God’s ministers who have foretold His judgments upon sinners should bitterly lament the destruction of sinners when it comes, as those who have not desired the woeful day.
Sinners may thank themselves for the fire that consumes them,
for they have by their wickedness made themselves like tinder to the sparks of God’s wrath.
2 And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions.
3 And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men.
4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion.
6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men.
7 And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring.
8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit.
9 And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.
10 ¶ Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.
11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.
12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.
14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
Ezekiel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Ezekiel 19:1, 14—This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
This chapter is a dirge; first over two kings of the house of David, Jehoahaz and Jehoiachim, who, like wild beasts, had been carried off, the former to Egypt, the latter by the Chaldeans; and then over the whole royal family, described under the figure of a wasted vine, humbled and almost destroyed.
We, too, may lament for the sufferings and sorrows of our King. The Holy Spirit would not have us forget them; because our sin-laden and wounded hearts can only become healed by pressing against his wounds who was pierced by the nails and the spear. “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself” (Hebrews 12:3).— the agony and bloody sweat; the cross and passion; the scorn and reviling; the contradiction of sinners; and the malice of Satan. And as the full measure of his sufferings is unfolded to us we shall weep and lament; not for Him, but for ourselves and for our children.
That our sins nailed Him to the cross; that our guilt extorted from his heart the cry that He was forsaken; that his prolonged agony was borne in our stead, and borne for nothing else than for love of us; that we have grieved Him so, torn open his wounds, and added to his pains, by our rebellion and ingratitude; that the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and that we have been healed only by his stripes. Here is subject for lamentation indeed!
But it is strange that the remembrance of all this brings strength, and solace, and peace. As Bunyan says, “He hath given us rest by his sorrow.” The bitterness of his sorrows alternately makes us sad and blessed. Sad that we brought Him such a heritage of woe: happy that since He has suffered, we are for ever emancipated from what had crushed us. —Our Daily Homily