Lamentations 5

1 Remember, LORD, what has come on us: look, and see our reproach. 2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. 3 We are orphans and fatherless; our mothers are as widows. 4 We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold to us. 5 Our pursuers are on our necks: we are weary, and have no rest. 6 We have given the hand to the Egyptians, to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread. 7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more; we have borne their iniquities. 8 Servants rule over us: there is no one to deliver us out of their hand. 9 We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness. 10 Our skin is black like an oven, because of the burning heat of famine. 11 They ravished the women in Zion, the virgins in the cities of Judah. 12 Princes were hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honored. 13 The young men bare the mill; the children stumbled under the wood. 14 The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music. 15 The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. 16 The crown is fallen from our head: woe to us! For we have sinned. 17 For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim; 18 for the mountain of Zion, which is desolate: the foxes walk on it. 19 You, LORD, remain forever; Your throne is from generation to generation. 20 Why do you forget us forever, and forsake us so long time? 21 Turn us to yourself, LORD, and we shall be turned. Renew our days as of old. 22 But you have utterly rejected us; You are very angry against us.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-16

Is any afflicted? Let him pray; and let him in prayer pour out his complaint to God. The people of God do so here; they complain not of evils feared, but of evils felt. If penitent and patient under what we suffer for the sins of our fathers, we may expect that He who punishes, will return in mercy to us. They acknowledge, Woe unto us that we have sinned! All our woes are owing to our own sin and folly. Though our sins and God’s just displeasure cause our sufferings, we may hope in his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, and his kind providence. But the sins of a man’s whole life will be punished with vengeance at last, unless he obtains an interest in Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree.

Verses 17-22

The people of God express deep concern for the ruins of the temple, more than for any other of their calamities. But whatever changes there are on earth, God is still the same, and remains for ever wise and holy, just and good; with Him there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. They earnestly pray to God for mercy and grace; Turn us to thee, O Lord. God never leaves any till they first leave him; if he turns them to him in a way of duty, no doubt he will quickly return to them in a way of mercy. If God by his grace renew our hearts, he will by his favour renew our days. Troubles may cause our hearts to be faint, and our eyes to be dim, but the way to the mercy-seat of our reconciled God is open. Let us, in all our trials, put our whole trust and confidence in his mercy; let us confess our sins, and pour out our hearts before him. Let us watch against repinings and despondency; for we surely know, that it shall be well in the end with all that trust in, fear, love, and serve the Lord. Are not the Lord’s judgments in the earth the same as in Jeremiah’s days? Let Zion then be remembered by us in our prayers, and her welfare be sought above every earthly joy. Spare, Lord, spare thy people, and give not thine heritage to reproach, for the heathen to rule over them.

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