A Brief Commentary on Lamentations 2.11-15

Reading from Lamentations 2.11-15

Though this text is a cry from the prophet Jeremiah to his people Judah, I am feeling its profound significance for the Church in this hour.

Verse 11:

“My eyes fail from weeping,
I am in torment within,
my heart is poured out on the ground
because my people are destroyed,
because children and infants faint
in the streets of the city.”

The Church is in desperate need of a true knowledge of God. The prophet was tormented over the calamity that had befallen his people. Destruction had come upon them physically and as horrific as that was, the real malady ran deeper and was more tragic. The sons and daughters of Israel were dying for want of the knowledge of God. My heart breaks over the condition of a terribly distracted Church in our day. What are our children really receiving from the Lord through us? Are they being girded up in the truth and love of God, or are they “fainting” amidst the waves of special effects, video games, and carnival-like pursuits?

Verse 12:

“They say to their mothers,
‘Where is bread and wine?’
as they faint like wounded men
in the streets of the city,
as their lives ebb away
in their mothers’ arms.”

Whether our children know it or not, there is a cry rising up from the ground, “Where is bread and wine?” Where is the word of the Lord for them? Who will lead them into the knowledge of God’s love and holiness? They need bread and wine from heaven, that is, they need Jesus Himself, and the oil of His Spirit. Have we been like the wise virgins or the foolish ones (Matt. 25.1-13)? Have we consecrated our lives to knowing Him, or have we filled them with things that will turn to ash in our mouths when all is said and done? If we do not wish to see the lives of our children ebbing away, we must forsake the world and seek the face of God.

Verse 13:

“What can I say for you?
With what can I compare you,
O Daughter of Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you,
that I may comfort you,
O Virgin Daughter of Zion?
Your wound is as deep as the sea.
Who can heal you?”

The wound of God’s people is as deep as the sea and there is nothing to heal it. No self-help program, no conference, no spurt of renewal. The wound is not primarily the result of things inflicted by the enemy. The wound is the result of one thing and one thing only and it is as deep as the sea itself. The Lord longs to comfort His people, but the wound must be cleansed and dealt with before it can be healed rightly. It is the issue of our sin. Has our modern preaching addressed it? Jeremiah exposed the superficial prophets of his day. Do we need to be exposed as well?

Verse 14:

“The visions of your prophets
were false and worthless;
they did not expose your sin
to ward off your captivity.
The oracles they gave you
were false and misleading.”

Have our prophets and preachers really exposed our sin? Have we repented and received grace to break free from sin and walk in the glowing light of God’s holiness? Are our children convinced of the severity of sin and glory of purity? Have our prophets tickled our ears and promised prosperity without addressing our sin? If so, are they any different from the professional prophets of Jeremiah’s day? If our “prophets” are only professional speakers who do not bear a true knowledge of God, is our current condition any less grave than was Jerusalem’s? I am convinced that we are still in captivity, by and large, and need to be wrenched loose from our popular Christian subculture, and brought into a vital knowledge of God as He is.

Verse 15:

“All who pass your way
clap their hands at you;
they scoff and shake their heads
at the Daughter of Jerusalem:
‘Is this the city that was called
the perfection of beauty,
the joy of the whole earth?'”

The Lord has intentions of showing forth the glory of His love and righteousness through the Church. To make Israel and the Church into an entity so profoundly wedded to Himself that she will be called “the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth.” Our sin has kept us from His glorious intentions. We need to repent “in dust and ashes” and return to the God who loves us “with an everlasting love” and Who longs for us to come into the liberty of a true knowledge of Himself. Until the day when repentance and mercy come upon the Church at large, warding off the captivity, let men and women arise like Jeremiah to weep and lament in the secret place of prayer and fasting. Let the ministers cry out to the people as the prophet of old cried out. Let the people of God prostrate their hearts before His glorious throne. God will answer with cleansing and healing. He will purify and refine, mend and recover. He will reveal Himself in power, giving bread and wine generously, and our joy will be full.

What about you, dear saint? What about your children?

2 thoughts on “A Brief Commentary on Lamentations 2.11-15

  1. Verse 14 reminds me of Jeremiah 23:16-17:
    16Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.'”

    How much modern prophetic ministry actually resembles what the Lord here says he hates?

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