Matthew Henry's Commentary

Lamentations Chapter 3

he faithful lament their calamities, and hope in God's mercies.

Verses 1-20: The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging part of his experience, and how he found support and relief. In the time of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was an affliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup of affliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faith is often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if he thinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord.

Verses 21-36: Having stated his distress and temptation, the prophet shows how he was raised above it. Bad as things are, it is owing to the mercy of God that they are not worse. We should observe what makes for us, as well as what is against us. God's compassions fail not; of this we have fresh instances every morning. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is a portion for ever. It is our duty, and will be our comfort and satisfaction, to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Afflictions do and will work very much for good: many have found it good to bear this yoke in their youth; it has made many humble and serious, and has weaned them from the world, who otherwise would have been proud and unruly. If tribulation work patience, that patience will work experience, and that experience a hope that makes not ashamed. Due thoughts of the evil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that it is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. If we cannot say with unwavering voice, The Lord is my portion; may we not say, I desire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in his word do I hope? Happy shall we be, if we learn to receive affliction as laid upon us by the hand of God.

Verses 37-41: While there is life there is hope; and instead of complaining that things are bad, we should encourage ourselves with the hope they will be better. We are sinful men, and what we complain of, is far less than our sins deserve. We should complain to God, and not of him. We are apt, in times of calamity, to reflect on other people's ways, and blame them; but our duty is to search and try our own ways, that we may turn from evil to God. Our hearts must go with our prayers. If inward impressions do not answer to outward expressions, we mock God, and deceive ourselves.

Verses 42-54: The more the prophet looked on the desolations, the more he was grieved. Here is one word of comfort. While they continued weeping, they continued waiting; and neither did nor would expect relief and succour from any but the Lord.

Verses 55-66: Faith comes off conqueror, for in these verses the prophet concludes with some comfort. Prayer is the breath of the new man, drawing in the air of mercy in petitions, and returning it in praises; it proves and maintains the spiritual life. He silenced their fears, and quieted their spirits. Thou saidst, Fear not. This was the language of God's grace, by the witness of his Spirit with their spirits. And what are all our sorrows, compared with those of the Redeemer? He will deliver his people from every trouble, and revive his church from every persecution. He will save believers with everlasting salvation, while his enemies perish with everlasting destruction.


David Burnette's Life Application

Hope in the Midst of Affliction


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Lamentations Chapter 3. In our text today we see Hope in the midst of affliction as Jeremiah sees both God's wrath and His mercy as He is a just God and a Holy God. In making application we see why we must be saved as unholy man cannot approach a Holy God without our sins being forgiven. Today many think they will go to Heaven because they believe they are good but next to a Holy God we see why it takes the Blood of Jesus-Christ to save a person from their sin. How about you? Do you see why we must be saved? Let us learn from our text today and the words of Jeremiah to see the hope in the midst of our affliction of sin is that a Holy God loves us so much that He gave His own Son to Pay the Price of my sin.


Lamentations 3

Lamentations 3

 1I AM the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.

 2He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.

 3Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day.

 4My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.

 5He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.

 6He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.

 7He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.

 8Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

 9He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.

 10He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.

 11He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.

 12He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

 13He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.

 14I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.

 15He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.

 16He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.

 17And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.

 18And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD:

 19Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

 20My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

 21This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

 22It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

 24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

 25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

 26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

 27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

 28He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.

 29He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.

 30He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

 31For the LORD will not cast off for ever:

 32But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.

 33For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

 34To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.

 35To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,

 36To subvert a man in his cause, the LORD approveth not.

 37Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

 38Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

 39Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

 40Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

 41Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

 42We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.

 43Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.

 44Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.

 45Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.

 46All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.

 47Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.

 48Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

 49Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission.

 50Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.

 51Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

 52Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

 53They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.

 54Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off.

 55I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon.

 56Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.

 57Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.

 58O LORD, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.

 59O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause.

 60Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me.

 61Thou hast heard their reproach, O LORD, and all their imaginations against me;

 62The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.

 63Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick.

 64Render unto them a recompence, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.

 65Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them.

 66Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD.