Honestly, I can’t imagine what Jerusalem looked like after the Babylonians had ransacked her. After they had entered her and burned down “every great house,” including “the house of the LORD” (Jer. 52:13). After they broke in pieces the massive pillars and other metal structures she had once protected that her God might be worshiped (52:17, 20-21). After she gave up the vessels used for temple service (52:18-20)–hauled away to join the plunder from other nations. After they had broken down the walls that surrounded her (52:14) and destroyed the gates that protected her. After they had emptied her of those who once freely walked her streets (52:15). I can’t imagine what it was like to stand amidst her ruins.
But, as I plod through Lamentations, I do get an inkling of how the devastation which so crushed Jerusalem also crushed the souls of those who were left to live in her ruins and behold her emaciated condition. Their eyes spent with weeping. Their stomachs tied in knots with an inner wringing of hands and torment. Their hearts so gripped by grief that their reflex response was to throw up. And all this because of “the destruction of the daughter” of God’s people (Lam. 2:11).
And amidst the description of destruction, within the wailing of lament, something spoken about the Creator that causes me to pause and reflect.
The LORD has done what He purposed; He has carried out His word, which He commanded long ago . . .
(Lamentations 2:17a ESV)
God does what God says He’s going to do. His promises will come to pass. His pronouncements are past dispute. What He has commanded will be incontrovertible. His word will be the way.
That is the nature of God. That is the overall, presiding way of this world. Whether men choose to recognize it or not.
And it is this truth which is the hope of those who believe. This assurance, which motivates men and women, in this running with the devil world, to choose to walk with God (thanx Zach Williams for those lyrics).
But it should also be this truth which is the dread of those who refuse the kindness and grace of God. Who presume on His patience. Who, in effect, think so highly of themselves that they are willing to call His bluff.
The LORD will do what He has purposed. He will carry out His word.
Great comfort for those who trust in His word.
Great concern for those who ignore it.
. . . and on the day of the anger of the LORD no one escaped or survived . . .
(Lamentations 2:22b ESV)
How this world needs the good news of God’s rescue and redemption through the finished work of Christ on the cross.
And how we, as God’s people, need to be stewards and ambassadors of that good news.
For the LORD will do what He has purposed.
Showing grace. For His glory.