Yesterday we read about how Jerusalem lay in ruins while Jeremiah laments the state of the city and the sin of the people. Everything has gone wrong. A city once beautiful and lively is now destitute.
Jeremiah, the author of Lamentations, pens the words of Jerusalem: “The Lord is right, for I rebelled against him” (Lamentations 1:17). They recognized that the Lord was punishing them for their wrongdoing.
In our reading today, we see the details of the punishment from God. The Lord took away any sense of protection that Jerusalem felt. The walls were broken down, the Temple invaded, and the gates destroyed.
The people of Jerusalem were defeated. From false prophets leading them astray to enemies mocking them, they realized their sin had gotten them in a tough situation.
The question is raised, “O Lord, think about this! Should you treat your own people this way?” (v.20). The people of Jerusalem questioned God’s goodness in the midst of sorrow and suffering. This is the wrong way to react to suffering.
“But it is the Lord who did just as he planned” (v.17).
God knew exactly what he was doing. Because God is just, he cannot let sin and rebellion go unpunished. It would be wrong of him to do so.
The good thing for us is that God does not punish his people in this way every time they rebel against him now. God knew that he was punishing his people by the destruction of their city, but he would crush his Son on the Cross, laying the sins of the entire world upon him.
The Cross is where the justice of God (God’s punishment of sin) and the love of God (God’s sacrificial giving of his Son) collide.
Do you ever find yourself questioning God’s goodness? Look to the Cross. See that this world still feels the effects of sin, but see that God loved you enough to send his Son to die in your place. God protected you from ultimate judgment and suffering by sending Jesus, and for that, we should worship and praise the Lord.
By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice