Jerusalem has sinned greatly; therefore she has become an object of scorn. All who honored her now despise her, for they have seen her nakedness; she herself groans and turns away.
1. Their sins the cause of their afflictions being again mentioned unto them, teacheth this doctrine: that it is necessary whensoever we are afflicted, to recount often our sins to have procured the same to fall upon us.(1) We are naturally unwilling to blame ourselves for anything, and ready to impute the cause of any evil to others.(2) If we rightly charge ourselves and our sins, we shall be the better prepared thereby to true repentance and right humiliation.
I. THE PRESENT CALAMITY EXCITES BY CONTRAST THE RECOLLECTION OF PROSPEROUS TIMES.
1. Affliction, homelessness, and misery are the present lot of Jerusalem. The city is in the hands of the enemy. The people have no longer a home which they can cling to, but face the prospect of exile, destitution, and vacancy.
2. Helplessness. In times of prosperity neighbours were eager to offer aid which was not needed; in these times of adversity no friendly proffer of help is beard.
3. Mockery. The Jews are a people from the first separated from surrounding nations by their laws, their customs, their religious observances. As an intensely religious people, they have ever set their hearts upon their revelation, upon the God of their fathers and his ordinances. Consequently they are most easily and most deeply wounded in their religious susceptibilities. Strange that a nation condemned to defeat and capture for its unfaithfulness to Jehovah should yet observe the appointed sabbaths, and keenly feel the ridicule and the contempt incurred by such observance! Her adversaries mocked her sabbaths.
II. THE RECOLLECTION OF PROSPEROUS TIMES ENHANCES THE ANGUISH OF PRESENT ADVERSITY. Time has been when Jerusalem, her monarch, citizens, and surrounding population have enjoyed peace, plenty, respect from other nations, liberty of worship, and joyful solemnities. The force of contrast makes the memory of such time bitter and distressing. Their "crown of sorrow is remembering happier things." APPLICATION. Let present privileges and prosperity be so used that the memory of them may never occasion bitter regret and misery. - T.
Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed.
I. THE SINS WHICH BROUGHT ABOUT THE DOWNFALL OF JUDAH.
1. Unbelief. they refused to see God, and they gradually lost the power to see Him. When they found that their kings could not be trusted, could not take care of them° they trusted, not to God, but to other nations. One day they were vassals of the king of Egypt; the next, of the king of Babylon Nothing but trust in God can make men free. As soon as we begin to doubt HIS word, and trust in human opinions, we expose ourselves to become the prey of untrustworthy powers. No confidence in our own learning or judgment, no trust in the boastful words of others, can ever take the place of confidence in the simple Word of God, and leave us sound and safe.
2. Pride. They could not accept God's way. They could not wait for other nations to be uplifted and join them. They chose to join other nations. Doubtless they said it would more quickly bring the world to God; that to be singular would only repel men, and make God repulsive to them. They preferred their way to the way of God, ostensibly because They thought their way was wiser, really because they could not bear to lose esteem in the eyes of tree world God's way is the same now. He still calls disciples a peculiar people. He still says, "Come ye out from among them and be ye separate." He still finds only occasionally a hearty response. But to these who do respond with willing love, what wonderful rewards He gives!
3. Sensuality. Outward contamination soon resulted in inward corruption. Vice belongs with separation from God, and association with the world. In time it will as surely follow as it is sure that man is made subject to temptation.
4. Idolatry. When men or nations become polluted, they seek to make religion justify their wickedness. Often the most self-indulgent are those most devoted to their ideas of religion. They make their gods responsible for their sins, and therefore treat them with greatest care.
II. THE CONSEQUENCES OF JUDAH'S SINS.
1. Blindness. They could not see the ruin they were approaching. When we cease to lay bare our sins and call them by their real names, we cease to feel them. We enter into moral darkness. The light of the world shines as before, but there is nothing in us which answers to that light. All knowledge of what we ought to do rests on some knowledge of what God is and does. We speak of seeing God, and though He is not visible to the bodily eye, there is no other description which expresses our perception of His character and presence surrounding us in all our ways. Men have eyes which behold Him; eyes which He Himself has opened to that light which is not the light of the sun, but which is the light of the celestial city. But when men turn away from that light, His character becomes to them distorted and unreal.
2. Untrustworthiness. When they became false to God they became false to all trusts. They substituted forms for righteousness, and increased them in proportion as they lost the spirit of truth.
3. Misery. The consequences of sin were seen too late. They were not foreseen.Lessons —
1. The captivity of Judah was the fault of her religious men. Beware of seeking to justify what your conscience condemns by appeals to God in prayer, or by observing forms of worship.
2. Outward reformation but slightly arrests the progress of destruction. We cannot hope for much from the reform which aims only at self-protection. It is not deep, honest, hearty, unless we choose to renounce sins because we hate sin, and follow God because we love His ways.
3. Sin destroys the choicest qualities of human character.
4. The one thing necessary is to keep the eye on God.
(A. E. Dunning.)
( T. Watson.)
2. It is peculiar to the godly to impute the cause of all their miseries unto their own sins. The wicked either lay the cause upon other things, or extenuate their fault, blaming God for rigour; or else break out into raging impatience or blasphemy.
3. It is our sin that depriveth us of any good thing we have heretofore enjoyed.
4. When we truly fear and serve the Lord, He honoureth us in the sight of men (1 Samuel 2:30).(1) That it may appear that godliness is not without her reward even in this life.(2) To give a taste unto the godly here, of that honour which they shall hereafter enjoy without measure or end.
5. It is our sin that maketh us odious and contemptible amongst men.
6. The estimation that the godly have among worldlings is only whilst they are in outward prosperity.
7. The wicked, that have no knowledge or consciousness of their own faults, can see the offences of the godly, and upbraid them with them.
8. There is nothing that maketh men so filthily naked as sin.
9. The godly do take to heart with earnest affection the crosses that the Lord layeth upon them.
10. The godly are sometimes brought into so hard estate as that they are in men's judgment utterly deprived of all the signs of God's favour.
TopicsBackward, Breathing, Cause, Despise, Esteemed, Face, Filthy, Greatly, Grief, Grievously, Groans, Herself, Honored, Honour, Honoured, Impure, Impurity, Jerusalem, Lightly, Nakedness, Removed, Shame, Sighed, Sigheth, Sighs, Sin, Sinned, Truly, Turneth, Turns, Unclean, Yea, Yes
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 1:8
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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