How the gold has lost its lustre

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14 March, 2021Simon DentLamentations: Hope in the midst of agony

Join us as we worship together with Simon continuing our Lenten series on Lamentations.

How the gold has lost its lustre,

    the fine gold become dull!

The sacred gems are scattered

    at every street corner.

How the precious children of Zion,

    once worth their weight in gold,

are now considered as pots of clay,

    the work of a potter’s hands!

Even jackals offer their breasts

    to nurse their young,

but my people have become heartless

    like ostriches in the desert.

Because of thirst the infant’s tongue

    sticks to the roof of its mouth;

the children beg for bread,

    but no one gives it to them.

Those who once ate delicacies

    are destitute in the streets.

Those brought up in royal purple

    now lie on ash heaps.

The punishment of my people

    is greater than that of Sodom,

which was overthrown in a moment

    without a hand turned to help her.

Their princes were brighter than snow

    and whiter than milk,

their bodies more ruddy than rubies,

    their appearance like lapis lazuli.

But now they are blacker than soot;

    they are not recognised in the streets.

Their skin has shrivelled on their bones;

    it has become as dry as a stick.

Those killed by the sword are better off

    than those who die of famine;

racked with hunger, they waste away

    for lack of food from the field.

10 With their own hands compassionate women

    have cooked their own children,

who became their food

    when my people were destroyed.

11 The Lord has given full vent to his wrath;

    he has poured out his fierce anger.

He kindled a fire in Zion

    that consumed her foundations.

12 The kings of the earth did not believe,

    nor did any of the peoples of the world,

that enemies and foes could enter

    the gates of Jerusalem.

13 But it happened because of the sins of her prophets

    and the iniquities of her priests,

who shed within her

    the blood of the righteous.

14 Now they grope through the streets

    as if they were blind.

They are so defiled with blood

    that no one dares to touch their garments.

15 ‘Go away! You are unclean!’ people cry to them.

    ‘Away! Away! Don’t touch us!’

When they flee and wander about,

    people among the nations say,

    ‘They can stay here no longer.’

16 The Lord himself has scattered them;

    he no longer watches over them.

The priests are shown no honour,

    the elders no favour.

17 Moreover, our eyes failed,

    looking in vain for help;

from our towers we watched

    for a nation that could not save us.

18 People stalked us at every step,

    so we could not walk in our streets.

Our end was near, our days were numbered,

    for our end had come.

19 Our pursuers were swifter

    than eagles in the sky;

they chased us over the mountains

    and lay in wait for us in the desert.

20 The Lord’s anointed, our very life breath,

    was caught in their traps.

We thought that under his shadow

    we would live among the nations.

21 Rejoice and be glad, Daughter Edom,

    you who live in the land of Uz.

But to you also the cup will be passed;

    you will be drunk and stripped naked.

22 Your punishment will end, Daughter Zion;

    he will not prolong your exile.

But he will punish your sin, Daughter Edom,

    and expose your wickedness.

This week's questions for reflection are:

  1. Reflect on your own life. How would you articulate what you have been saved from?
  2. How would you articulate what you have been saved for?
  3. In the light of this, what is Jesus saying to you? How will you respond?