How lonely sits the city
that was full of people!
How like a widow has she become,
she who was great among the nations!
She who was a princess among the provinces
has become a slave.
From the daughter of Zion
all her majesty has departed.
Her princes have become like deer
that find no pasture;
they fled without strength
before the pursuer.
in the days of her affliction and wandering
all the precious things
that were hers from days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
and there was none to help her,
her foes gloated over her;
they mocked at her downfall. Lamentations 1:1, 6-7 ESV
Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked,
and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations,
with which your enemies mock, O Lord,
with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed. Psalm 89:49-51 ESV
Once there was a lovely princess whose mother, the queen, arranged for her to marry a handsome prince in a faraway kingdom. The queen sent her daughter away on a horse named Falada, who was magic and could talk, and a serving maid was sent with her on another horse. While they were traveling, the princess became thirsty and asked her serving maid to bring her a drink, but the serving maid said the princess should get it herself. “I don’t choose to serve you,” the maid said. This happened twice, and then the serving maid forced the princess to change clothes with her and to promise never to tell about the switch. The princess promised, and then she had to serve her maid, while the maid was treated like a princess. The princess mourned, saying, “What will become of me?” and Falada responded sadly, “If your mother knew this it would break her heart.”
When the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, Jeremiah was freed from prison. He wasn’t taken away with the other exiles, but instead he stayed in his country. As he looked at the destroyed city of Jerusalem, he wrote a very sad poem called “Lamentations.” This poem is a long lament over the terrible things that had happened to Jerusalem. Jeremiah compared the ruined city to a princess who had lost all her majesty and been made into a slave, and to a lovely bride who had lost her husband and become lonely and sad. The prophet said that Jerusalem remembered the good and precious times of her past as she experienced trouble and sorrow in her wandering. Her enemies laughed and mocked at her downfall and didn’t have any pity on her or help her at all.
We all had fallen under the power of sin and death. We were made in God’s image to be his royal children, but instead we fell into sin and became slaves of evil. Then God came to us in Jesus, and Jesus laid aside his kingly power and became a servant for us. He loved and served his people in many ways. His loving service took him all the way to the cross to die for us. Jesus let his enemies put him to death on the cross, and they laughed at him and mocked him as he was dying. But Jesus destroyed our enemies, sin and death, by his own death and by rising from the dead. Because of Jesus, we are once again God’s royal children and will live forever in his heavenly kingdom.
Dear Jesus, thank you for becoming a servant for us so that we could become God’s royal children again. Amen.