As I was worshipping the Lord today, tears began to roll down my face. It was the love of God which overwhelmed me, the touch and presence of the Holy Spirit which drew me into the heart of worship. It was then that the Lord gave me a vision, a picture of distress and loneliness. It was an image of a hungry and tired looking young girl, walking aimlessly along an old, almost empty street. The old stores were closed, the street looks filthy and passers-by were few and they too, seemed to look numb, tired and walking aimlessly.
In my prayer, seeking the Lord to give me a deep understanding about the vision, He gave me a revelation through Lamentations 1:12–22 which I now share with you. In this scripture, the prophet Jeremiah provides a clear description of the times of God’s judgement against a rebellious people. I feel sad, both for God and for us, His beloved church. I sense that God is giving us a warning, that those who do not respond to the continuous counsels of the Lord will bear the consequences of His divine wrath, the punishment of their sins.
V12 – v15 say: “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me, which the LORD inflicted on the day of his fierce anger. From on high he sent fire; into my bones he made it descend; he spread a net for my feet; he turned me back; he has left me stunned, faint all the day long. My transgressions were bound into a yoke; by his hand they were fastened together; they were set upon my neck; he caused my strength to fail; the Lord gave me into the hands of those whom I cannot withstand. The Lord rejected all my mighty men in my midst; he summoned an assembly against me to crush my young men; the Lord has trodden as in a winepress the virgin daughter of Judah”.
The Scripture points out that the Lord kept His distance from His suffering people, who were humbled by his judgement. Furthermore, they did not find comfort and revival, but suffered oppression. Lamentations 1:16-17 reads: “For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my spirit; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed. Zion stretches out her hands, but there is none to comfort her; the LORD has commanded against Jacob that his neighbours should be his foes; Jerusalem has become a filthy thing among them.”
At their judgement, the suffering people of a righteous God confessed their sins and repented, justifying Him and His claims against them. When in pursuit of idols and those in whom they trusted, they had not found honour and had become disappointed. This was when God punished the sinful Babylon and when famine and pestilence caused the death of many, including the priests and elders. For in v18 – v20, we read: “The LORD is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word; but hear, all you peoples, and see my suffering; my young women and my young men have gone into captivity. I called to my lovers, but they deceived me; my priests and elders perished in the city, while they sought food to revive their strength. Look, O LORD, for I am in distress; my stomach churns; my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious. In the street the sword bereaves; in the house it is like death”.
Lamentations 1 concludes with the rebellious turning back to the Lord and calling upon Him to also bring the same judgement upon their prideful enemies, under whose wickedness, they were punished. V21 – v22 reads “They heard my groaning, yet there is no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it. You have brought the day you announced; now let them be as I am. Let all their evildoing come before you, and deal with them as you have dealt with me because of all my transgressions; for my groans are many, and my heart is faint.”
Beloved family of God, even as believers, we need to examine ourselves from time to time and come before the Almighty God in true repentance and with humility.
God will judge each individual according to his/her conduct, for in Ezekiel 18: 21–22, the Lord makes it clear that: “If a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live.”
Because as Christians who we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rejoice, that Romans 5:9 confirms that since we are justified by His blood, we shall we be saved from God’s wrath, through Him. Amen and Amen!