Lamentations 3:64
You will pay them back what they deserve, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.
The Principle of RetributionD. Young Lamentations 3:64
Jeremiah and His EnemiesD. Young Lamentations 3:60-66
Righteous RecompenseJ.R. Thomson Lamentations 3:64-66

Our conscience requires and approves of justice. Our weakness is too often in danger of cherishing resentment and malevolence. It is not safe, on most men's part, to hope for retribution upon their personal enemies. Perhaps the record of Jeremiah's feelings is not intended to be taken for an inculcation, or even a permission, of such imprecations upon our foes.


1. It was not personal offence given which suggested such a cry for vengeance.

2. It was the overt, deliberate conduct of men who acted in disobedience and defiance towards God, and with inhumanity and barbarity towards their fellow men.


1. Not the fallible court of human justice or human requital.

2. But the court of Divine equity, in which none receives good for evil, in which every plea for mitigation of sentence is heard, and from which none can depart with a complaint upon the lips.


1. Not for the gratification of vindictive feelings.

2. Not for the exaltation of the oppressed at the expense of the oppressor.

3. But for the speedy deliverance of God's wronged and harassed people.

4. For the advancement of God's cause upon earth. For the honour of God's glorious Name. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" - T.

I am their music.
I. THE TRIAL OF RIDICULE. There is hardly a trial that men feel more severely than they do the test of ridicule. Livingstone tells us that "the Africans cannot stand a sneer." They bear with wonderful fortitude the most appalling torments, but they cannot endure ridicule. Poor Africans! How much they resemble civilised men. A French writer speaks thus of his countrymen: "Says Ridicule: 'You are gay,' and the fear of appearing light-minded makes him heavy. 'You are sharp,' and the ambition to be strong makes him uncouth. 'You are delicate,' and he becomes a realist. 'You are honest,' and he becomes a wily politician. 'You are a believer,' and he plays the sceptic and remains credulous — thinks it beneath his reason to believe in God, whom he does not see, and makes and unmakes gods of men whom he does see....And outsiders and foreigners judge us on these noisy demonstrations of the few; for, after all, they are the few." But if a scoff drives the Frenchman to hide his good qualities, and to boast of his vices, it is not less true of the Englishman. We are most sensitive to ridicule; we cannot bear a laugh. And we are sensitive to scorn and humour when they are directed against our religious beliefs and hopes. The prophet felt this when he gave utterance to the text. Jeremiah lived in days of national disaster, and endured the pangs of exile, but amid all the tribulations of the period he seems to have felt nothing more bitterly than the mockings of the heathen. They turned his religious ideas and hopes into merriment. And the hardest thing that thousands have to bear today in consequence of their Christian character and habits is the derision of the ungodly. Sometimes this is encountered in the school. Youth is peculiarly sensitive to ridicule, and many a lad finds the flouts and jeers of his schoolfellows a veritable martyrdom. It is sometimes to be borne in the family. And in the great outside world those who live a truly devout life often excite sarcasm and raillery. The soldier in the barracks, the sailor in the forecastle, the collier in the pit, the labourer on the farm, the assistant in the shop, the clerk in the counting-house are liable to banter.


1. They are derided on the ground that religion is unmanly. We laugh at men who are wanting in manliness, and, perhaps, that is a legitimate use of laughter, but is it a fact that the Christian man is lacking in manliness? Is he wanting in sense, or courage, or force! "Oh!" it is said, "religion is childish." It is child-like, but not childish. "Oh!" it is said again, "religion is womanish." When are we to get rid of the puppyism that prates about religion being "fit only for women," and that taunts us with the assertion that "only women are left in the Church"? Women have sufficiently vindicated their intellectual eminence. It is folly to reproach the godly with unmanliness — no man is more manly. Who in the Old Testament is held forth as the ideal man? "The man of God." He is the manly man. Who is the ideal man of the New Testament? "The Son of Man." He is the manliest of men. The faith of Jesus Christ does not make craven, foolish, effeminate, impotent characters; it inspires wisdom, valour, chivalry, strong purpose, and noble adventure.

2. Christian men are sometimes derided on the ground that religion is irrational. They are supposed to be ignorant, credulous, superstitious, and are laughed at accordingly. The cultured men of the early ages of Christianity regarded it "not as a problem to be investigated, but an extravagance to be laughed at." We are told that no one abreast of the culture of the day will give it credence. Sometimes they scorn the doctrine of inspiration, or miracles, or atonement; they scoff at the morality of revelation, at its great names, at its glorious hope. Every sceptical scoffer is supposed to be a thinker of independent understanding; the believer is treated amusingly as a fossil of the geological age. But you have no need to be ashamed of revelation. The greatest and best men of all generations have been its champions, and the grandest deeds of successive ages have been wrought by its power.

3. Christian people are assailed on the ground that religion is hypocrisy. Many critics of our faith are cynics at heart; they disbelieve in goodness, and so they treat the profession of religion as so much canting hypocrisy. How they love to discover and proclaim a stumbling saint! Hypocrites prove nothing against religion. If you wished to give an enlightened opinion upon Minton's or Doulton's ware you would not stir up their refuse heaps and bring out the rejected shards that had been misshapen on the wheel, or been cracked in the oven, and parade these as specimens of the potter's unskilfulness and untrustworthiness. It is by the splendid vases, rich in material, exquisite in grace, brilliant in colour, which adorn palaces and galleries, and not by the wrecks of dust heaps, that you judge the artist.


1. If you are called upon to bear ridicule, you bear it with the noblest of the race.

2. If you are assailed by ridicule for your Master's sake, remember that in these days we are not called upon to suffer much for His sake. How immense were the penalties in which the Christian name involved the primitive saints!

3. If the Philistine does make music of you, have you no music? Do not your faith and love and hope bring you discourse of sweet sounds? When the moments of reflection come is there no music? When the day is over, and you muse on your bed, is there no music? When the morning dawns, is there no music? When you vanquish temptation, is. there no music? The conscience is an austere organ, without painted or gilded pipes, but it yields delectable strains, and are not these yours? The heart is a living lute, a many-stringed lyre, a golden cymbal, and is not its magic melody yours?

4. He laughs best who laughs last, and your mouth shall be fined with laughter and song at the last. The future is yours. Your faith and righteousness flower in immortal blessedness

(W. L. Watkinson.).

Answering, Deed, Deserve, Hands, O, Recompence, Recompense, Render, Requite, Returnest, Reward, Wilt
1. The prophet bewails his own calamities
22. By the mercies of God, he nourishes his hope
37. He acknowledges God's justice
55. He prays for deliverance
64. And vengeance on his enemies

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Lamentations 3:64-66

     5493   retribution

February the Twenty-Fourth Moving Towards Daybreak
"He hath brought me into darkness, but not into light." --LAMENTATIONS iii. 1-9. But a man may be in darkness, and yet in motion toward the light. I was in the darkness of the subway, and it was close and oppressive, but I was moving toward the light and fragrance of the open country. I entered into a tunnel in the Black Country in England, but the motion was continued, and we emerged amid fields of loveliness. And therefore the great thing to remember is that God's darknesses are not His goals;
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

February the Twenty-Fifth the Fresh Eye
"His compassions fail not: they are new every morning." --LAMENTATIONS iii. 22-33. We have not to live on yesterday's manna; we can gather it fresh to-day. Compassion becomes stale when it becomes thoughtless. It is new thought that keeps our pity strong. If our perception of need can remain vivid, as vivid as though we had never seen it before, our sympathies will never fail. The fresh eye insures the sensitive heart. And our God's compassions are so new because He never becomes accustomed to
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Solitude, Silence, Submission
"He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope."--Lamentations 3:28, 29. THUS the prophet describes the conduct of a person in deep anguish of heart. When he does not know what to do, his soul, as if by instinct, humbles itself. He gets into some secret place, he utters no speech, he gives himself over to moaning and to tears, and then he bows himself lower and yet lower before the Divine Majesty, as if he felt
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

"And we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
Isaiah lxiv. 6.--"And we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Here they join the punishment with the deserving cause, their uncleanness and their iniquities, and so take it upon them, and subscribe to the righteousness of God's dealing. We would say this much in general--First, Nobody needeth to quarrel God for his dealing. He will always be justified when he is judged. If the Lord deal more sharply with you than with others, you may judge there is a difference
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

To the Reader. Christian Reader
To The Reader. Christian Reader, This holy preacher of the gospel had so many convictions upon his spirit of the necessity of the duties of humiliation and mourning, and of people's securing the eternal interest of their souls for the life to come, by flying into Jesus Christ for remission of sins in his blood, that he made these the very scope of his sermons in many public humiliations, as if it had been the one thing which he conceived the Lord was calling for in his days; a clear evidence whereof
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Lord is My Portion. Lam 3:24

John Newton—Olney Hymns

The Disciple, -- what is the Meaning and Purpose of the Cross...
The Disciple,--What is the meaning and purpose of the cross, and why do pain and suffering exist in the world? The Master,--1. The cross is the key to heaven. At the moment when by My baptism I took the cross upon My shoulders for the sake of sinners, heaven was opened, and by means of My thirty-three years bearing of the cross and by death upon it, heaven, which by reason of sin was closed to believers, was for ever opened to them. Now as soon as believers take up their cross and follow Me they
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

How Christ is to be Made Use of as Our Life, in Case of Heartlessness and Fainting through Discouragements.
There is another evil and distemper which believers are subject to, and that is a case of fainting through manifold discouragements, which make them so heartless that they can do nothing; yea, and to sit up, as if they were dead. The question then is, how such a soul shall make use of Christ as in the end it may be freed from that fit of fainting, and win over those discouragements: for satisfaction to which we shall, 1. Name some of those discouragements which occasion this. 2. Show what Christ
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The Practice of Piety in Glorifying God in the Time of Sickness, and when Thou Art Called to Die in the Lord.
As soon as thou perceivest thyself to be visited with any sickness, meditate with thyself: 1. That "misery cometh not forth of the dust; neither doth affliction spring out of the earth." Sickness comes not by hap or chance (as the Philistines supposed that their mice and emrods came, 1 Sam. vi. 9), but from man's wickedness, which, as sparkles, breaketh out. "Man suffereth," saith Jeremiah, "for his sins." "Fools," saith David, "by reason of their transgressions, and because of their iniquities,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

How they are to be Admonished who Lament Sins of Deed, and those who Lament Only Sins of Thought.
(Admonition 30.) Differently to be admonished are those who deplore sins of deed, and those who deplore sins of thought. For those who deplore sins of deed are to be admonished that perfected lamentations should wash out consummated evils, lest they be bound by a greater debt of perpetrated deed than they pay in tears of satisfaction for it. For it is written, He hath given us drink in tears by measure (Ps. lxxix. 6): which means that each person's soul should in its penitence drink the tears
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

From his Entrance on the Ministry in 1815, to his Commission to Reside in Germany in 1820
1815.--After the long season of depression through which John Yeardley passed, as described in the last chapter, the new year of 1815 dawned with brightness upon his mind. He now at length saw his spiritual bonds loosed; and the extracts which follow describe his first offerings in the ministry in a simple and affecting manner. 1 mo. 5.--The subject of the prophet's going down to the potter's house opened so clearly on my mind in meeting this morning that I thought I could almost have publicly
John Yeardley—Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel

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

Letter xxvi. (Circa A. D. 1127) to the Same
To the Same He excuses the brevity of his letter on the ground that Lent is a time of silence; and also that on account of his profession and his ignorance he does not dare to assume the function of teaching. 1. You will, perhaps, be angry, or, to speak more gently, will wonder that in place of a longer letter which you had hoped for from me you receive this brief note. But remember what says the wise man, that there is a time for all things under the heaven; both a time to speak and a time to keep
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Of the Character of the Unregenerate.
Ephes. ii. 1, 2. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. AMONG all the various trusts which men can repose in each other, hardly any appears to be more solemn and tremendous, than the direction of their sacred time, and especially of those hours which they spend in the exercise of public devotion.
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Question Lxxxii of Devotion
I. Is Devotion a Special Kind of Act? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Meaning of the Term "Devotion" S. Augustine, Confessions, XIII. viii. 2 II. Is Devotion an Act of the Virtue of Religion? III. Is Contemplation, that is Meditation, the Cause of Devotion? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Causes of Devotion " " On the Devotion of Women IV. Is Joy an Effect of Devotion? Cardinal Cajetan, On Melancholy S. Augustine, Confessions, II. x. I Is Devotion a Special Kind of Act? It is by our acts that we merit. But
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

The Mercy of God
The next attribute is God's goodness or mercy. Mercy is the result and effect of God's goodness. Psa 33:5. So then this is the next attribute, God's goodness or mercy. The most learned of the heathens thought they gave their god Jupiter two golden characters when they styled him good and great. Both these meet in God, goodness and greatness, majesty and mercy. God is essentially good in himself and relatively good to us. They are both put together in Psa 119:98. Thou art good, and doest good.' This
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Covenant Duties.
It is here proposed to show, that every incumbent duty ought, in suitable circumstances, to be engaged to in the exercise of Covenanting. The law and covenant of God are co-extensive; and what is enjoined in the one is confirmed in the other. The proposals of that Covenant include its promises and its duties. The former are made and fulfilled by its glorious Originator; the latter are enjoined and obligatory on man. The duties of that Covenant are God's law; and the demands of the law are all made
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

"Take My Yoke Upon You, and Learn of Me," &C.
Matt. xi. 20.--"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me," &c. Self love is generally esteemed infamous and contemptible among men. It is of a bad report every where, and indeed as it is taken commonly, there is good reason for it, that it should be hissed out of all societies, if reproaching and speaking evil of it would do it. But to speak the truth, the name is not so fit to express the thing, for that which men call self love, may rather be called self hatred. Nothing is more pernicious to a man's
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"Thou Shall Keep Him in Perfect Peace, Whose Mind is Stayed on Thee, Because He Trusteth in Thee. "
Isaiah xxvi. 3.--"Thou shall keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." Christ hath left us his peace, as the great and comprehensive legacy, "My peace I leave you," John xiv. 27. And this was not peace in the world that he enjoyed; you know what his life was, a continual warfare; but a peace above the world, that passeth understanding. "In the world you shall have trouble, but in me you shall have peace," saith Christ,--a peace that shall make trouble
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

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

The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate,
CLEARLY EXPLAINED, AND LARGELY IMPROVED, FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL BELIEVERS. 1 John 2:1--"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." By JOHN BUNYAN, Author of "The Pilgrim's Progress." London: Printed for Dorman Newman, at the King's Arms, in the Poultry, 1689. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This is one of the most interesting of Bunyan's treatises, to edit which required the Bible at my right hand, and a law dictionary on my left. It was very frequently republished;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

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