“How lonely sits the city that was full of people!” In 587 BC, Jerusalem was crushed by mighty Babylon. Throughout Lamentations 1, the city of David is personified as “weeping bitterly” in the night. “With tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies” (Lam 1:1-2).
Words can hardly encapsulate how much good had been sacrificed in order to acquire so little. “Jerusalem remembers 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” (Lam 1:7).
But so much more is involved here than the ancient history of a Jewish city. Pay particular attention to the first phrase of Lamentations 1:19— “I called to my lovers, but they deceived me.” Here is a principle that is timeless. Those things that tantalizingly beckon us away from wholehearted faithfulness to God? They are lying to us.
- Pornography is lying to you.
- Pre-marital sex is lying to you.
- Adultery is lying to you.
- Alcohol is lying to you.
- Drugs are lying to you.
- Greed is lying to you.
- Laziness is lying to you.
- Jealousy is lying to you.
- Unrighteous anger is lying to you.
- Selfishness is lying to you.
- Idolatry is lying to you.
Every single one of us will get to the point—either on this side of death or the other—when we “call out to our lovers” that have sinfully captivated our affections… and there will be no response. The day will come when we discover that we have been deceived all along. What was promised was never and will never be delivered.
One of the primary factors in our lack of success against temptation is our lack of righteous indignation about being repeatedly lied to in the midst of temptation. Tragic examples of the realized unresponsiveness of deceitful lovers have been providentially preserved for our learning. It is simply a question of whether or not we will stop believing the lies before it is too late.