Lamentations 1:9
Her uncleanness stains her skirts; she did not consider her end. Her downfall was astounding; there was no one to comfort her. Look, O LORD, on my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed!
Forgetfulness of the EndHomilistLamentations 1:9
Refuge in DistressJ. Udall.Lamentations 1:9
Sin UnrememberedJ. Udall.Lamentations 1:9
The End in View Should Control ConductA. Maclaren.Lamentations 1:9
The Wicked Surprised by Their Own DestructionW. B. Sprague, D. D.Lamentations 1:9
Sin the Cause of AfflictionJ. Udall.Lamentations 1:8-11
Sin's Dire ConsequenceLamentations 1:8-11
The Captivity of JudahA. E. Dunning.Lamentations 1:8-11

The recollection of the past may be the occasion of the highest joy or of the profoundest sorrow. To remember former happiness is one of the great pleasures of human life, if that happiness did but lead on to its own continuance and increase. The first beginnings of a delightful friendship, the first steps of a distinguished career, are remembered by the prosperous and happy with satisfaction and joy. It is otherwise with the memory of a morning of brightness which soon clouded, and which was followed by storms and darkness. In the text the anguish of Jerusalem is pictured as intensified by the recollection of bygone felicity.


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.

She remembereth not her last end: therefore she came down wonderfully.
There are certain great principles in the Divine administration, the operation of which gives a degree of uniformity to the Divine proceedings. For instance, it is the manner of our God to visit with signal destruction those who have proudly set at naught His authority in a course of prosperous wickedness. Such was His treatment of Jerusalem. So it has been with individuals. Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, etc. Destruction came upon them, not only in a terrible form, but at an hour when they did not expect it. The same thing will hold true, in a greater or less degree, of all sinners, as it respects their final doom; while it will be especially true of those who have sinned against great light, and with a high hand. The destruction which will overtake sinners at last will be to them a matter of awful surprise. It will be at once unexpectedly dreadful, and dreadfully unexpected.

I. GOD'S WRATH AGAINST THE WICKED IS CONSTANTLY ACCUMULATING. If the first sin you ever committed provoked God, do you think that the second provoked Him less; and that as He saw you become accustomed to sin, He came to think as little of it as yourself, and has not even charged your sin against you? Do you not remember that the Bible speaks of the sinner treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath?

II. THE DESTRUCTION WHICH WILL COME UPON SINNERS WILL BE TO THEM A MATTER OF FEARFUL SURPRISE, INASMUCH AS IN THE PRESENT LIFE GOD'S WRATH, FOR THE MOST PART, SEEMS TO SLUMBER; AT LEAST THEY PERCEIVE NO DIRECT EXPRESSION OF IT. It is true, indeed, that God is giving them warnings enough, both in His Word and providence; and if they did not close their ears against them, they could not fail to be alarmed; and they will never be able, in the day of their calamity, to charge God with having concealed from them their danger. Nevertheless, He treats them here as probationers for eternity; He sets life and death before them, but He does not unsheath His sword, and point it at the sinner's heart. He does not find that the elements are armed for his destruction. The thundercloud rises, and rolls, and looks terrific, as if it were borne along by an avenging hand, but the lightning that blazes from it passes him by unhurt. In short, not one of the vials of God's wrath can be said to be open upon him. There is nothing which he interprets as an indication of anything dreadful in the future. Now, must not all this be a preparation for a fearful surprise at last?

III. NOT ONLY HAVE THE WICKED, DURING THE PRESENT LIFE, RECEIVED NO SIGNAL EXPRESSIONS OF DIVINE VENGEANCE, BUT THEY HAVE BEEN CONSTANTLY RECEIVING EXPRESSIONS OF THE DIVINE GOODNESS; AND THIS IS ANOTHER CIRCUMSTANCE WHICH WILL SERVE TO INCREASE THE SURPRISE THAT WILL BE OCCASIONED BY THEIR DESTRUCTION. What a fearful transition will it be from this world, in which there are so many blessings, to a world in which existence itself becomes a curse! Oh, will not the sinner feel that he has "come down wonderfully"?

IV. GOD SOMETIMES NOT ONLY GIVES TO THE WICKED A COMMON SHARE OF TEMPORAL BLESSINGS, BUT DISTINGUISHES THEM BY WORLDLY PROSPERITY; HENCE ANOTHER REASON OF THE SURPRISE WHICH THEY WILL EXPERIENCE AT LAST. Think of the rich, and the great, and the noble of this world, who have been accustomed to receive a homage which has sometimes fallen little short of idolatry, finding themselves in the prison of despair, with no sound but the sound of their own wailing — with no society but the society of the reprobate! Have not these persons come down wonderfully?

V. THE DESTRUCTION WHICH WILL FINALLY OVERTAKE THE WICKED WILL BE TO THEM A MATTER OF GREAT SURPRISE, INASMUCH AS THEY WILL, IN SOME WAY OR OTHER, HAVE MADE CONFIDENT CALCULATION FOE ESCAPING IT. It will be found, no doubt, that many of them had flattered themselves with the hope that the doctrine of future punishment might turn out to be false; and some will have been left through their own perverseness to believe the lie, that the good and the bad will at last be equally happy. There will be others who will have wrought themselves into a conviction that destruction might be averted by some easier means than those which the Gospel prescribes, and may have chosen to trust to the orthodoxy of their creed, or the kindness of their temper, or the morality of their life. There will be others who will have intended ultimately to escape destruction by becoming true Christians, but who were looking out for some more convenient season. One thing will be certain in respect to all, — they will have intended to come out well at last. Not an individual among all the sufferers in hell but will have expected finally to be saved. Lessons. —

1. How blinding is the influence of depravity.

2. It is a most awful calamity to relapse into a habit of carelessness after being awakened.

3. There is no class of men so much to be pitied as those who are perhaps most frequently the objects of envy, and none whose condition is so much to be envied as those whose circumstances are often looked upon as the most undesirable.

4. Who of you will turn a deaf ear to the warning which this subject suggests, to flee from the wrath to come?

(W. B. Sprague, D. D.)

1. They that be hardened in sin by despising destruction, do grow to forget those things which continual experience and the light of reason daily call to remembrance.(1) The daily custom of things, without grace to esteem them aright, breedeth contempt of them in our corrupt nature.(2) Satan blindeth the children of disobedience, lest they should rightly regard good things and profit by them.

2. The forgetfulness of the reward of sin throweth men headlong into iniquity; but the remembrance of it stayeth us from many evils (Amos 6:3; Psalm 16:8).

(J. Udall.)


(1)Not because he can have any doubt as to the importance of it.

(2)Not because he lacks reminders of the sad event.

(3)Not because he has the slightest hope of avoiding it. Why then?

1. His instinctive repugnance to it.

2. The difficulty of realising it.

3. The commonness of the occurrence of the event.

4. The prevalent expectation of long life.

5. The secular engrossments of life.

6. The systematic efforts to render man oblivious of the subject.


1. That we may duly estimate our sinful condition.

2. To moderate our attachments to this passing life.

3. To stimulate us to a right preparation for the event.

4. To enable us to welcome the event when it comes.


If the lazy student would only bring clearly before his mind the examination room, and the unanswerable paper, and the bitter mortification when the pass list comes out and his name is not there, he would not trifle and dawdle and seek all manner of diversions as he does, but he would bind himself to his desk and his task. If the young man that begins to tamper with purity, and in the midst of the temptations of a great city to gratify the lust of the eye and the lust of the flesh, because he is away from the shelter of his father's house, and the rebuke of his mother's purity, could see, as the older of us have seen, men with their bones full of the iniquity of their youth, or drifted away from their home to die down in the country like a rat in a hole, do you think the temptations of the streets and low places of amusement would not be stripped of their fascination? If the man beginning to drink was to say to himself, "What am I to do in the end" when the craving becomes physical, and volition is suspended, and anything is sacrificed in order to still the domineering devil within, do you think he would begin? I do not believe that all sin comes from ignorance, but sure I am that if the sinful man saw what the end is, he would, in nine cases out of ten, be held back. "What will you do in the end?" Use that question, dear friends, as the Ithuriel spear which will touch the squatting tempter at your ear, and there will start up, in its own shape, the fiend.

(A. Maclaren.)

O Lord, behold my affliction.
1. The only refuge in distress is to fly to the Lord by faithful and fervent prayer.

(1)He it is that smiteth, and none else can heal.

(2)He hath promised to hear and deliver us, calling upon Him in the day of our troubles (Psalm 50:15).

2. This prayer being made by the prophet in the name of the people, teacheth us: it is a great blessing of God to that people that hath a minister who is both able and willing not only to teach them the truth, but also to be their mouth to direct them.

3. God so pitieth His people that the view of their miseries moveth Him to help them, even when all men are against them.

(1)He loveth them with an everlasting love.

(2)He will not suffer them to be trodden down of their enemies for ever.

(J. Udall.)

Jacob, Jeremiah
Jerusalem, Zion
Abased, Affliction, Astonishingly, Astounding, Attacker, Behold, Clung, Comfort, Comforter, Consider, Didn't, Doom, Enemy, Exerted, Fall, Fallen, Filthiness, Future, Impurity, Latter, Lifted, Magnified, Mindful, None, O, Remember, Remembered, Remembereth, Skirts, Sorrow, Terrible, Triumphed, Unclean, Uncleanness, Wonder, Wonderfully
1. 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 Themes
Lamentations 1:8

     5169   nakedness
     5899   lament
     6024   sin, effects of
     7241   Jerusalem, significance
     7340   clean and unclean

Lamentations 1:4-8

     7270   Zion, as a place

No 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 .
To Narses, Patrician [1305] . Gregory to Narses, &c. In describing loftily the sweetness of contemplation, you have renewed the groans of my fallen state, since I hear what I have lost inwardly while mounting outwardly, though undeserving, to the topmost height of rule. Know then that I am stricken with so great sorrow that I can scarcely speak; for the dark shades of grief block up the eyes of my soul. Whatever is beheld is sad, whatever is thought delightful appears to my heart lamentable. For
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

"Come unto Me, all Ye that Labour, and are Wearied," &C.
Matth. xi. 28.--"Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are wearied," &c. It is the great misery of Christians in this life, that they have such poor, narrow, and limited spirits, that are not fit to receive the truth of the gospel in its full comprehension; from whence manifold misapprehensions in judgment, and stumbling in practice proceed. The beauty and life of things consist in their entire union with one another, and in the conjunction of all their parts. Therefore it would not be a fit way
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Meditations for one that is Like to Die.
If thy sickness be like to increase unto death, then meditate on three things:--First, How graciously God dealeth with thee. Secondly, From what evils death will free thee. Thirdly, What good death will bring unto thee. The first sort of Meditations are, to consider God's favourable dealing with thee. 1. Meditate that God uses this chastisement of thy body but as a medicine to cure thy soul, by drawing thee, who art sick in sin, to come by repentance unto Christ, thy physician, to have thy soul healed
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Concerning the Sacrament of Baptism
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to the riches of His mercy has at least preserved this one sacrament in His Church uninjured and uncontaminated by the devices of men, and has made it free to all nations and to men of every class. He has not suffered it to be overwhelmed with the foul and impious monstrosities of avarice and superstition; doubtless having this purpose, that He would have little children, incapable of avarice and superstition, to be initiated into
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

The book familiarly known as the Lamentations consists of four elegies[1] (i., ii., iii., iv.) and a prayer (v.). The general theme of the elegies is the sorrow and desolation created by the destruction of Jerusalem[2] in 586 B.C.: the last poem (v.) is a prayer for deliverance from the long continued distress. The elegies are all alphabetic, and like most alphabetic poems (cf. Ps. cxix.) are marked by little continuity of thought. The first poem is a lament over Jerusalem, bereft, by the siege,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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