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The Anger of the LORD for the Sins of His People (Lamentations 2)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by robt.k.fall, May 28, 2024.

  1. robt.k.fall

    robt.k.fall Member

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    The Anger of the LORD for the Sins of His People (Lamentations 2)
    Lamentations 2

    Jerusalem was Destroyed Because the LORD Had Become an Enemy (Lamentations 2:1-9)

    Jeremiah continued to lament the calamity of Jerusalem and observed that the Lord had “covered the daughter of Zion [Jerusalem] with a cloud in his anger” (Lamentations 2:1). Knowing David pronounced the Temple “the footstool of our God” (1 Chronicles 28:2), the prophet bemoaned the LORD and “remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!” (Lamentations 1:1)

    Though Nebuchadnezzar’s army destroyed Jerusalem, Jeremiah left no doubt that the fierceness of God’s judgment devoured the people. We read, “The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: He hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; He hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof” (Lamentations 2:2).

    Jerusalem was a scene of devastation as the city lay in ruins (Lamentations 2:3). Not even the Temple was spared the LORD’s fury, for He became the enemy of His wayward people. Jeremiah observed, The LORD “hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, And slew all that were pleasant to the eye In the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire. 5The LORD was as an enemy” (Lamentations 2:4-5).

    Yet, it was the LORD who gave the altar, Temple, and palaces “into the hand of the enemy” (Lamentations 2:7). As Jeremiah looked upon the city, he saw the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed (Lamentations 2:8), and “her gates [were] sunk into the ground…Her king and her princes are [captives] among the Gentiles: the law is no more” (Lamentations 2:9).

    The Sorrow of Jerusalem (Lamentations 2:10-16)

    Lamentations 2:10-14 turned the focus from the city and the king to the people’s sorrows. The leaders of the city sat in silence as they mourned the death and destruction of Jerusalem (Lamentations 2:10). Jeremiah was so overcome with grief that his tears failed. His heart ached (Lamentations 2:11), as the city he loved was ravaged by famine (Lamentations 2:11-13).

    The people had rejected the LORD’s faithful prophets and taken comfort in the words of men who prophesied “vain and foolish things” (Lamentations 2:14). The ruins of Jerusalem became an object of scorn as the enemies of God’s people took pleasure in her destruction (Lamentations 2:15-16).

    The LORD Fulfilled His Covenant (Lamentations 2:17-19)

    Jeremiah reminded the people that they broke their covenant with the LORD, and their sins brought ruin and sorrow (Leviticus 26:23-29; Deuteronomy 28:15-21). The prophet declared, “The Lord hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word…He hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, He hath set up the horn [power; strength] of thine adversaries” (Lamentations 2:17).

    Though not mentioned in today’s study, I am reminded that while the “elders of the daughter of Zion” sat in silence and the “virgins of Jerusalem [did] hand down their heads to the ground” (Lamentations 2:10), the LORD had not left His people hopeless. At that time, a prophet named Ezekiel was teaching and prophesying to the captives in Babylon.

    An Appeal to the LORD’s Compassion (Lamentations 2:20-22)

    Jeremiah, overcome with grief, appealed to the LORD and asked, “Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?” (Lamentations 2:20) Suffering hunger and starvation, mothers turned to cannibalism and did “eat their fruit” (i.e., their children; Lamentations 2:20). The priest and prophets were slain in the Temple, and young and old lay dead in the streets, and there were none to pity or bury them (Lamentations 2:21).

    Closing thoughts –

    Lamentations 2:22 concludes our study, and it is a recollection of how the people came to Jerusalem in a way they would have for a feast day. Yet, it was no doubt to seek safety from their enemy (i.e., Babylon). Nevertheless, none did escape the LORD’s anger (Lamentations 2:22a). Though He loved the people like a mother swaddles her infant, the LORD delivered them to their enemy to be consumed (Lamentations 2:22b).

    Questions to ponder –
    1) In what ways did the LORD express His anger toward Jerusalem for the people’s sins? (Lamentations 2:1-7)

    2) To what extent was Jerusalem destroyed? (Lamentations 2:8-9)

    3) What effect did God’s judgment have on the people? (Lamentations 2:10-11)

    4) Who misled the people to believe they were safe from destruction and captivity? (Lamentations 2:14)

    5) How did the enemies of God’s people respond to the destruction of Jerusalem? (Lamentations 2:15-16)

    Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith

    Travis D. Smith is the pastor of Hillsdale Baptist Church in Tampa, FL. He blogs at from the heart of a shepherd ( Home ) , where this article was first published. It is used here by permission.

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