1 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. 2 He has led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. 3 Surely he has turned against me; he turns his hand against me all the day. 4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones. 5 He has built against me, and surrounded me with bitterness and pain. 6 He has set me in dark places, as they that are dead of old. 7 He has hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he has made my chain heavy. 8 Also when I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayer. 9 He has enclosed my ways with cut stone; he has made my paths crooked. 10 He was to me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. 11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he has made me desolate. 12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. 13 He has caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my inward parts. 14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day. 15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has made me drunk with wormwood. 16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he has trampled me in the ashes. 17 And you have removed my soul far from peace: I forgot good. 18 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD.
- Sin and unrighteousness cause much pain, destruction, and ruin.
- God created everything good, good, and very good.
- He doesn’t want wrath. He doesn’t want to judge.
- Man’s choices bring it about because God is holy and man won’t listen and obey.
- Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man thatdoes not walkin the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law he meditates day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in his season; his leaf shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
- 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
19 Remembering my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul has them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. 21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD’s love that we are not consumed, because his compassions do not fail. 23 They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness. 24 The LORD is my portion, said my soul; therefore I will hope in him. 25 The LORD is good to those that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. 27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. 28 He sits alone and keeps silence, because he has borne it upon him. 29 He puts his mouth in the dust; if perhaps there is a hope. 30 He gives his cheek to him that strikes him: he is filled full with reproach.
He does not willingly afflict or grieve us
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever: 32 But though he causes grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his love. 33 For he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. 34 To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth, 35 To turn aside the justice of a man before the face of the most High, 36 To wrong a man in his cause, the Lord does not approve. 37 Who is he that says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord does not commands? 38 Out of the mouth of the most High does not proceeds evil and good? 39 Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? 40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens. 42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: you have not pardoned. 43You have covered with anger, and persecuted us: you have slain, you have not pitied. 44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that our prayer should not pass through. 45 You have made us as the off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the people. 46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. 47 Fear and a snare has come on us, desolation and destruction. 48 My eye runs down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49 My eye flows out and does not cease, without stopping, 50 Until the LORD looks down, and beholds from heaven. 51 What I see makes my breathing/soul painful because of all the daughters of my city. 52 My enemies hunted me like a bird, without cause. 53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me. 54 Waters flowed over my head; then I said, I am cut off. 55 I called on your name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon.
God hears our cry and draws near; He pleads our cause and redeems our life
56 You have heard my voice: do not hide your ear at my breathing, at my cry. 57 You drew near in the day that I called on you: you said, Do not fear. 58 O Lord, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life. 59 O LORD, you have seen my wrong: judge my cause. 60 You have seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me. 61 You have heard their reproach, O LORD, and all their imaginations against me; 62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day. 63 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their music. 64 You will repay them, O LORD, according to the work of their hands. 65 Give them sorrow of heart, your curse unto them. 66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD.
- James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
- Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
1 How the gold has become dim! How the most fine gold has changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street. 2 The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, are esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! 3 Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. 4 The tongue of the sucking child sticks to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask for bread, and no man breaks it unto them. 5 Those who ate delicacies are desolate in the streets: those raised in scarlet embrace dunghill.
- Inside God’s temple the walls were sanctuary lined with gold. Cherubs and palm trees were etched into the gold.
- The sons of Israel were of more value to God that the gold that lined the temple walls. He calls them the stones of the sanctuary.
God punishes idolatry because it leads to eternal death
6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands turned toward her. 7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire: 8 Now their appearance is blacker than coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin sticks to their bones; it is withered, it has become like a stick. 9 They that are killed with the sword are better than they that are killed with hunger: for these pine away, struck down through for lack of the fruits of the field. 10 The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children: they were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
- This is a gruesome reflection of what they were doing spiritually to their children.
- They were not nourishing and leading them on pathways of eternal blessing.
- Their idolatry was leading their children straight into the fires of hell.
- Instead, God took them home to be with Him forever.
- Laws in America allow the sacrifice of the unborn on the altar of inconvenience and selfishness.
- If we support false ideas, then you are like them.
- Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap.
- Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: he that does not gather with me scatters.
11 The LORD has accomplished his fury; he has poured out his fierce anger, and has kindled a fire in Zion, and it has devoured its foundation. 12 The kings of the earth and all the inhabitants of the world would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy could have entered into the gates of Jerusalem. 13 For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her, 14 They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments. 15 They cried unto them, Depart; it is unclean; depart, depart, do not touch: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.
- This was a warning for all mankind for all time that God is life.
- To worship anything other than our Maker leads to destruction and death.
- He is furious over the ruin of lives that some choose.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
He reveals sin
16 The anger of the LORD has divided them; he will no more regard them: they did not respect the persons of the priests, they did not favor the elders. 17 As for us, our eyes failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us. 18 They hunt our steps so that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end has come. 19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they chased us on the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness. 20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen. 21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom that dwells in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto you: you shall be drunk, and shall make yourself naked. 22 The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry you away into captivity: he will visit your iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will uncover your sins.
- God says here to Edom, You’re next!
- Numbers 32:23 But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
- Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
The Lord remains forever; He rules from generation to generation
1 Remember, O LORD, what has come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach. 2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to foreigners. 3 We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows. 4 We have drunk our water for money; our wood is sold to us. 5 Our necks are under persecution: we labor, and have no rest.
- Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you.
- Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
6 We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread. 7 Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities. 8 Servants have ruled over us: there is none that delivers us out of their hand. 9 We got our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness. 10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. 11 They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah. 12 Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honored.
- Deuteronomy 30:1-3 tells purpose of this.
- God warned them for 861 years before He judged them for choosing evil instead of Him.
- The punishment of captivity and exile brought them away from the false gods back to their Maker and Savior.
13 They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood. 14 The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music. 15 The joy of our heart has ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. 16 The crown has fallen from our head: woe to us that we have sinned! 17 For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim. 18 Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it. 19 You, O LORD, remain forever; your throne from generation to generation. 20 Why do you forget us forever, and forsake us so long a time? 21 Turn us unto you, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. 22 But you have utterly rejected us; you are filled with wrath against us.
- Remember the people chose this.
- Since the fall in Eden, evil has been a choice.
- We choose each day who we will serve with our thoughts and our actions.
- Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.
- Psalm 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever: the scepter of your kingdom is a right scepter.
SUMMARY: Lamentations 3-5
- The Lord’s compassions do not fail; His faithfulness is great
- He does not willingly afflict or grieve us
- God hears our cry and draws near; He pleads our cause and redeems our life
- God punishes idolatry because it leads to eternal death
- He reveals sin
- The Lord remains forever; He rules from generation to generation