How empty lies the city
Based on the book of Lamentations
Words and Music by Matt MacGregor
How empty lies the city,
Deserted are the streets,
The queen among the nations,
Now exiled in defeat.
Jerusalem, that dwelling of Your great and holy name,
But now by You despised, exposed so all might see her shame.
Her years of former beauty
Are nowhere to be seen.
She cowers now in ruin
Disgraced, debased, unclean.
Engulfed by the derision of the nations circled round;
Her outstretched hands imploring for relief that can’t be found.
What was the sin that moved Your hand
To strike Your own, Your precious land?
Stir our hearts;
Leave us not unmoved;
Show us that we stand
By hope in You alone.
By your love
We are not consumed.
Great is your faithfulness:
Your mercy to us.
Our eyes should fail from weeping,
Our hearts should quell within
To see such great affliction:
A harvest reaped of sin.
To see that day of wrath as myriad foes burst through the walls;
The piercing arrows of Your Word fulfilled in Israel’s fall.
How great the sin that moved Your hand
To strike Your own, Your precious land.
We look back and see shadows
Of what shall soon take place,
When You shall act in justice,
All evil to efface.
But, Lord, our sin demands of us that Israel’s fate is ours
Oh, Father, we must fly to you: our refuge and strong tower.
How great Your love that gave Your Son;
In place of us, Your Holy One.
© 2017 Matt MacGregor
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