemes against me,

Verse 62 – the lips of my enemies and their whispering against me all the day.

Verse 63 – Look at their sitting down and their rising up I am their taunting song.

Verse 64 – Repay them, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.

Verse 65 – Give them a veiled heart; Your curse be upon them!

Verse 66 – In Your anger, pursue and destroy them from under the heavens of the Lord.

Jeremiah never raised his own hand to seek personal vengeance for all he had suffered, but asked the Lord to repay them.

Lamentations – Chapter 2

lamentations-chapter-2

The Anger of God

Verse 1 – How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger! He cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, and did not remember His footstool in the day of His anger.

Isaiah 66:1 – Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is my footstool…

Verse 2 – The Lord has swallowed up and has not pitted all the habitations of Jacob. He has thrown down in His wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.

Verse 3 – He has cut off in fierce anger every horn of Israel; He has drawn back His right hand from before the enemy. He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire which devours all around.

When God withdrew His right hand, He took Judah’s strength and power and passivity.

Verse 4 – Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow; with His right hand, like an adversary, He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye; on the tent of the daughter of Zion, He poured out His fury like fire.

Verse 5 – The Lord was like an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel, He has swallowed up all her palaces; He has destroyed her strongholds, and has increased mourning and lamentation in the daughter of Judah.

Verse 6 – He has done violence to His tabernacle, as if it were a garden; He has destroyed His place of assembly; the Lord has caused the appointed feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion. In His burning indignation He has spurned the king and the priests.

When God allowed the tabernacle to be destroyed by the enemy, He withdrew His presence among His people. When the temple was gone, it symbolized God’s rejection of His people and was no longer among them.

Verse 7 – The Lord has spurned His altar, He has abandon His sanctuary; He has given up the walls of her palaces into the hand of the enemy. They have made a noise in the house of the Lord as on the day of a set feast.

The building where we worship will decay from within if God’s not in His people there. The people of Judah, despite the beautiful temple, had rejected, in their daily lives what they proclaimed in their worship rituals. Thus their worship had turned into a mocking lie.

Verse 8 – The Lord has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion. He has stretched out a line; He has not withdrawn His hand from destroying; therefore He has caused the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together.

Verse 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, and her prophets find no vision from the Lord.

The ramparts and walls grieve as God measures them for destruction. Their ruin leaves Jerusalem defenseless. God gives them no more instruction for guidance.

Verse 10 – The elder of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground and keep silence; they throw dust on their heads and gird themselves with sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem bow their heads to the ground. (This was a sign of distress and mourning.)

Verse 11 – My eyes fail with tears, my heart is troubled; my bile is poured on the ground because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the children and the infants faint in the streets of the city.

Verse 12 – They say to their mothers, “Where is grain and wine?” As they swoon like the wounded in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out in their mother’s bosom.

Verse 13 – How shall I console you? To what shall I liken you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare with you, that I am comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is spread wide as the sea; who can heal you?

Verse 14 – Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captives, but have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.

False prophets were everywhere in Jeremiah’s day. They would rather give false and misleading “oracles”, rather than truly repent. While destruction was immanent from happening, the prophets told the people, “All is well!” However, everything that Jeremiah had told them came true because the was a true prophet of God.

Verse 15 – All who pass by clap their hands at you; they hiss and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem: “Is this the city that is called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth’?”

Verse 16 – All your enemies have opened their mouth against you; they hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, “We have swallowed her up! Surely this is the day we have waited for; we have found it, we have seen it.”

The city had been known as a perfect beauty and the joy of the whole earth, but now it was the object of ridicule.

Verse 17 – The Lord has done what He has purposed; He has fulfilled His word which He commanded in days of old. He has thrown down and has not pitied, and He has caused your horn of your adversaries.

Judah had been forewarned over and over about the coming destruction, but in the enemies eyes, they thought it was due to their power that they were destroyed. Not true. God had decreed it and carried it out.

Verse 18 – Their heart cried out to the Lord, “O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night; give yourself no relief; give your eyes no rest.

Verse 19 – “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.

God wanted Judah to cry out to Him in the hours from sunset until 10:00 pm – beginning of the night watch. Only when our hearts break over our sin can God come to our rescue. Just feeling sorry over the consequences of sin will not bring forgiveness. But wholeheartedly surrendering will bring His mercy and grace which involves forgiveness.

Verse 20 – “See, O Lord, and consider! To whom You have done this? Should the women eat their offspring, the children they have cuddled? Should the priest and prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

During the siege of Jerusalem, the people became so desperate for food, that they fought over whose child they would eat next. How sad that they only had to repent, and then God would have fed them. But their stubborn hearts only kept rebelling against God.

Verse 21 – “Young and old lie on the ground in the streets; my virgins and my young men have fallen by the sword; You have slain them in the day of Your anger, You have slaughtered and not pitied.

Verse 22 – “You have invited as to a feast day the terrors that surround me. Int he day of the Lord’s anger there was no refugee or survivor. Those whom I have born and brought up my enemies have destroyed.”

How much sorrow and destruction does it take for a nation to turn from their ways back to God? Jeremiah had warned them for forty years judgement was coming. When disaster strikes, are you willing to stand on your rebellion or will you stand on the Word of God? His arms are out-stretched to all those who will come to Him!

 

Lamentations Introduction and Chapter 1

lamentations-chapter-1

This book is about pain, but with hope in God. Jeremiah’s grief ran deep and was called the “Weeping prophet.”

Lamentations describes the funeral of a city. In a five-poem dirge, Jeremiah exposes his emotions. A death has occurred; Jerusalem lies barren. In the face of death and destruction, with life seemingly coming apart, Jeremiah turns tragedy into a triumph of faith because God never failed him in the past. God had promised to remain faithful in the future. In the light of the God he knows and loves, Jeremiah finds hope and comfort.

Author: The author of Lamentations is unnamed in the book, but internal and external evidence is consistently in favor of Jeremiah. Jeremiah probably wrote theses five elegies before he was taken captive to Egypt by his disobedient countrymen not long after the destruction of Judah.

The Desolation of Jerusalem

Verse 1 – How long sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow is she, who was great among the nations! The princes among the provinces has become a slave!

Each year this book was read aloud to remind all Jews that their great city fell because of their stubborn sinfulness.

Verse 2 – She weeps bitterly in the night, her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies.

The term lovers refers to nations such as Egypt, to whom Judah kept turning to for help. As the Babylonians closed in on Jerusalem, the nation of Judah turned away from God and sought help and protection from other nations instead.

Verse 3 – Judah has gone into captivity, under affliction and hard servitude; she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest; all her persecutors overtake her in dire straits.

Verse 4 – The roads to Zion mourn because no one comes to the set feasts. All her gates are desolate; her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted and she is in bitterness.

The tragedy that had overtaken the nation had now overtaken the center of their religious life-Zion. Gone was all their festivals, the temple and everything was deserted.

Verse 5 – Her adversaries have become the master, her enemies prosper; for the Lord has afflicted her because of the multitude of her transgressions. Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy.

Verse 6 – And from the daughter of Zion all her splendor has departed. Her princes have become like deer that find no pasture, that flee without strength before the pursuer.

Like deer running away from hunters leaving no one to defend the herd, so Judah’s leaders had abandoned the nation. Zedekiah and his men of war had fled during the night, hoping to escape.

Verse 7 – In the days of her affliction and roaming, Jerusalem remembers all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old. When her people fell into the hand of the enemy, with no one to help her, the adversaries saw her and mocked at her downfall.

The Cause of Jerusalem’s Destruction

Verse 8 – Jerusalem has sinned grievously, therefore she has become vile. All who honored her despised her because they have seen her nakedness; yes, she sighs and turns away.

Verse 9 – Her uncleanness is in her skirts; she did not consider her destiny; therefore her collapse was awesome; she had no comforter. “O Lord, behold my affliction, for the enemy has magnified himself!”

Jerusalem foolishly took a chance and lost, refusing to believe immoral living wouldn’t bring God’s punishment. Jerusalem never thought that God would actually do what He had been warning them through Jeremiah’s messages. The people were in shock when it began to happen.

Verse 10 – The adversary has spread his hand over all her pleasant things; for she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom You commanded not to enter Your congregation.

Judah had lost one of its most glorious possessions-the temple of God. Only the appointed high priest could enter the Holy of Holy section of the temple, but now it had been trampled on by these pagan worshiping men.

Verse 11 – All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their valuables for food to restore life. “See, O Lord, and consider, for I am scorned.”

Verse 12 – “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which has been brought to me, which the Lord has inflicted on me in the day of His fierce anger.

Verse 13 – “From above He has sent fire into my bones, and it overpowered them; He has spread a net for my feet and turned me back; He has made me desolate and faint all the day.

Verse 14 – “The yoke of my transgressions was bound; they were woven together by His hands, and thrust upon my neck. He made my strength fail; the Lord delivered me into the hands of those whom I am not able to withstand.

At first, sin seems to offer freedom. But the liberty to do anything we want gradually becomes a desire to do everything, and that’s when we become captive to sin – bound. Strange as it may sound to some, freedom comes in being obedient to God. We follow His guidance because He only wants the best for us.

Verse 15 – “The Lord has trampled underfoot all my mighty men in my midst; He has called an assembly against me to crush my young men; the Lord trampled as in a wine-press the virgin daughter of Judah.

Verse 16 – “For these things I weep; my eye, my eye overflows with water; because the comforter, who should restore my life, is far from me. My children are desolate because the enemy prevailed.”

Because of the peoples sin, God had become their judge instead of their comforter. This fact was breaking Jeremiah’s heart.

Verse 17 – Zion spreads out her hands, but there is no one to comfort her; the Lord has commanded concerning Jacob that those around him become his adversaries; Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them.

Verse 18 – “The Lord is righteous, for I rebelled against His commandment. Hear now, all peoples, and behold my sorrow; my virgins and my young men have gone into captivity.

Verse 19 – “I called for my lovers (other gods), but they deceived me; my priests and my elders breathed their last in the city while they sought food to restore their life.

Jerusalem’s allies couldn’t help, because like Jerusalem, they failed to seek God. When we seek wisdom, surround yourself with other believing Christians, not people who think as the world does.

Verse 20 – “See, O Lord, that I am in distress; my soul is troubled; my heart is overturned within me, for I have been very rebellious. Outside the sword bereaves, at home it is like death.

Verse 21 – “They have heard that I sigh, with no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that You have done it. Bring on the day that You have announced, that they may become like me.

Verse 22 – “Let all their wickedness come before You, and do to them as You have done to me for all my transgressions; for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.”

Yes, Jesus said we are to love and pray for our enemies, however, there are those who persist in seeing harm to those who follow God. Those are the ones we turn over to God for His sentencing and judgment.