Lamentations was written in the midst of the devastation of Jerusalem. The writer of the poems in the book of Lamentations tells about all the awful things that have happened to Jerusalem, while admitting it is the fault of the people of Jerusalem who were not faithful to the Lord.
Today’s Nourishment: The details of the devastation of Jerusalem are difficult to read. You can feel the struggle the writer is going through. He knows that the people were not following God, so they deserved punishment. For the author, watching the people and city he knew and loved experience destruction hurt him also.
This book is a reflection of loving the sinner, but not the sin. The best for the people of Jerusalem would have been to repent and return to God before the city was destroyed, not after. The writer continues to express great sorrow for the loss of lives and the destruction of the city. There is no joy here that people received deserved destruction. The book acknowledges their wrong actions, with deep sorrow and grief at all the terrible things he witnessed.
Often, we see rejoicing when a “bad” person receives his or her due judgment. Forgetting the difference between “bad” and “good” people is a matter of degrees. None of us are perfect or without sin. We have been commanded to love others and to help them to find God, not to find joy in their failings. It is far easier to love those who love us than it is to love the unlovable. It is easier to love those whom we see as “good” people, but God does not ask us to do only the easy tasks.
Even those who are not Christians find it easy to love those who love them. God asks that we make the greater effort of loving those who are harder to love. When we see the news footage about the trial of the murderer, we should not feel joy at their punishment, but sadness for the lives lost- both for the victims and for the person who committed terrible crimes and sin. We should be representatives on earth of His love and He loves us no matter what.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Lamentations 3-5