Jeremiah’s message in Lamentations seems to have taken place after the city of Jerusalem is defeated, the walls broken down, the temple destroyed, and the precious articles for temple worship taken away. We can see Jeremiah’s being known as “the weeping prophet” as we read the laments that are written there. Ezekiel speaks to the people as God gives him visions, and acts for illustration.
Our scheduled reading is Jeremiah 51 through Ezekiel 6. These prophets being contemporary with the other are coming from different perspectives, yet pretty much with the same message. Jeremiah wrote his prophecy trying to save as many lives in Judah as possible, calling people to turn from their idolatrous worship, by turning back to the LORD of hosts. Ezekiel sees the need for the people of Israel/Judah to realize that the LORD is the LORD.
Jeremiah was allowed to stay behind with a remnant of people, and the laments are written as he sees the city broken down, destroyed and forsaken;
“How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits. The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy. And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward. Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself. The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation. All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile.” Lamentations 1:1-11 (KJV)
The prophets heart is grieved because of the cities destruction, but he knows it is due to her transgressions. She has sinned against the LORD, been given many opportunities to repent and change, yet has continued in debaucherous rebellion against the loving, merciful LORD of hosts.
There is a time for grieving. The Christian should grieve over sin – what God calls sin. We should grieve first over our own and find forgiveness and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no forgiveness of sin apart from the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Repent and turn to Him.