Lamentations 2 Covenantal Cursing.
This second lament focuses on the Lord’s wrath on the “daughter of Zion.” It begins with a general judgment on all nations from the Lord, but also includes the destruction not just of the city, but also of the temple in it (vv. 1-7). There is a uniqueness to the destruction of city and temple though, it does merit the covenantal judgment of the LORD (vv. 6-22). The marvel is that he did not withdraw his hand, so to speak, in consideration of city and temple. The LORD would use their enemies for this task (v. 7). As horrible as all this is, Jeremiah focused attention upon the worst judgment of all, the absence of the law-word of the covenant. “The law is no more, and her prophets find no vision from the LORD.”(v. 9a) Therefore, the elders cannot but sit “on the ground and keep silence.” (v. 10a) It was a time of mourning and sorrow (10b-12), without consolation or comfort, because there was no healer (v. 13).
This is what happens when leadership refuses to be subject to the word. They were using deceptive words, rather than uncovering iniquity, which would lead to reconciliation. Instead, they envisioned for the people “false prophecies and delusions (v. 14). They became the subjects of ridicule, not “the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth.” (v. 15). This punishment was the LORD purposing to fulfill the curses of the covenant, “commanded in days of old” (v. 17 Cf. Dt. 28:15ff.). The plea is for them to avail themselves of prayer to the Lord, an invitation open to all (vv. 18-19). However, their request for mercy was to the LORD of the covenant, to at least spare women and children, priest and prophet, no doubt thinking that they needed a mediator for what was happening (vv. 20-22). However, it was largely due to the apostacy of the priests and prophets which led to the absence of a word from the LORD.