Jeremiah was leaving the city when he was taken prisoner and later thrown down a cistern that was filled with mire—or, maybe, sewage. Notice how Jeremiah says that he has become a laughingstock (Jer. 20:7) and the writer of Lamentations uses the same language (Lam 3:14). Also, it is clear that the writer of Lamentations could very well have been at the bottom of a cistern; walled in, everything was dark, and, sunk in the putrid mire, he felt enveloped and besieged with the bitterness of the people, as he suffered tribulation.
- O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and thou hast prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; every one mocks me. (Jeremiah 20:7)
- So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchi′ah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mire, and Jeremiah sank in the mire. (Jeremiah 38.6)
- I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath;…he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light….besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago….He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me… I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the burden of their songs all day long. (Lamentations 3:1–14)
- For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:5)
However, if we are wise, we will realize that the historical elements, though relevant to the authenticity of the scriptural record, do not provide the insights of the devotional aspect that comes when meditating the moment that belongs to the now and realizing that “now never ends”. This esoteric appreciation is missing in too many expositions of Scripture because of its personal nature.
Those who attempt to prove that they are right and others are wrong, overlook what is recorded in the Bible, where the state of each individual is described, as here in Lamentations, chapter three. For unless there is a resurrection of the dead, then we may as well be cast into a walled-in sewer, consumed by the stench of bitterness that comes with the very hopelessness experienced by victims of evil tribulation.
Nonetheless, as we read in Lamentations, chapter three, there is always hope of something better while we are alive on planet Earth.
The Adventure Of Life On This Planet Is Discovering One’s Purpose For Existence