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Lamentations 1.1 - 12

posted 14 Apr 2014, 01:29 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
Aaghh! Lonely is this city that once bustled with life;
Cheer is empty; like a widow, she is abandoned
    and oh, so lonely.
She who was a princess, great among the nations,
    has lost everything and been forced to serve as a slave.

Bawling, she weeps without constraint every night,
    cries herself to sleep, bitter tears streaming down her cheeks.
Her former friends ignore her;
    there is no one there to share her sorrow;
Companions contend and have betrayed her;
    friends have been unfaithful and turned against her as enemies.

Carried off to a foreign place, Judah is exiled in misery
    and debased by affliction and hard labor;
She cannot find rest living among the pagan nations.
    She tried to run and hide, but in her distress pursuers have overcome her.

Despair permeates the very dust of Zion’s roads.
    Nobody walks them in anticipation of celebration and worship.
No one enters the city’s desolate gates bringing offerings or sacrifices to God.
    The religious leaders are heavyhearted,
And the virgin women despair.
    It’s so bitter for dear Zion!

Enemies of Jerusalem have gained the upper hand.
    Her foes prosper against her.
The Eternal One has caused her sorrow because of her rebellions,
    for she acted against Him, willfully, again and again.
Even her little ones are taken away at the whim of her foes.

Faded beauty, this daughter Zion.
    Her princely young men, like stags,
They have no place to graze, no strength to fight;
    they fled to the woods,
Pursued mercilessly by hunters.

Gone are the days that she remembers, happy and precious;
    Jerusalem wanders aimlessly and remembers what precious things she has lost
Things from the old days of David, Solomon, and Josiah.
    But now her people have fallen to her enemies,
And in this defeat by her enemies, no one ran to her aid,
    and her enemies now snicker and gloat at her downfall.

Hideous must be Jerusalem’s crimes
    that the city itself is now morally and ritually impure.
Those who once admired her now hate her.
    They strip her naked and laugh.
All she can do is groan
    and shrink back, ashamed.

Impurity clung to her inside the cover of her clothes.
    She refused to consider anything but the present,
Never expecting her impurity would be revealed.
    Nobody came forward with comfort—no one.

Lady Jerusalem: See, Eternal One, how badly I suffer
        and how my enemies swell with pride.

The people of Judah and Jerusalem have had many opportunities to recognize their failings. Now they learn that their choices have grave consequences. For generations they have ignored the warnings and continued in idolatry, dependence upon foreign powers, and oppression of the less fortunate. Yes, the sacrifices in the temple have continued, but they have continually turned away from God. One prophet after another has called them back to a life of trust in the Lord, but they still look to others for assurance. Time has run out.

10 Jabbing and fondling,
    mauling all her treasures, the enemy takes stock.
Foreign nations enter even her holy place,
    claiming what You decided was off-limits
And forbidden to them—Your temple.[b]

11 Kept in hunger,
    her people are desperate for food.
Once prosperous, they trade her treasures
    for nourishment of any kind.

Lady Jerusalem: Look, Eternal One—
        really see how hated I’ve become.

12     Look around, you who pass by and go about your business.
        Is there any sorrow as great as mine?
    Any pain as great as that which has been forced on me?
        No. Because my pain comes from the Eternal.
    It is His judgment, rendered on the day of His intense anger.