Although the world ,and that includes the Philippines, thus Dumaguete and Negros, —has not (yet?) reached such carnage as the massive Biblical destruction of Jerusalem, where bodies lie in the streets slaughtered to their death, the spread of in Coronavirus COVID 19 which is now worldwide makes us reflect DEEPER AND BEYOND , on the meaning of this obvious PARALLEL Divine intervention.
JUST THINK: abortion worldwide, athiesm, divorce, drug addictions, suicide bombings, people killing each other, prostitution, promiscuity, mass murders, extrajudicial killings, kidnappings, environmental destructions, biological and nuclear warfare, wanton killings in malls, —tell me,— who is the God who will be pleased with this kind of human self-destruction?
Reflecting parallel situations in those days:
The author of Lamentations—perhaps Jeremiah—evidently had seen the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., when the Babylonian army burned and destroyed all the principal buildings and carried most of the surviving inhabitants into exile. Lamentations conducts a kind of post mortem on the death of Jerusalem, examining the body in clinical detail.
LIKE MR. COVID19:
Like a doctor, Lamentations’ author seeks to know the CAUSE OF DEATH. He has no final doubt: though the Babylonians did the work, —-ultimately God was responsible. But could God willingly create such misery?
The author seems stunned that God has actually destroyed his own people, (even today as we speak) though he admits they richly deserve the punishment. The Lord is like an enemy,” he cries in astonishment (2:5). “Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer” (3:8). He dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help” (3:11). “He has broken my teeth with gravel” (3:16).
But, though astonished and grief-stricken, the author never doubts God’s justice. The world deserves to know: WHO IS GOD, …..WHO IS IN CONTROL.
Jerusalem’s destruction came as a result of sin (1:5). What about today, what is causing all these ? Think deep..and beyond.. This fact prompts quiet hope, based on the character of God. “Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men” (3:32-33).
WHEN SIN IS ELIMINATED, the Lord acts quickly to forgive and heal.
Looking for Recovery
Though the grief of Lamentations is as deep and heavy as any ever written, hope lies at the bottom. The author does not say “Cheer up!” to himself or anyone else. He mourns passionately and fully. But in mourning he looks to recovery.
Lamentations ends with a prayer to God, asking him to restore his people, “unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure” (5:22). Behind that “unless” lies confidence. God can never be angry without limits.
The author of Lamentations doesn’t soften his words to God, for fear of offending him. He expresses the full and dreadful horror of what he has seen, and he gives God full responsibility. But, remembering that the Lord is a loving God, he counts on God to heal Israel’s Wounds. Soon, the time of mourning will be followed by another time, ——a time to HEAL and FEEL His mercy.
This article is inspired by LAMENTATIONS. The COVID19 pandemic is obviously a parallel.
LAMENTATIONS is a book between Jeremiah and Ezekiel in the Bible. Defiinitely for those who have heard about this book for the first time….
Lamentation’s is poetry, one poem per chapter. Its main purpose is not to describe events, nor to teach lessons, though it does both. Its intent is to express grief, to pour out before God the horror and bitterness of what has happened to Jerusalem. These five poems can help you to understand what it meant for Jews to see Jerusalem destroyed. They can deal appropriately with grief. You’re own or others. Read them expressively, preferably out loud.
“ls it nothing to you,?——
all you who pass by?” 1 :12
Lamentations offers five poems written from a state of dazed grief. A whole city has been destroyed. Brothers, sisters, children, friends are all gone. Men the town admired wander the body-littered streets, their skins shriveled and their faces barely recognizable. Starvation has even compelled women to cook their own children (4:10).
And so the author mourns. He carefully reviews everything he has seen and felt, his pain darkening every line. He writes the first four poems in an acrostic style, following the Hebrew alphabet, one letter for each stanza. Perhaps this system helps him to pursue the subject thoroughly, and not to break down in spasms of emotion. When he thinks of the starving children, he nearly does (2:11).