(September 23, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares …
In 586 BC the Babylonian army invaded Judah and laid siege to Jerusalem for a year and a half. The suffering experienced by the people of Jerusalem was intense. The prophet Jeremiah, who lived through those turbulent times, graphically and painfully described what conditions were like in the city of Jerusalem during this time in the book of Lamentations.
In chapter 4 verses 4-6, 9 and 10 he wrote, ‘They let their babies die of hunger and thirst; children are begging for food that no one will give them. People who once ate the finest foods die starving in the streets; those raised in luxury are pawing through garbage for food. My people have been punished even more than the inhabitants of Sodom, which met a sudden downfall at the hands of God. … Those who died in the war were better off than those who died later, who starved slowly to death, with no food to keep them alive. The disaster that came to my people brought horror; loving mothers boiled their own children for food’ (GNB).
That horror came to an unimaginable end in 586 BC when the Babylonian army crashed through the city walls and razed the city to the ground. There was not much of it left. Jerusalem was ransacked, the magnificent temple that Solomon had built was totally destroyed and the inhabitants of the city were either killed or exiled to Babylon. Their joyful songs that were intended to be sung when entering the temple to worship could no longer be sung by the exiles as the temple lay in ruins 1500km away. And, Jerusalem, the city the psalmist described as ‘beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. … the city of the Great King’ (Psalm 48:2) was now a heap of rubble. (more…)