Lamentations was also written by Jeremiah, and in chapter 1, it is clear that the book is appropriately named. When we start at the beginning, we really get a summary of what the situation is like now that the city is virtually vacant.
Lam 1:1 How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
Lam 1:2 She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.
Lam 1:3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.
I find it particularly interesting because the emotion is particularly evident. Even though Jeremiah knew that this was going to come the pass, his emotions are strong. However, that fact alone might have made his reaction even more passionate.
Jeremiah had been preaching to the people for a long time, and virtually nobody listened. He was faithful to what God wanted him to do, so that is obviously the most important thing. However, it is one thing to talk about consequences coming and to warn people are terrible life is going to be if they don’t repent.
However, it is entirely another thing to see those consequences play out. To realize that the people actually did not listen must have been the hardest part for Jeremiah. Until it actually happened, but there is always hope that the people might repent, but at this point, it was finalized.
I spent this introduction on talking about Jeremiah’s sorrow because I think it is important to realize that God will listen to us in times of sorrow. Obviously none of us enjoy being sad or depressed, but it is okay to bring that pain to God as Jeremiah is doing here.
Jesus Himself wept when Lazarus died. Jesus knew that He was going to raise him from the dead, but He still understood what it was like to be human and have these times of difficulty.
Although we might think that God only wants to hear the good news, that idea is entirely false. Bring everything to God. He is our Comforter in any situation.
1 Samuel 30 reinforced again that it is not good to judge people based on what you see from the outside. David was a pretty fierce warrior. Obviously, he was not afraid to go and fight, but we get to see a very vulnerable side of him in this chapter.
1Sa 30:1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
1Sa 30:2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
1Sa 30:3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
1Sa 30:4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
I am not married, but I certainly know that this is one of the closest bonds you can have with another human being. David was distraught over the fact that his entire city and all of the women had been taken captive while he was away.
I am not sure, but perhaps you would expect something different from such a mighty warrior. Perhaps you are thinking that real men don’t cry. I know that this stereotype is dying, but if it still exists, this example could easily finish it off. David was not afraid to demonstrate his emotions.
That comes out even more a little bit later in the chapter when all of the people blame David for everything that had gone wrong.
1Sa 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
Again, we see the emotion coming out. He was obviously upset himself, and when the people were upset with him, it really shook him.
Notice how he fixed his problem.
He found his encouragement in God. That is the lesson for today. If we are being judged from the outside, and if we are heartbroken like David was in this situation, we need to turn to God. He will never leave us or forsake us. Also, even though He does not always like everything we do, He loves us.
That is at least some good news for today on kind of a depressing chapter.