Read Lamentations One
Israel has been more devastated by the consequences of her own sin than she ever could have imagined. God has allowed her sin to catch up with her. He has turned her back from her running.
Read Lamentations 1:18-22. What has changed in Lady Zion’s tone?
What surprises you about this response?
The wailing woman seems to calm her desperate voice. She shifts from calling out to those who pass by, to acknowledging that the Lord is in the right. She knows that she has sinned against God and broken His covenant, and she is coming to terms with the consequences for her sin. She has broken her relationship with God and the result is that she is laid waste and is far from her home.
Read verse 18. Summarize it in your own words.
Lady Zion is setting herself up as a witness of what it looks like when you break covenant with God. Before she was asking God, Look at me! And now she tells the people around her, Look at me – this is what happens to those who turn against God. Her tone has shifted from one of alarm and surprise to one of understanding and honesty.
Israel turned to another when she was in need. Who was it? What was the result? (v. 19)
Throughout the Old Testament other, lesser gods are referred to as Israel’s lovers. Particularly in the book of Hosea, the Lord depicts Himself as a husband pursuing His bride, Israel. He lavishes His love on her, delights in her, and provides for her. But she goes on to take other lovers, to her own detriment.
Read Hosea 2. What parallels do you see between Lamentations 1 and Hosea 2?
The Lord will not let Lady Zion persist in her sin. Why? Because her other lovers will always disappoint. They will steal her affections and leave her empty. They will draw her away with their promises but will always leave her bare and alone. They didn’t show up when she needed help (Lam. 1:2) and they won’t show up in the future. They are lesser loves, robbing her of oneness with the one true God.
And this is the reality that Lady Zion has realized. God was in the right to bring her back. He has hedged her in, tied her up, and is relentlessly bringing her back to Himself. God is unwilling to let her wander because being in union with Him is her greatest good.
How does this display God’s grace?
In what ways has God sought you out to bring you back from your sin?
How can you also have the perspective of Lady Zion, seeing God’s pursuit of you as your greatest good even when it results in experiencing the consequences for your sin?
PRAY & REFLECT
Praise God that He will not leave you alone in your sin. Thank Him for pursuing you even when you have run from Him. Ask Him to never stop – to always bring you back to Himself. Thank Him that you can always trust that He will.