Jeremiah wrote the Book of Lamentations. The last chapter of the Book of Jeremiah should be read as an introduction to this book. A fitting prefix to the Book of Lamentations could be, "And it came to pass, after Israel was led into captivity and Jerusalem was laid waste, that Jeremiah sat weeping and lamented this lamentation over Jerusalem, and said": "How doth the city sit solitary?" (Lamentations 1:1).
We have seen the love Jeremiah had for the city of Jerusalem. Now he sees her desolate and in captivity. His heart is broken because the people had rejected his warnings and the wrath of God had fallen on the city. Throughout each chapter of this book the same idea continues, in different wording. We see the horrors of the siege, the desolate ruins, and all because the nation would not repent of her sins and turn to God.
There are three important lessons found in today's reading. The first is found in chapter 1:1-6, where we are shown God's judgment. These verses compare Jerusalem to the rich princess or queen who had suddenly been left alone, robbed of all her wealth and beauty. Once she had been full, but now she was empty; once she was honored, but now she was disgraced. Her joy had been replaced by tears; her great victories are now lost in defeat. Why did this happen? Because of her continual turning away from Jehovah to false gods. Sin always brings sorrow, tragedy, and judgment.
In chapter 2 Jeremiah explains that God was no longer their friend, but their enemy. Once He had fought their battles, but now because of their unfaithfulness, He had turned against them. Jeremiah could not keep his mind off the horrors of the siege, cries of starving children, and women boiling their babies for food. Jerusalem not only lost her joy, wealth, and beauty, but she lost her testimony. All the heathen laughed at her (verses 15 and 16).
The third lesson, shown in chapter 2:17, is that God's Word is truth. God did exactly what He said He would do. For 40 years Jeremiah had warned the people that their sins would find them out, yet the nation would not listen. Now we see them reaping the devastation that Jeremiah had so faithfully prophesied.
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