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. (Lamentations 2:17 ESV)
Lamentations is hard to read! You can almost see the pages still wet from Jeremiah’s weeping over the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. As much as God loves his people it is almost shocking to see him destroy it in such a fury. But then we are reminded that what has happened to Jerusalem is nothing more than the promised consequence of the choices that Israel made. They broke the covenant God made with them and God has brought down the covenant curses upon them. It reminds us that we should walk in fear of the Lord. God is true to His Word. I think, like the people of Israel, we tend to think that God wouldn’t do such a hard thing to the people he loves so much. But that is a foolish way of thinking. Where does it come from? Perhaps it could come from the way we, as parents, fail to follow through with our own discipline on our children when they break the rules or fail to obey. We think we are loving them by letting them off. But we are not. Instead we are hardening them to the fear and respect they ought to have for those who govern them (for their good).