Lamentations 2 & Psalm 33

Lamentations 2

 

    How the Lord in his anger
        has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!
    He has cast down from heaven to earth
        the splendor of Israel;
    he has not remembered his footstool
        in the day of his anger.
    
    
    The Lord has swallowed up without mercy
        all the habitations of Jacob;
    in his wrath he has broken down
        the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
    he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
        the kingdom and its rulers.
    
    
    He has cut down in fierce anger
        all the might of Israel;
    he has withdrawn from them his right hand
        in the face of the enemy;
    he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
        consuming all around.
    
    
    He has bent his bow like an enemy,
        with his right hand set like a foe;
    and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes
        in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
    he has poured out his fury like fire.
    
    
    The Lord has become like an enemy;
        he has swallowed up Israel;
    he has swallowed up all its palaces;
        he has laid in ruins its strongholds,
    and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
        mourning and lamentation.
    
    
    He has laid waste his booth like a garden,
        laid in ruins his meeting place;
    the LORD has made Zion forget
        festival and Sabbath,
    and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.
    
    
    The Lord has scorned his altar,
        disowned his sanctuary;
    he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
        the walls of her palaces;
    they raised a clamor in the house of the LORD
        as on the day of festival.
    
    
    The LORD determined to lay in ruins
        the wall of the daughter of Zion;
    he stretched out the measuring line;
        he did not restrain his hand from destroying;
    he caused rampart and wall to lament;
        they languished together.
    
    
    Her gates have sunk into the ground;
        he has ruined and broken her bars;
    her king and princes are among the nations;
        the law is no more,
    and her prophets find
        no vision from the LORD.
    
    
    The elders of the daughter of Zion
        sit on the ground in silence;
    they have thrown dust on their heads
        and put on sackcloth;
    the young women of Jerusalem
        have bowed their heads to the ground.
    
    
    My eyes are spent with weeping;
        my stomach churns;
    my bile is poured out to the ground
        because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
    because infants and babies faint
        in the streets of the city.
    
    
    They cry to their mothers,
        “Where is bread and wine?”
    as they faint like a wounded man
        in the streets of the city,
    as their life is poured out
        on their mothers' bosom.
    
    
    What can I say for you, to what compare you,
        O daughter of Jerusalem?
    What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,
        O virgin daughter of Zion?
    For your ruin is vast as the sea;
        who can heal you?
    
    
    Your prophets have seen for you
        false and deceptive visions;
    they have not exposed your iniquity
        to restore your fortunes,
    but have seen for you oracles
        that are false and misleading.
    
    
    All who pass along the way
        clap their hands at you;
    they hiss and wag their heads
        at the daughter of Jerusalem:
    “Is this the city that was called
        the perfection of beauty,
        the joy of all the earth?”
    
    
    All your enemies
        rail against you;
    they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
        they cry: “We have swallowed her!
    Ah, this is the day we longed for;
        now we have it; we see it!”
    
    
    The LORD has done what he purposed;
        he has carried out his word,
    which he commanded long ago;
        he has thrown down without pity;
    he has made the enemy rejoice over you
        and exalted the might of your foes.
    
    
    Their heart cried to the Lord.
        O wall of the daughter of Zion,
    let tears stream down like a torrent
        day and night!
    Give yourself no rest,
        your eyes no respite!
    
    
    “Arise, cry out in the night,
        at the beginning of the night watches!
    Pour out your heart like water
        before the presence of the Lord!
    Lift your hands to him
        for the lives of your children,
    who faint for hunger
        at the head of every street.”
    
    
    Look, O LORD, and see!
        With whom have you dealt thus?
    Should women eat the fruit of their womb,
        the children of their tender care?
    Should priest and prophet be killed
        in the sanctuary of the Lord?
    
    
    In the dust of the streets
        lie the young and the old;
    my young women and my young men
        have fallen by the sword;
    you have killed them in the day of your anger,
        slaughtering without pity.
    
    
    You summoned as if to a festival day
        my terrors on every side,
    and on the day of the anger of the LORD
        no one escaped or survived;
    those whom I held and raised
        my enemy destroyed.

(Lamentations 2 ESV)


Psalm 33

 

    Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous!
        Praise befits the upright.
    Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
        make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
    Sing to him a new song;
        play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
    
    
    For the word of the LORD is upright,
        and all his work is done in faithfulness.
    He loves righteousness and justice;
        the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
    
    
    By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
        and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
    He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
        he puts the deeps in storehouses.
    
    
    Let all the earth fear the LORD;
        let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
    For he spoke, and it came to be;
        he commanded, and it stood firm.
    
    
    The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
        he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
    The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
        the plans of his heart to all generations.
    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
        the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
    
    
    The LORD looks down from heaven;
        he sees all the children of man;
    from where he sits enthroned he looks out
        on all the inhabitants of the earth,
    he who fashions the hearts of them all
        and observes all their deeds.
    The king is not saved by his great army;
        a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
    The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
        and by its great might it cannot rescue.
    
    
    Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
        on those who hope in his steadfast love,
    that he may deliver their soul from death
        and keep them alive in famine.
    
    
    Our soul waits for the LORD;
        he is our help and our shield.
    For our heart is glad in him,
        because we trust in his holy name.
    Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
        even as we hope in you.

(Psalm 33 ESV)

Enthroned Over the Earth

 

The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. (Psalm 33:13-15)

 

This psalm is clearly a proclamation of praise for God as the Sovereign Creator and King over all of His creation. The doctrine of creation makes it plain before us that all the inhabitants of the world ought to fear and stand in awe of their Creator. All things owe God allegiance because He is after all their Creator, Maker and Ultimate Ruler. 

Do we have a big enough view of our Creator? Are we guilty of putting too much hope in the things of this world and the governing authorities of this world? Should we learn to walk through this life aware of the fact that our God looks down from heaven and sees all the actions of man?

The imagery used in the psalm paints a powerful perspective that we must try to grasp. Our God sits enthroned over all the inhabitants of the earth, and He is so involved in the day-to-day routine of our lives that we are told He fashions the hearts of all of us and observes all that we do. Blessed are those who fear Him like He ought to be feared and those whom He has chosen as His heritage.