Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwell in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through to you: you shall be drunken…
I. OUR FIRST MESSAGE IS ONE OF COMFORT. "The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; He will no more carry thee away into captivity."
1. A joyous fact. Sin deserved God's wrath; that wrath has spent itself on Christ. O daughter of Zion, let thy conscience be at rest. Justice is satisfied; the law is not despised: it is honoured; it is established. Thou art accepted in the Beloved; thy guilt was laid on Him of old, and thou art now safe. Come thou boldly unto God, and rejoice thou in Him. Lest, however, while God is reconciled and conscience is quieted, our fears should even for an instant arise, let us repair to Gethsemane and Calvary, and see there this great sight, how the punishment of our iniquity is accomplished.
2. See to whom this message is sent.
(1) In the first chapter and at the sixth verse you find it said, "From the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed." We should have thought that Christ would have died for those who had some form and comeliness, but no. "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."(2) Wonder of wonders! the eighth and ninth verses tell us "Jerusalem hath grievously sinned," and the ninth verse tells us yet more, that "her filthiness is in her skirts." Thus those for whom Christ died are made to feel their sin.
(3) Look on, again, to the seventeenth verse, and there you find that this filthiness has brought her into utter distress — "Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her." So those to whom this message is sent are brought, through a sense of sin, into a comfortless state.
(4) To make the case worse, this poor daughter of Zion is obliged to confess that she deserved all her sufferings. In the eighteenth verse she says, "The Lord is righteous: for I have rebelled against His commandments." The soul feels now that God is just. Come with the ropes about our necks, ready for execution, and you will find a God ready to forgive.
(5) Further still: her prayer was not yet heard (Lamentations 2:1). If thou hast been for months, ay, even for years, crying for mercy, and still hast not found it, let not this cast thee down, for to thee is this message sent this morning.
(6) Further: every place of refuge was broken down (Lamentations 2:8). Our Lord, who is determined to bring us to the obedience of faith, continually beats down the sinner's confidences, till at last there is not one stone left upon another that is not thrown down; then the sinner yields himself a captive, and free grace leads him in triumph to the Cross.
(7) Further still: this daughter of Jerusalem was now brought into a state of deep humiliation (Lamentations 2:10).
(8) Furthermore: it seems from the thirteenth verse that all her foes were let loose against her, and her grief exceeded all bounds and prevented all comparison.
(9) In the eighteenth and nineteenth verses of the same chapter you will see that at last this afflicted daughter of Zion was brought to constant prayer.
3. A precious promise. "I will no more carry thee away into captivity." Thou art in captivity now, but it is the last thou shalt ever have. Thou art sorrowing on account of sin, and troubled even to despair; but thou art now forgiven — not thou shalt be, but thou art; all the wrath was laid on Christ; there is none remaining upon thee; thou art forgiven, and thy captivity is turned as the streams in the south. Let thy mouth be filed with laughter, and thy tongue with singing, for the Lord hath done great things for thee.
II. A BURDEN OF WOE. Daughter of Edom! Thus saith the Lord unto thee, "I will visit thine iniquity." Unbeliever, thou who hast never felt thy need of Christ, and never fled to Him, to thee He says, "I will visit thine iniquity." His justice tarries, but it is sure; His axe seems rusty, but it is sharp. The sins of the past are not buried; or if they be, they shay have a resurrection. But who is this daughter of Edom?
1. It seems, according to the twenty-first verse, that the daughter of Edom was a mirthful one. Weep, all ye that make mirth in the presence of the avenging Judge, for the day cometh when He shall turn your laughter into mourning, and all your joys shay be ended!
2. Edom, moreover, dwelt very carelessly, she dwelt in the land of Uz, far from danger. Her dwelling was among the rocks. Petra, the stony city, was cut out of the live rock. The daughter of Edom said in her heart, "Who shall come hither to disturb the eagle's nest?" Thus saith the Lord, "O daughter of Edom, I will visit thine iniquity."
3. It appears that this daughter of Edom rejoiced because of the sorrow of Zion, and made mirth and merriment over the sorrows of others. Do you not hear even the wise men say, "Ah! These drivelling hypocrites, whining about sin! Why, it is only a peccadillo, a mere trifle!"
4. It seems, too, from Malachi 1:4, that Edom always retained a hope, a vain, a self-sufficient confidence.
5. Besides, it seems that this daughter of Edom was very proud (Jeremiah 49:16). But this tremendous pride was brought low at the last; and so also all those who think themselves righteous shall find themselves foul at last. They rest and trust in the rotten and broken reed of their own doings, and woe shall be unto them, for God will visit them for their sins.
III. WHAT IS THE REASON WHY THERE ARE THESE DIFFERENT MESSAGES?
1. The reason why I had to publish a message of mercy to the daughter of Zion just now was sovereign grace. Everlasting love preserved deliverance for the beloved city. Our God had kindled in her heart thoughts of repentance, and in His sovereignty, because He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, He sent her the gracious message of full remission by an accomplished punishment.
2. But why was the second message sent to the daughter of Edom? Here it is not the line of sovereignty, but the line of justice; He sent it because the daughter of Edom deserved it.
IV. WHAT CLAIMS HAVE THESE MESSAGES TO OUR FAITH? We believe this Bible to be the Word of God.
1. Well, then, you to whom the first message is sent, believe it. You said, as I read the description just now, "That is my case." Very well then, the punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished. Do not say, "I will try and believe it," but believe it.
2. As for the second message, again I say this Book is God's Word, and it is true. Believe it. "Oh," says one, "but if I believed it, I should be full of awful anguish." Would to God you were; for do you not see that then you would come under the description of the daughter of Zion, and then the promise would be yours, for what is the law sent for? To flog men to hell? No, but to be our pedagogue to bring us to Christ.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.