Let all their wickedness come before You, and deal with them as You have dealt with me because of all my transgressions. For my groans are many, and my heart is faint.
I. THE WRONG FEELING WITH REGARD TO SUFFERING FOR SIN. People are here represented as rejoicing over the sufferings of others. Not that they take delight in suffering as suffering, but those who suffered were their enemies. Those now suffering had once inflicted suffering on others. They had been a source of danger, provoking jealousy, and producing humiliation. Hence, when Israel fell into all this solitude and misery, other peoples not only failed to pity, but even positively rejoiced. This was just what might be expected, and even if some of the heathen nations said, "This serves Israel right for neglecting Jehovah," it was certainly nothing more than the simple truth. The wrong thing was the exultant feeling, the gladness of heart over all this suffering. There is no fear but what we shall sympathize with tile suffering of the innocent, the pain coming from some accident or disease; but when it is an evil doer who suffers, then we are only too easily betrayed into language expressing gladness of heart. And we should never be glad with respect to any suffering whatever. Let it be remembered, too, that gladness is only one out of several possible wrong attitudes with respect to suffering. If while others are suffering for their sins we allow ourselves to get into any of these wrong attitudes with respect to them, then our unchristian state of mind may prove a very serious obstacle in the way of their repentance and amendment. The censuring, lecturing spirit must be guarded against, and also the spirit that looks down as from a position of superior goodness. We must restore others in a spirit of meekness, considering ourselves, lest we also be tempted.
II. THE RIGHT FEELING WITH REGARD TO SUFFERING FOR SIN. The absence of the wrong feeling can only be secured by the presence of the right one. If selfish gladness, the gladness springing from envy and jealousy, is to be kept out, it must be by constantly cultivating pity for all suffering. Pity is to be the very first feeling with which all suffering is contemplated. Pity must, indeed, be well under control, and never allowed to open the way for a greater suffering by taking away a lesser one, but it must always be the prevailing feeling. Then also we must take care to rejoice with the rejoicing. It increases the happiness of others to know that we are glad because of their happiness Our work as Christians is only part done in removing the evil; our thoughts are to be chiefly fixed on producing and establishing the good with all its fruits so pleasant to the spiritual eye, so pleasant to the taste of the inner man. The enemies of Israel saw Israel fallen, and rejoiced that Jehovah had done this. When we see the fallen lifted up and walking along in the strength of Christ, let us rejoice exceedingly because of what the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has done. It is worth all our efforts to keep out of our hearts mean satisfaction because of the disappointments and confusion of others. - Y.
She weepeth sore in the night.1. According to the measure of God's correcting hand upon us, must our grief be.(1) Because God is sure to be (at the least) so angry as His rods are heavy.(2) Our sins do cause Him to afflict us, which we must repent of according to the measure of God's anger against them appearing by His smiting of us. This reproves them that remain unrepentant, when the correcting hand of God is upon them. It teaches us to increase in sorrow and lamentation, seeing the trouble of the Church in general, and our own crosses in particular are daily increased.
2. Weeping for sin and its punishment is such a sign of true repentance as we must labour to show forth, especially in time of calamity.(1) Because the heart appeareth then to be truly affected when it breaketh into tears.(2) The godly have always been brought thereunto (Joel 2:12). This reproves our corruption, that can easily be brought to weep for a worldly loss, but hardly for our sins. We must labour against this with all diligence, carefully using all the means of grace.
3. It is a grievous plague to lack comforts in affliction; the contrary whereof is a great blessing.(1) Because the comfortable words and deeds of others will mitigate the sense of the misery.(2) It adds to the grief to be left alone in it.
4. It is an intolerable grief to have friends become foes.(1) Because we put great trust in our friends, and promise ourselves much assistance by them.(2). They having been most inward with us, may do us more harm than those whom we have always esteemed enemies. Let us take heed with what men we make friendship. Let us not be dismayed though our friends become our foes, seeing it hath been often the lot of the godly, but seek to God the more earnestly for His assistance.
5. God often leaveth His people destitute of all outward help and comfort, to teach us to rest upon Him alone at whose disposition all things are, and not upon any outward thing, seem it never so glorious to our outward eyes.
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her
(J. Parker, D. D.)
TopicsDeal, Dealt, Evil, Evil-doing, Faint, Grief, Groans, Hast, Heart, Loud, Sick, Sighs, Sins, Strength, Transgressions, Wickedness
Outline1. The miseries of Jerusalem and of the Jews lamented
12. The attention of beholders demanded to this unprecedented case
18. The justice of God acknowledged, and his mercy supplicated.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesLamentations 1:21
LibraryNo Sorrow Like Messiah's Sorrow
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow! A lthough the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the law of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophecies (Luke 24:44) , bear an harmonious testimony to MESSIAH ; it is not necessary to suppose that every single passage has an immediate and direct relation to Him. A method of exposition has frequently obtained [frequently been in vogue], of a fanciful and allegorical cast [contrivance], under the pretext …
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1
Epistle vi. To Narses, Patrician .
"Come unto Me, all Ye that Labour, and are Wearied," &C.
Meditations for one that is Like to Die.
Concerning the Sacrament of Baptism
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