Summary: Comments from Lamentations chapter four.
Letters Of Lament – Thoughts From Lamentations Chapter Four
INTRODUCTION: There are times when we all lament – or need to lament. There are times when we have walked down the wrong path – and have found at the end of it – a dead end. At the end of the road we cry out, “What have I done? How could I have been so foolish? How could I have been so stupid? How could I have NOT listened to my Father and followed His advice?” As you reach the dead end – you look back and reflect of what you have done to get you to that lifeless spot. You cry out in your desperation – you cry out in your foolishness – you cry out in your sorrow. The book of Lamentations is a book of crying out. In this chapter we find great truths – A God of justice – and A God of mercy.
v. 1 – How dark the gold has become, How the pure gold has changed! The sacred stones are poured out At the corner of every street.
Even that which is pure can become defiled. Oh, how the gold has changed – at the hands of my corruption. That which is good can be changed at the change of one word. “You will truly die.” or “You will truly Not die.” Our words have power and so do our actions. Your own thoughts can lift you up – or put you down. Your self esteem is built partly on what you say of yourself. A more realistic view comes from what the Bible says of you. “You are the apple of His eye.” You are a “chosen generation”, a “royal priesthood”, a “holy nation”. Yet because of my actions the – gold has become dark. The sacred stones have been poured out along the – like common rocks – at the corner of every road.
v. 2 – The precious sons of Zion, Weighed against fine gold, How they are regarded as earthen jars, The work of a potter’s hands!
The potter has formed the precious sons of Zion – oh how He has molded and made each one of us. We are the work of His hands – how can we be valued with gold or silver? God to the dust of the ground and formed it into a man – then took a rib from the man and formed a woman. The original material was dust – but that gives us no reason to treat others as dirt. Even gold is taken from the ground – it is God’s hands that formed the sons of man – and He continues to form us into the sons of God. “Help me O Lord to learn from my mistakes. Help me O Lord to be submissive to You – to be molded and shaped into what You desire. – More precious than gold.”
v. 3 – Even jackals offer the breast, They nurse their young; But the daughter of my people has become cruel Like ostriches in the wilderness.
Here is a truth – even the sea monsters or jackals or the most viscous creature will take care of its young – but not the daughter of Zion. She is like the ostrich that seems not to care where the eggs are laid nor where the young wonder. Does the mother not care for its child? Does she not feed her young? Oh, how cruel. Yet sin leads down destructive roads. Will I ignore my children because of my sin? Have you? Sin is self-absorbing. Who pays attention to others when “I” is in the center?
v. 4 – The tongue of the infant cleaves To the roof of its mouth because of thirst; The little ones ask for bread, But no one breaks it for them.
And so the baby starves. There is no milk to quench its thirst. There is no milk to supply its body. The toddlers ask for food – but there is no one to give it to them. No one to break through the hard crust. The innocents suffer – through no fault of their own. But they suffer just the same. The sins of the those around us – do affect us. Our sins have an impact on others lives too.
v. 5 – Those who ate delicacies Are desolate in the streets; Those reared in purple Embrace ash pits.
Although we used to live in luxury – now we are desolate. I am a street person. My sin has driven me there. My custom made clothes are nothing but sackcloth and ashes. Oh, how my sin has affected my whole life. I am not what I once was.
v. 6 – For the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is greater than the sin of Sodom, Which was overthrown as in a moment, And no hands were turned toward her.