This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit. My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.” Zion stretches out her hands, but there is no one to comfort her. The Lord has decreed for Jacob that his neighbors become his foes; Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them. “The Lord is righteous, yet I rebelled against his command. Listen, all you peoples; look on my suffering. My young men and young women have gone into exile. – Lamentations 1:16-18
This passage provides an explanation for the sorrow and lamenting that the people are feeling and expressing with their tears. They are soul-sick and feel like there is no one to comfort them “No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit”. This lack of a comforter could be a result of the comforter being absent or the people moving out of the comforter’s reach. The people feel as if the enemy has won and they have no hope.
I get the sense that there are spiritual undercurrents to the discussion going on here. If tears are samples of our souls then the tears the people are shedding are revealing something about the state of their souls and perhaps how their souls are relating to God. “Zion stretches out her hands” suggesting that the people feel like they are reaching out to God, but their reach does not seem to be long enough to reach Him. Perhaps while they are reaching for God they are missing His arm extended toward them?
They acknowledge God’s righteousness, and their rebellion toward the commands of God, but they seem to lack the ability to resolve this spiritual divide. The feeling being expressed here is not unique to these people at this time. I think most of us will admit to feeling soul sick and separated from God at times. Jesus came to bridge this seemingly unbridgeable chasm. His arm extends to all those who are willing to accept it. Through Him God is near to us in a way that the people of this passage yearned to know.
Prayer: God help us to remember that Your love is sufficient to bridge any chasm that separates us from You.