“The Lord is righteous, yet I rebelled against his command. Listen, all you peoples; look upon my suffering. My young men and maidens have gone into exile”. (Lamentations 1:18 – NIV)
“My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city”. (Lamentations 2:11 – NIV)
Jerusalem was destroyed and Jeremiah mourned deeply and wept for the city of Jerusalem and her inhabitants. He wept so hard that his eyes failed from his weeping. His heart was broken and he was in torment over what had happened.
Jeremiah also questioned God. Why had the city been destroyed? Why the destruction of this once great city, now in ruins? Why did God allow this to happen?
The answer…the people have sinned. And God not only allowed this to happen, he made it happen! God is just. He is righteous. He must punish sin. It was God who did this to Jerusalem. He brought this upon the people of this city because he is righteous.
I must say, this is extremely difficult for me to understand about God. I struggle greatly with this topic and and I feel quite inadequate when it comes to understanding the perfect justice balanced with the perfect love of God.
God has created me with a very sensitive heart and I can relate to Jeremiah’s weeping in this passage. I have wept myself, over many a tragedy in my life. I remember how I wept on September 11, 2001, when I watched the city that I grew up in and loved all of my life get destroyed by terrorists. I also remember weeping on April 16, 2007, when a young man entered Norris Hall at Virginia Tech University and brutally murdered 32 innocent college students. I was involved in the lives of people directly affected by both of these tragedies and it broke my heart to pieces to see these tragedies through the eyes of the people who suffered loss there. But what about God’s heart during these national tragedies? Did His heart not break that much more than my own?
I look at Jeremiah’s lament and his sadness and my heart breaks for him. But two things are revealed by God, in his sadness: Jerusalem has sinned, yet God loves Jerusalem. God cannot shut His eyes to evil. He does what He does because He is a just and righteous God. He must punish sin even though it breaks His heart. When Jeremiah is weeping, I see God weeping through him. Jeremiah is crying not only his own tears, but God’s tears, too.
So, the questions I must ask myself are these: How do I truly feel about my own sin? Do I view my sin the way God views it? Does my heart break for what breaks His? Is the cross of Jesus Christ, and the sufferings that He endured for my sin, something I take it for granted way too much?
Someday, when I stand before Him and I am glorified in His presence, perhaps I will understand better the love of God and the righteousness of God. Just maybe, He will make it clear to me that hell, as awful as it is, exists because He is a God of unfailing love, infinite mercy, and perfect justice. It is so difficult to understand now. But while I live in this world, my heart’s desire is to view this world and my own sin through the lens of a merciful, loving, righteous and just God. My prayer is for God to give me the eyes to see Him as He is, and also the heart that breaks for what breaks His.
O God, you are a God whose love is never ending! It is so perfect and so unfailing. You are longsuffering, patient, kind, merciful and your covenant of love is forever. You have loved me before I was even born into this world. But as perfect and unfailing your love is, your righteousness and your judgment on sin is equally perfect! Your word clearly reveals that you are a God that hates sin. You hate sin so much that you can’t even look at it and your perfect judgment demands justice on sin.
Lord, your love and your righteousness has been perfectly displayed to my heart and the world in sending your Son, Your most Holy Child, to this earth so that I may be declared righteous in your sight. Your love is so high and deep and far and wide, that you would rather suffer a horrible death on a cross than be apart from me. When I marvel at what you’ve done, my eyes overflow with tears of joy. You have made a way to forgive me of my transgressions! You have torn the veil and your perfect love and perfect justice have been made perfect in me! Wow! I am forgiven. I am able to stand before you and come before you boldly, and spend the rest of my existence being with you and loving you.
Lord, I humbly thank you for what you have done for me and what you continue to do. My heart loves you so very much Lord, but my heart is also flesh and it tends to wander in the wilderness and I forget who I am in you. O Lord, forgive me! May your Holy Spirit saturate my mind, my heart and my life every day I am living! Teach me Lord, to see this world through your eyes and not my own. Show me what you want to do with this vessel. It is all yours anyway! Teach my heart to break for the things that break your heart. Teach me to love what you love. This entire existence that makes up my life is created by you and for you and although I do not understand everything about you, I love and cherish and worship you for you are MY GOD! I want every second of my life to ascribe praise and love upon you always. Use me, however you see fit and do not let me waste this time you have given me.
I pray this in Jesus precious Name, with all my love,