The last verse we read in Lamentations is a passionate plea of the prophet for the children that were perishing: “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to Him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.” (2:19) The enemy is trying to destroy our children, they are dying of hunger and are at risk for many reasons. We have to cry out to the Lord for our children today.
The reason for the children to be at risk is because of the sins of the parents and adults, bringing collateral damage to the next generations. The enemy of Zion had become their master, turning the table on them. It was all because of the transgression of the people, the Lord allowed them to undergo sufferings. They had sinned greatly against the Lord and so became unclean in the sight of God. When they failed to observe the laws and statutes of the Lord, the enemy would gain an upper hand on them, defeating them and taking them into captivity.
If the adults were taken captive, the children will follow (1:6). If the enemy had prevailed, the children would also become desolate (1:16). Even the infants and babies fainted in the streets of the city, asking for bread and wine (2:11). All these could have been averted should the adults turn to God and repent of their ways. As they were sinning, little thought was given to the destiny of their children. When one generation sins against God, the subsequent generations have to suffer. Although the children were innocent of the sins and transgression in Jeremiah’s day, they still suffered the misery brought on by their parents’ generation.
So when you sin against God, think about your children. God visits the iniquity of idolatry from the father to their children, all they way through the third and the fourth generations. The word “iniquity” in the Old Testament has the connotation of corporate sin through inheritance. The sins of the fathers have a way of passing through to the next generations. When you sin, you suffer and your children also suffer the consequences of your sin. Think twice before you disobey God in any way.
Remember, the destiny of your children lies in your hands. If you live a holy life, setting a good example for the children, the Lord is going to bless them. For those who love the Lord, their descendants are blessed to a thousand generations. The power of blessing and curse is in your hands, how you need to come clean before the Lord. Pray now for the children at risk: they may be sold into slavery, they may be growing up in an ungodly environment or they may be perishing of hunger. Cry out to the Lord for them and lift your hands for the lives of the children now.
Ps 119:57-64 Lam 1:1-2:19 Phm 1-25 Prov 26:20