Lamentations 1; Lamentations 2; Hebrews 10:1-18

Viewing Multiple Passages

Lamentations 1

1 "Look how deserted Jerusalem is! Once the city was crowded with people. Once it was important among the nations. Now it is a widow. Once it was a princess among the provinces. Now it does forced labor.
2 Jerusalem cries bitterly at night with tears running down its cheeks. Out of all those who love the city, no one offers it comfort. All of Jerusalem's friends have betrayed it and become its enemies.
3 "Judah has been exiled after [much] suffering and harsh treatment. Its [people] live among the nations; they find no rest. Those who chased them caught up with them in places where there was no way out.
4 "The roads to Zion are deserted. No one comes to the annual festivals. No one passes through any of its gates. Its priests are groaning. Its young women are made to suffer. Zion is bitter.
5 Its opponents are now in control. Its enemies have no worries. The LORD made Zion suffer for its many rebellious acts. Its children go ahead of their opponents into captivity.
6 All splendor has abandoned the people of Zion. Its influential people were like deer that couldn't find any pasture. They ran without any strength ahead of the hunters.
7 "Now, during its suffering and oppression, Jerusalem remembers all the treasures it had from ancient times, when its people fell into the power of their enemies with no one to help them. Their opponents looked on, and they laughed at Jerusalem's downfall.
8 Jerusalem has sinned so much that it has become a filthy thing. Everyone who used to honor it now despises it. They've seen it naked. Jerusalem groans and turns away.
9 Jerusalem's own filth [covers] its clothes. It gave no thought to its future. Its downfall was shocking. No one offers it comfort. 'O LORD, look at my suffering, because my enemies have triumphed.'
10 The enemies laid their hands on all of the city's treasures. Jerusalem has seen the nations enter the holy place. 'O Lord, they are the same people you have forbidden to enter your congregation.'
11 All the people are groaning as they beg for bread. They trade their treasures for food to keep themselves alive. 'O LORD, look and see how despised I am!'"
12 "Doesn't this affect all of you who pass by? Look and see if there's any pain like the pain that the LORD has caused me, like the pain that he has made me suffer on the day of his fierce anger.
13 He sent fire from above. He made it go deep into my bones. He spread a net for my feet. He made me turn back. He has left me devastated. He has made me sick all day long.
14 My rebellious acts are a heavy burden for me. They were tied together by God's own hands. They were tied around my neck. He has weakened me [with them]. The Lord has handed me over to people I cannot oppose.
15 The Lord has treated all the warriors inside my [walls] with contempt. He called an army to defeat my young men. The LORD trampled the people of Judah in a winepress.
16 I'm crying because of [all] these things. My eyes--my eyes flow with tears. No one can give me the comfort I need to keep me alive. Everyone is too far away from me. My children are devastated because my enemies have won."
17 Zion holds out its hands. No one offers it comfort. The LORD has given this order about Jacob: His own neighbors will become his opponents. Jerusalem has become a filthy thing among them.
18 "The LORD is right in what he did, because I rebelled against his word. Please listen, all you people, and look at my pain. My young women and young men have gone into captivity.
19 I called for those who love me, but they betrayed me. My priests and leaders breathed their last breath in the city, looking for food to keep themselves alive.
20 "O LORD, see the distress I'm in! My stomach is churning. My heart is pounding because I've been very bitter. In the streets swords kill my children. Inside the houses it's like death.
21 "All my enemies have heard that I am groaning. No one offers me comfort. All my enemies have heard about my disaster. They are happy that you did it. You have allowed the day to come, the one that you had announced. Let my enemies be like me now.
22 Recall all of their wickedness. Then deal with them as you have dealt with me because of all my rebellious acts. I groan so much and feel so sick at heart."

Lamentations 2

1 "Look how the Lord has covered the people of Zion with the cloud of his anger! He has thrown down Israel's beauty from heaven to earth. He didn't [even] remember his footstool on the day of his anger.
2 The Lord swallowed up all of Jacob's pastures without any pity. He tore down the fortified cities of Judah in his fury. He brought the kingdom [of Judah] and its leaders down to the ground in dishonor.
3 In his burning anger he cut off all of Israel's strength. He withdrew his right hand when they faced their enemy. He burned like a raging fire in [the land of] Jacob, destroying everything around him.
4 Like an enemy he bent his bow. Like an opponent his right hand held the arrow steady. He killed all the beautiful people. He poured out his fury like fire on the tent of Zion's people.
5 The Lord became an enemy. He swallowed up Israel. He swallowed up all of its palaces. He destroyed its strongholds. He made the people of Judah mourn and moan.
6 He stripped his own booth as if it were a garden and destroyed his own festivals. The LORD wiped out the memory of festivals and days of worship in Zion. He expelled kings and priests because of his fierce anger.
7 The Lord rejected his altar and disowned his holy place. He handed the walls of Zion's palaces over to its enemies. The enemies made noise in the LORD's temple as though it were a festival day.
8 The LORD planned to destroy the wall of Zion's people. He marked it off with a line. He didn't take his hand away until he had swallowed it up. He made the towers and walls mourn. They are completely dejected.
9 "[Zion's] gates have sunk into the ground. [The LORD] destroyed and shattered the bars across its [gates]. Its king and influential people are [scattered] among the nations. There is no longer any instruction [from Moses' Teachings]. Its prophets can find no visions from the LORD.
10 The respected leaders of Zion's people sit silently on the ground. They throw dirt on their heads and put on sackcloth. The young women of Jerusalem bow their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes are worn out with tears. My stomach is churning. My heart is poured out on the ground because of the destruction of my people. Little children and infants faint in the city streets.
12 They're asking their mothers for some bread and wine as they faint like wounded people in the city streets. Their lives dwindle away in their mothers' arms.
13 "What example can I give you? What parallel can I show you, people of Jerusalem? What comparison can I make that will comfort you, beloved people of Zion? Your wounds are as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?
14 Your prophets saw misleading visions about you. They painted a good picture of you. They didn't expose your guilt in order to make things better again. They gave you false prophecies that misled you.
15 Everyone who walks along the road shakes a fist at you. They hiss and shake their heads at Jerusalem's people: 'Is this the city they used to call absolutely beautiful, the joy of the whole world?'
16 All your enemies gawk at you. They hiss and grit their teeth. They say, 'We've swallowed it up. Yes, this is the day we've been waiting for. At last we have seen it!'
17 The LORD has accomplished what he had planned to do. He carried out the threat he announced long ago. He tore you down without any pity, [Jerusalem]. He made your enemies gloat over you. He raised the weapons of your opponents.
18 The hearts of Jerusalem's people cried out to the LORD, the wall of Zion's people. Let your tears run down like a river day and night. Don't let them stop. Don't let your eyes rest.
19 Get up! Cry out at night, every hour on the hour. Pour your heart out like water in the presence of the LORD. Lift up your hands to him [in prayer] for the life of your little children who faint from hunger at every street corner."
20 "O LORD, look and consider: Have you ever treated anyone like this? Should women eat their own children, the children they have nursed? Should priests and prophets be killed in the Lord's holy place?
21 Young and old lie on the ground in the streets. My young women and men are cut down by swords. You killed them on the day of your anger. You slaughtered them without any pity.
22 You have invited those who terrorize me on every side, as though they were invited to a festival. No one escaped or survived on the day of the LORD's anger. My enemy has murdered the children I nursed and raised."

Hebrews 10:1-18

1 Moses' Teachings with their yearly cycle of sacrifices are only a shadow of the good things in the future. They aren't an exact likeness of those things. They can never make those who worship perfect.
2 If these sacrifices could have made the worshipers perfect, the sacrifices would have stopped long ago. Those who worship would have been cleansed once and for all. Their consciences would have been free from sin.
3 Instead, this yearly cycle of sacrifices reminded people of their sins.
4 (The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins.)
5 For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said, "'You did not want sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for me.
6 You did not approve of burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.'
7 Then I said, 'I have come! (It is written about me in the scroll of the book.) I have come to do what you want, my God.'"
8 In this passage Christ first said, "You did not want sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, and sacrifices for sin. You did not approve of them." (These are the sacrifices that Moses' Teachings require people to offer.)
9 Then Christ says, "I have come to do what you want." He did away with sacrifices in order to establish the obedience that God wants.
10 We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all.
11 Every day each priest performed his religious duty. He offered the same type of sacrifice again and again. Yet, these sacrifices could never take away sins.
12 However, this chief priest made one sacrifice for sins, and this sacrifice lasts forever. Then he received the highest position in heaven.
13 Since that time, he has been waiting for his enemies to be made his footstool.
14 With one sacrifice he accomplished the work of setting them apart for God forever.
15 The Holy Spirit tells us the same thing:
16 "This is the promise that I will make to them after those days, says the Lord: 'I will put my teachings in their hearts and write them in their minds.'"
17 Then he adds, "I will no longer hold their sins and their disobedience against them."
18 When sins are forgiven, there is no longer any need to sacrifice for sins.