God restores and renews individuals and cities from wounds and captivity to sin when they expose themselves to God's word and call upon Him.
Sin Causes Grief and Defeat
The formerly great city was deserted. She wept bitterly having no lovers to comfort her. Her friends became enemies and betrayed her. After harsh labor, Judah went into exile. The roads to Zion mourned since no one came to her appointed feasts. Her priests groaned and the maidens grieved. Her foes became her masters. The Lord brought grief because of her many sins. Her enemies laughed at her destruction. The enemy triumphed, laid hands on her treasures and entered her sanctuary. Her people groaned as they searched for bread to stay alive. Their sins were bound into a yoke. The Lord sapped their strength, rejected all their warriors and crushed their young men. They wept when no one comforted or restored their spirit. They rebelled against the command of the righteous Lord. The priests and elders perished in the city while searching for food. Jeremiah asked that God deal with their enemies as He dealt with His people over their sins (Lam. 1:1-22). Practice sin and rebellion to experience grief and defeat.
Exposure to God's Word Heals Wounds
God's wrath destroyed Judah's strongholds and brought dishonor to her kingdom and its princes. He swallowed up Israel's strength. God made Zion forget her appointed feasts and Sabbaths. He tore down the wall and destroyed the gates around Zion. Her king and princes were exiled among the nations without the law. Her prophets saw no visions from the Lord. Jerusalem's wound was as deep as the sea with no one to heal her. The prophets' vision were false and worthless as they did not expose sin to avoid Judah's captivity. People scoffed asking if Jerusalem was really called the perfection of beauty and the joy of the whole earth. Their enemies said that they swallowed up Judah. The Lord planned and fulfilled His word decreed long ago. He overthrew them without pit and exalted the strength of their enemies. People poured out their heart like water to the Lord asking if He ever treated people like women eating their offspring, religious leaders and young men killed in the sanctuary of the Lord and in the streets (Lam. 2:18-22). Heal wounds and captivity to sin by exposure to God's word.
Trusting God's Love and Faithfulness Brings Peace
He saw affliction, walked in darkness instead of light and were surrounded with bitterness and hardship. God weighed him down with chains, barred his way with blocks of stone, made his paths crooked and deprived him of peace so his soul was downcast. He was a laughingstock and mocked in song. The Lord's love and compassion never failed. It was new every morning because of His faithfulness. Since the Lord was his portion and good, he waited for His salvation. God decreed both calamities and good things (Lam. 3:1-39). Trust in His love and faithfulness for peace in all your ways.
Calling on God Overcomes Fear and Grief
They examined and tested their ways to return to the Lord. They suffered terror, ruin and destruction causing many tears without relief until the Lord looked down from heaven. It brought grief to his soul because of all the women of his city. God came near saying, "Do not fear," when He called Him from the depths of the pit. He redeemed his life and upheld his cause in the midst of the enemies' insults and plots. Jeremiah asked God to put a veil over their hearts and destroy them (Lam. 3:1-66). Call on God for redemption from fear and grief.
Confessing Sin Restores Foundation, Heart and Honor
The precious sons of Zion were now considered pots of clay, the work of a potter's hands. God's people became heartless like ostriches in the desert. Children begged for bread, but no one gave it them. The rich nurtured in purple lied on ash heaps. The punishment of God's people was greater than Sodom. Princes died of famine and women cooked their own children. The Lord poured out His wrath to consume Zion's foundations. Kings of the earth did not believe that enemies could enter the gates of Jerusalem. It occurred because prophets and priests sinned and shed righteous blood. The Lord scattered them and were shown dishonor without favor. Their pursuers were swifter than eagles in the sky and caught the Lord's anointed in their traps. Zion's punishment and exile ended as God punished and exposed Edom's wickedness (Lam. 4:1-22). Lose foundation, heart and honor when leaders sin and shed innocent blood.
Asking for Renewal Ends Destruction
Jeremiah asked God to remember their disgrace as He turned their inheritance to aliens and their homes to foreigners so they became orphans, fatherless and widows. They bought the water they drank and obtained wood at a price. They were weary without rest because of pursuers breathing down their necks. Because their fathers sinned, they bore the punishment of having to submit to Egypt and Assyria to get bread. Slaves ruled over them and risked their lives to get bread. Wicked men ravished women and virgins in Judah, princes hanged by their hands, elders shown no respect, young men toiled at the millstones and stopped their music, boys staggered under loads of wood and elders gone from the city gate. Sin caused their crown to fall from their head resulting in faint hearts and dim eyes. Mount Zion lied desolate with jackals prowling over it. God reigned with His throne enduring forever. Jeremiah asked God to restore them to Himself so they would return and be renewed as in past days (Lam. 5:1-22). Ask for restoration and renewal to overcome their destruction economically, physically, mentally,vocationally, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
Ask God to restore you from wounds and captivity to sin by exposing yourself to His word and calling upon His name.