Lamentations 5:4
We must buy the water we drink; our wood comes at a price.
Zion's SufferingsD. Swift.Lamentations 5:4
An Appeal for God's CompassionW. F. Adeney, M. A.Lamentations 5:1-10
Comfortable Directions for Such as have BeenW. Bridge, M. A.Lamentations 5:1-10
Sin's GardenJ. Parker, D. D.Lamentations 5:1-10
Zion's SufferingsLamentations 5:1-10

The Israelite reckoned a great deal on his inheritance, that which came to him as an Israelite; and in this he did quite right, seeing how he was bound to dwell on the promises made to Abraham. There was the national territory, sanctified and made a peculiarly valuable thing by the manner in which it first came into Israel's hand. Then there were the tribal inheritances and the family inheritances. So that altogether inheritance was continually before the Israelite mind; inheritance became almost a part of self. Doubtless many tracts of land had run down in the same families for generations. And now the foreigner comes in to reap the riches of these lands and dwell in the houses built on them. What the Israelites failed to recollect was that the inheritance they esteemed so much was not the real inheritance in the eyes of God. The visible land, out of which comes the corn, the wine, the oil, is only the type of that deeper, that truly exhaustless spiritual land, where we are to sow plentifully, assured that a harvest cannot fail. There is the inheritance, corruptible, defiled, that doth fade away. There is the house made with hands, temporal, on the earth. And then, all unconscious of the pains we are preparing for ourselves, we let our heart's best affections get round these things. The loss of the inheritance, the loss of the houses, was the way to gain, if only the loser could see it. Doubtless what we may fail to possess of temporal things some one else gets hold of; but his getting is not with a firm, abiding grasp. These lamenting Israelites would reckon that the less of inheritance and houses, which made them so miserable, would make the new possessors correspondingly happy; and such would be the case for a time, but only so long as the brightness of the first delusion lasted. God does not mean that we should ever say of any really good thing that our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. Of the really good things there is enough and to spare for all. Christ sends out his apostles to urge every one towards the inheritance of the saints in light; and in the house of him who is Father of Jesus and of all that believe in Jesus there are many mansions, many abiding places, a place for everyone wishing to dismiss the restless, craving spirit, and abide in such a place. - Y.

We have drunken our water for money, our wood is sold unto us.
1. Common necessaries denied by adversaries. Fire and water are two necessary elements, but though God in nature have given these in common to His creatures, the Jews being captives are now denied them by their cruel adversaries. Time was when they could command the fields, the wheat, the olives, and the wines, hut at this instant, such is their misery, that they cannot so much as have wood or water without price, unless for money.

(1)Enemies are cruel, they know this will be vexatious.

(2)Adversaries are covetous, our spoils, our moneys will be their riches.It is not water alone, or wood alone that is now defective, it is both water and wood that they are forced to buy. War seldom deprives us of a single mercy, it strips us at once of many necessaries (Lamentations 4:1-5). It takes away gold, silver, possessions, habitations, victuals, wood, and water from its captives.

2. Wood and water sweet mercies.

3. We must not sit fast upon our present enjoyments. Full little did these Jews in their prosperity think that their water should become their charge, and that their wood, their fire, should be sold to themselves for money. From whence we note — That Christians ought to sit loose upon their enjoyments, and to look upon themselves as strangers and pilgrims in their most sure possessions. Do not glory, be not proud of what you have now at your own command (Ecclesiastes 5:13; Jeremiah 9:23). The tide may turn, your condition may alter and not yourselves, not your friends, but your enemies may be their possessors Though we may complain we must not murmur, we must in patience possess our souls, when our very necessaries become a prey to others. Thus did the primitive Christians in their great afflictions (Hebrews 10:34; Hebrews 11:37, 38).

(D. Swift.)

Assyrians, Egyptians, Jeremiah
Assyria, Egypt, Mount Zion, Zion
Bought, Drank, Drink, Drinking, Drunk, Drunken, Money, Pay, Price, Sold, Wood
1. A complaint of Zion in prayer unto God.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Lamentations 5:4

     5242   buying and selling

Whether an Angel Needs Grace in Order to Turn to God?
Objection 1: It would seem that the angel had no need of grace in order to turn to God. For, we have no need of grace for what we can accomplish naturally. But the angel naturally turns to God: because he loves God naturally, as is clear from what has been said ([543]Q[60], A[5]). Therefore an angel did not need grace in order to turn to God. Objection 2: Further, seemingly we need help only for difficult tasks. Now it was not a difficult task for the angel to turn to God; because there was no obstacle
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Man's Inability to Keep the Moral Law
Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God? No mere man, since the fall, is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but does daily break them, in thought, word, and deed. In many things we offend all.' James 3: 2. Man in his primitive state of innocence, was endowed with ability to keep the whole moral law. He had rectitude of mind, sanctity of will, and perfection of power. He had the copy of God's law written on his heart; no sooner did God command but he obeyed.
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

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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