God has totally and utterly humiliated his daughter, Zion.
Seriously, he didn't hold anything back. He let the Babylonians destroy the Temple in Jerusalem. God watched as they tore down homes, walls, gates, and military bases. He even brought down the kingdoms and rulers of Judah.
God cut down all of Judah "in fierce anger." (That's the understatement of the 6th century BCE.)
The Poet thinks the Almighty stopped helping the people. He acted like an enemy who was ready to fire arrows right at them. He even killed his own people.
God rained down fire and destroyed the whole city. And their whole way of life. God only left suffering and agony in their place. Seriously, he does not play around.
Probably the worst part is that God took out his own house. The Temple is gone and so is the tabernacle that was inside. Now there's no reason to celebrate any festivals or to observe the Sabbath. God has given this holy place to their enemies. It's super astonishing and sad.
There are no more kings. No more priests. There's no one to guide the people. All anyone can do is sit in the streets and mourn. The Poet personally spends most of his time weeping.
The Poet is literally sick to his stomach when he sees what's happened to their city. Babies are dying of starvation in the streets. Their mothers are screaming out for food and wine while their children collapse in their arms. It's gruesome.
How can the Poet even figure out how to describe this all? What could he even compare it to? He's never seen anything so horrible before. What can he say to comfort the people? Is there anyone who can heal the city? It seems like the answer to those questions is a major "no."
God Won't Say He Told You So, But…
Before the city fell, the prophets in town led everyone astray when they said that things would be fine. They were a little bit off on those predictions. Just a bit.
Now everyone in the world is mocking Judah.
This is a delicious victory for Judah's enemies. They'd been waiting for so long to take them down. Now, they've finally got to see Jerusalem fall and they love it. It's like Christmas… you know, before Christmas even existed.
All this happened just like God said it would.
He threatened the people with destruction a long time ago and they never listened. He's finally made good on his promise. That's one thing about God. He has a long memory.
The Poet tells the people that they need to cry out to God. They should spend all their time weeping and wailing and repenting for the bad things they've done. Maybe then God will stop letting little babies die of starvation.
Seriously though, God. Look at what you've done. Think about the misery you've inflicted on your chosen people. It's a pretty horrific scene.
Is it okay for a mother to eat her own children because she's starving to death? Should a priest be slaughtered while serving in God's Temple? Is this cool with you, God? Is it?
So many people are dead. Both young and old. Those who are left are in total misery. God killed these people in anger. He had no mercy for them. It's like he threw a party and invited all of Judah's enemies over. Then, he sat back and watched as his children were forced from their homes and murdered.