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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Lamentations Chapter 4

he deplorable state of the nation is contrasted with its ancient prosperity.

Verses 1-12: What a change is here! Sin tarnishes the beauty of the most exalted powers and the most excellent gifts; but that gold, tried in the fire, which Christ bestows, never will be taken from us; its outward appearance may be dimmed, but its real value can never be changed. The horrors of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem are again described. Beholding the sad consequences of sin in the church of old, let us seriously consider to what the same causes may justly bring down the church now. But, Lord, though we have gone from thee in rebellion, yet turn to us, and turn our hearts to thee, that we may fear thy name. Come to us, bless us with awakening, converting, renewing, confirming grace.

Verses 13-20: Nothing ripens a people more for ruin, nor fills the measure faster, than the sins of priests and prophets. The king himself cannot escape, for Divine vengeance pursues him. Our anointed King alone is the life of our souls; we may safely live under his shadow, and rejoice in Him in the midst of our enemies, for He is the true God and eternal life.

Verse 21,22: Here it is foretold that an end should be put to Zion's troubles. Not the fulness of punishment deserved, but of what God has determined to inflict. An end shall be put to Edom's triumphs. All the troubles of the church and of the believer will soon be accomplished. And the doom of their enemies approaches. The Lord will bring their sins to light, and they shall lie down in eternal sorrow. Edom here represents all the enemies of the church. And the corruption, and sin of Israel, which the prophet has proved to be universal, justifies the judgments of the Lord. It shows the need of that grace in Christ Jesus, which the sin and corruption of all mankind make so necessary.

 


David Burnette's Life Application


Follow the Lord - Not Man

 

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 4. In our text today we see how we can follow man verses God as King Zedekiah followed false prophets instead of the Lord. As a result the people followed the false leadership that lead them into judgement. In making application we see how we can mistakenly follow charismatic men instead of our Lord and His Word. Today many are lead astray as they place their trust in these false leaders and as a result face the judgment of God. How about you? Who do you follow? Let us learn from our text today to see that we must follow the Lord and not the charismatic leaders of the day who could lead us down the wrong path.

 

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Lamentations 4

Lamentations 4

 1How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.

 2The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

 3Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

 4The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.

 5They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.

 6For 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 stayed on her.

 7Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:

 8Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.

 9They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.

 10The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

 11The LORD hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.

 12The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.

 13For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,

 14They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.

 15They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.

 16The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.

 17As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.

 18They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.

 19Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.

 20The 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.

 21Rejoice 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.

 22The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.