“Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin, pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. LIft up your hands to him, for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner.” Lamentations 2:19.
The writer of this book couldn’t have depicted a more accurate picture of our current day predicament; a generation of youths who are floundering. He says they faint from hunger at the corners where they hang out. It would seem like to me, if someone is hungry they should go home and eat. But it is clear that the writer is not talking about hunger for food. Otherwise most of they boys and girls wouldn’t qualify to be at those corners in the first place. I don’t know about where you come from, but from where I come from it is the well-fed, well-dressed, well-brought up youths who leave the comfort, safety, warmth of their homes and do God knows what on the street corners. Whether it’s drinking, smoking, doing drugs, engaging in sexual immorality and criminal activities, the writer of Lamentations attributes all of this to one thing; hunger.
The most interesting thing about the scripture above is that the writer implores the older generation to cry out to God on behalf of these floundering youths. I would have expected that he would address the youths themselves, because after all, they have ears to hear and minds to think; but somehow he felt that the only solution would come from the older generation. In fact, he advises the older generation to cry out to God for the lives of their young ones. Rightly so, I believe, because when you look at the majority of young people today, they seem not to have a care in the world. They do what they want to do, when they want to do it, how they want to do it. They live for now and couldn’t care less about the consequences of their actions. They seem oblivious to all the dangers the are exposing themselves to. Which is why I believe the writer thought it best to target the older generation.
The other thing that stands out for me is that the writer doesn’t say the older generation must chastise, scold, rebuke or punish the youth. He says to go to God on their behalf. It would seem like the writer knew that there would come a day when parents wouldn’t be able to raise their children the way they want to. A day when children could divorce their parents, when parents could be jailed for spanking their own offspring, when any form of punishment a parent metes out to a child is considered child abuse (I’m talking about reasonable acts of discipline). The writer says, when it would seem that the older generation’s hands are tied, they can still cry out to God! He is the answer!
“How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at every street corner.” Lamentations 4:1.
One cannot even begin to comprehend the innocence, purity and moral standards that are stripped from our young people as they loiter about aimlessly. The writer likens this to jewels that are carelessly tossed at street corners. Just think about that for a minute. Who, in their right mind, would take valuable, priceless treasures out of their protective, safe environment and just leave them at street corners? This just goes to show how much God esteems our young people; he likens them to jewels! Yet see how our young people treat themselves, like common commodities and the devil is picking them up by the dozen! God’s gold is losing it’s shine in our street corners. His sacred creation is losing value, worth and depreciating because of common use!
Unbeknownst to them, our youths are hungry for one thing; Jesus, the Bread of Life. The only one who can completely and perfectly satisfy all hunger. Which is why the writer of Lamentations calls the older generation to prayer, more specifically, intercessory prayer. Taking into consideration what the apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:4 about the god of this age blinding the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel: it is obvious that that is the same thing that has happened to our young people. They have been blinded and it calls for us to pray for them. This call is not only for the chronologically matured, but even those of us, though young in age, but spiritually matured, to stand in the gap on behalf of our peers.