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Lamentations 4. As the Bible says:

Chapter Contents

The deplorable state of the nation is contrasted with its former prosperity. Things are still not good in Jerusalem. The temple is in total ruin. The sacred objects of solid gold inside have been stolen. Stones that formed the walls of the Temple are scattered all over the floor. It is a terrible sight to see.

The worst part is that this tragedy has degraded the people. Even a jackal will look after his children, but the babies are dying of thirst and the children are begging for food and no one is helping them. 

Loving mothers are boiling and eating their children for food. Things have gotten out of control. The rich are no better off than anyone else. They used to wear fancy clothes and enjoy delicious parties, but now they are hungry and dirty like everyone else.

And no one recognizes the princes. They are as humble and pathetic as the rest of the inhabitants. Their punishment is worse than that of Sodom (there in Genesis). The Poet also thinks that the people who died during the combats were the lucky ones. At least they had quick deaths and did not have to be wasted while slowly starving.

All this happened because God was angry. And Jerusalem did not like him when he was angry. Honestly, no one thought Jerusalem could be defeated like that. No king in the world believed that an invading army could get past the city walls. Oh, they were wrong.

God allowed this to happen because the city’s leaders failed him. The priests who ran the temple were corrupt. They killed good people and then walked around drenched in blood as if they had done nothing wrong.

Now they are in exile and God could not care less about them. What are the rest of the people? Collateral damage? Well, yes. The leaders expected other nations and kings to rescue them when Babylon attacked, but no one came. 

They should have asked God for help, not their political allies. In their defense, political allies tend to have things like swords and soldiers on hand. God has punished Zion and punished her good. But now it’s over and he won’t let them suffer like this anymore.

Eventually, he will bring the people home. Lesson learned, right guys? That’s some tough love right there. God will turn his attention to other sinful cities like Edom. Seriously, Edomites, watch out. You are on God’s list of nations to hit. It’s not a good place to be.

Commentary on Lamentations 4: 1-12

What a change here! Sin tarnishes the beauty of the most exalted powers and the most excellent gifts; but that gold, tested in the fire, which Christ bestows, will never be taken from us; its outward appearance may be diminished, but its real value can never be changed. 

The horrors of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem are again described. As we contemplate the sad consequences of sin in the church of old, let us seriously consider what are the same causes that can bring down the church now. But, Lord, though we have turned away from you in rebellion, we still turn to ourselves and turn our hearts to you, that we may fear your name. Come to us, bless us with awakening, conversion, renewal, confirmation of grace.

Commentary on Lamentations 4: 13-20

Nothing ripens a people to ruin, nor fills the measure faster than the sins of priests and prophets. The king himself cannot escape, because the divine vengeance pursues him. Our anointed King alone is the life of our souls; we can live safely under His shadow and rejoice in Him in the midst of our enemies, because He is the true God and eternal life.

Commentary on Lamentations 4: 21,22

Here it is predicted that the problems of Zion must be stopped. She does not deserve the fullness of punishment, but what God has determined to inflict. The triumphs of Edom will be stopped. All the problems of the church and of the believer will soon be fulfilled. And the ruin of her enemies is at hand. 

The Lord will bring to light their sins, and they will lie down in everlasting pain. Edom here represents all the enemies of the church. And the corruption and sin of Israel, which the prophet has shown to be universal, justifies the judgments of the Lord. It shows the need for that grace in Christ Jesus, which the sin and corruption of all mankind make so necessary.

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