-Jeremiah makes one last plea for restoration and God’s redemptive favor in this powerful last chapter of the book of Lamentations. His desire first and foremost is that the LORD will remember His covenant, but too that He will look and see what has befallen them in regards to the reproach they are receiving from Babylon. He speaks truthfully about how Israel’s inheritance has been turned over to strangers and their houses to aliens. Israel has become orphans without a father, and her mothers are now widows. Their hardship is portrayed in having to pay for water, wood, and food from the likes of Egypt and Assyria, nations not exactly prone to follow Yahweh. To these foreign powers they have had to submit for survival. There is no rest for them, they are worn out, and they are pursued relentlessly by their enemies. The famine has scorched their exposed skin. Their women have been violated and ravished in Zion and in the cities of Judah. Princes were hanged by their hands, and the elders were not respected. The young men had to do forced-hard labor at the grinding mill and carrying loads of wood. No longer do elders of wisdom sit in the gate, and no young men are heard singing their beautiful music (Lamentations 5:1-14).
-“The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned into mourning. The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned (Lamentations 5:15-16)!” This is the sad, but accurate commentary on the people of the LORD during the Babylonian captivity period of the mid-500’s B.C. These things have left their hearts faint and their eyes dim with grief. Mount Zion lies desolate, and foxes prowl in it as scavengers (Lamentations 5:17-18).
-Jeremiah’s final four verses give all authority back to God, who rules forever from generation to generation. The plea goes forth to the Almighty not to forget His promises to His people. The final hope is for restoration and renewal as in the days of old. The possibility is left open that the LORD could utterly reject them with His exceeding anger, but knowing the heart of God this could never happen (Psalms 105:8-11, Lamentations 3:31-32; 5:19-22, Luke 1:67-79). *Application* Does God get angry with us? Absolutely, when we transgress His ways and His design. We justly deserve His agitation and wrath. Does He show mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and patience way more than we deserve? Of course He does. He is our only hope for the malaise that we have created. When you have come to the end of your own means, which will leave you tired, hungry, burned, and hopeless (among other adjectives of futility), turn back to the LORD who is able to restore your soul and make all things new again (Revelation 21:5-8).
Verses to Memorize: Lamentations 5:15-16, 19-21