From the first century to now, Satan’s primary target has been Israel and the Jewish people. He knows that when the Redeemer returns for His own, He will fulfill God’s covenant promises to Abraham, and Satan will be destroyed. – Jonathan Bernis
Final blog on Lamentations… Only because the Prophetic Poem ends with Chapter Five… I’ve found that I could go on with this further… were there further to go… But, alas, this is the last of it… I think I’ll be back in the Book of Jeremiah soon, but maybe not on Monday…
Lord, remember what has happened to us. See how we have been disgraced! 2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. 3 We are orphaned and fatherless. Our mothers are widowed. 4 We have to pay for water to drink, and even firewood is expensive. 5 Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are exhausted but are given no rest. 6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough food to survive. 7 Our ancestors sinned, but they have died— and we are suffering the punishment they deserved! (Lam 5:1-7 NLT).
As with the Psalms, the Spirit of God expresses His Thoughts through the Prophet as a vessel of His testimony in circumstances exhibiting the judgment of God on that which He had Himself founded. The Spirit Himself furnishes a picture of His Own activities in the hearts of evil men. Such is His Love for them. He records languishes, fears, reproaches, etc.
The “inheritance” spoke of their land which had been given to Abraham.
As for Me, behold, My Covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish My Covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an Everlasting Covenant, to be a God unto you, and to your seed after you. And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Gen 17:4-8 KJV).
The Hebrews had turned from the LORD—from the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And now they were “orphaned and fatherless.” Spiritually speaking, their inheritance had been reduced to “water” and “firewood.” And even that was horrendously scarce! As they have now become slaves of the Babylonians, forced into hard labor with the slightest infraction resulting in beatings.
Instead of looking to the LORD, they had looked to the Egyptians or Assyrians for food. And now they were reduced to beggars. Their iniquities of whoring after false gods and the occult had spanned many generations, and now judgment was heavy upon them.
Slaves have now become our masters; there is no one left to rescue us. 9 We hunt for food at the risk of our lives, for violence rules the countryside. 10 The famine has blackened our skin as though baked in an oven. 11 Our enemies rape the women in Jerusalem and the young girls in all the towns of Judah. 12 Our princes are being hanged by their thumbs, and our elders are treated with contempt. 13 Young men are led away to work at millstones, and boys stagger under heavy loads of wood. 14 The elders no longer sit in the city gates; the young men no longer dance and sing (Lam 5:8-14 NLT).
The People of God are now prey to anyone who desires to take what little they have left. When the Babylonians took the city of Jerusalem, the women and young girls were fair game for the wretched passion of drunken soldiers. None were respected at the fall of Jerusalem. The “princes” and “elders” were treated as brutally as any and all.
The “city gate” was the building at the main entrance of Jerusalem where legal proceedings were conducted. Such had creased. Most of the “elders” were dead and there were no legal proceedings to conduct. As well, the music and singing had ceased—unless it was a funeral procession.
Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. 16 The garlands have fallen from our heads. Weep for us because we have sinned. 17 Our hearts are sick and weary, and our eyes grow dim with tears. 18 For Jerusalem is empty and desolate, a place haunted by jackals. 19 But Lord, you remain the same forever! Your throne continues from generation to generation (Lam 5:15-19 NLT).
“The garlands have fallen from our heads” refers to the supremacy of Judah and Jerusalem for nearly 500 years. No nation in the world was their equal. No city compared to Jerusalem. They were God’s chosen, but had forfeited everything with their spiritual fornication.
But even though Judah and the Temple were no more, still, the LORD remained “the same forever.” As great as His Throne was yesterday, it is great today and shall be “from generation to generation.”
Why do you continue to forget us? Why have you abandoned us for so long? 21 Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had! 22 Or have you utterly rejected us? Are you angry with us still? (Lam 5:20-22 NLT).
Jehovah’s Power is unbroken, and consequently, He can restore Israel. And Scripture explicitly states that He will—as according to His Everlasting Covenant with Abraham.
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid; but rather through their fall Salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? (Rom 11:11-12 KJV).
“Bring us back to you again” speaks of true Repentance, which must be enjoined before Salvation is granted. This, the Remnant of Israel will do in the coming Day of the LORD.
In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the House of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, says the LORD of Hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother who begat him shall say unto him, You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the LORD; and his father and his mother who begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesies. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he had prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive; but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth (Zech 13:1-5 KJV).
And then, the Book of Lamentations concludes on a very negative note. The Prophet turns from the fulfillment of the Promises at a future day back to the present, in which they are “utterly rejected.” Now the anger of Jehovah God burns hot against them for heeding the false prophets and embracing pagan occult practices. The Prophet appears to be simply stating that the present must be dealt with before the future can be guaranteed.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His Judgments, and His Ways past finding out! For who has known the Mind of the LORD? Or who has been His counsellor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (Rom 11:33-35 KJV).