worse than Sodom
Lamentations 4:6-10 (JDV)
Lamentations 4:6 The punishment of my dear people is greater than that of Sodom, who was overthrown in an instant without a hand laid on it.
Lamentations 4:7 Her dignitaries were brighter than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, their appearance like lapis lazuli.
Lamentations 4:8 Now they appear darker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets. Their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become dry like wood.
Lamentations 4:9 Those killed by the sword are better off than those killed by hunger, who waste away, pierced with pain because the fields lack produce.
Lamentations 4:10 The hands of compassionate women have cooked their own children; they became their food during the destruction of my dear people.
worse than Sodom
The Lamenter looks on the devastation of Jerusalem and concludes that it has suffered more that Sodom, which was destroyed by fire from heaven. It has suffered more than a city overtaken by an army with swords, because its pain has lasted longer. To die in battle is one thing. To die slowly from starvation is another entirely. Those who are wasting away from hunger lose all their compassion — even for their own.
We can turn our backs on those who are starving. We can devise all kinds of excuses. But our God challenges us to be his instruments of restoration for the communities around us suffering. He does not need any more instruments of suffering and judgment. But he challenges us to have compassion.
Lord, forgive us for ignoring the suffering. May this new year be one in which your people demonstrated your compassion.