Bible Study, Commentary

Lamentations 3 – Solitary Man

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Lamentations 3

March 13, 2024 11:41 AM
Solitary Man


Lam 3:1 I am the man (gheh-ber – valiant man or warrior) that hath seen affliction (on-ee – depression, misery, trouble) by the rod (dart, sceptre, staff) of his wrath (eb-raw – outburst of passion).

This third and central chapter of this book is unique in that there are triple the number of verses, 66 instead of 22. Commentators have marvelled at the wondrous poetic nature of this portion especially. I will let the expositor’s bible give a concise summation of the form of this portion of text:

Here we have the acrostics worked up into triplets, so that they now appear at the beginning of every line, each letter occurring three times successively as an initial, and the whole poem falling into sixty-six verses or twenty-two triplets.

In effect, three verses in a row (instead of just one), begin with the same letter. Thus, the first 3 verses begin with the letter aleph, verses 4 through 6 with the letter beth, etc.

Some commentators want to wax eloquent on how superior the concepts spoken of in chapter 3 exceeds all others, being impressed with Jeremiah’s ability to write such magnificent poetry. They speak as if his human mind composed and rearranged all these things, almost as if there was no divine help. Regardless of how beautiful or structured the lines are as far as the rules of poetry go, all scripture is inspired by God. Just because some passage has an amazing poetical structure does not make it more (or less) inspired than any other passage of text. We may admire it more, we may prefer a poetical format more than, say, a historical format. We may prefer writers who were highly educated, like Paul, over the lower educated authors such as Peter. Or vice versa. The point is not to treat one portion of the bible as having greater worth than any other. In this case, I got the sense that the author of the expositor’s bible was head over heels in love with Lamentations chapter 3, mainly because of the breathtaking beauty of the poetical structure, as well as the content. Likening it to the poems of Tennyson, he waxed long and loud of the superiority of chapter 3 to the other chapters in the book. That is the opinion of a mind that has not been touched by the light of Christ. We are not to marvel at the style, but at the convicting truth contained therein. Not the skills of the author, but the revelation of the true author of all the words of God. While it is certainly no sin to have favorite sections of scripture, let us not use our personal preferences of style and preference of doctrine as an excuse to ignore the less palatable portions of the word of God.

For example, let’s see a show of hands as to how many of you claim Lamentations as your favorite book? None? I thought so. Not surprising at all (I think there would be cause for concern if any of you had answered yes!). Yet, let us not discount and deemphasize the importance and applicability of this short book. God put it in our bibles for a reason. I believe one of the reasons is that we are the generation that will need its wisdom and comfort more than any other generation since Jeremiah’s. Certainly more than any other previous generation in North America.

I bring this up as I recall a Hebrew roots teacher whose ministry started strong, but ended up in pure heresy, becoming a modern day Judaizer that Paul warned us about. One of the troubling things that he claimed was that we should categorize the books of the bible according to the level of apparent inspiration. In his estimation, the gospels should be revered as the most inspired, followed by the Pentateuch (1st 5 books of the bible), since that was where God talked to Moses face to face. Then came the prophetic books, with the epistles, the history and poetry books falling somewhere after that. What he was trying to do was teach that if you found some sort of contradiction in the word, then you go down this list of relative inspiration, and believe the side that the higher inspired book taught.

That idea is one of the worst heresies you can ever imagine. It is all based on a lie (2 lies in fact). First, there are no contradictions in God’s word. Only our ignorance makes it appear so. Second, all scripture is equally inspired. Period. The gospels are no more or less inspired than the most obscure book of the bible. They all come from God, are were perfectly communicated to man, regardless of the method that God chose to use. What he was trying to do was to get his audience to accept the supremacy of the teaching of the Mosaic law over the letters of Paul, as we know Paul clearly taught us that certain aspects of the law have been abolished in Christ. Not the parts that the liberal churches think, such as the moral law, but certainly the sacrificial and also the ceremonial portions. Especially the food laws. He tried to insist that Christians are obligated to eat kosher and keep the Sabbath, for starters, based on this ludicrous idea that Moses somehow trumped Paul, because God talked with Moses face to face, while that was not specifically said for that of Paul (though we know he was taken up into heaven, where the probably got a lot of his revelation, but he conveniently failed to mention that!).

My point is that we should never allow any ideas of elevating or diminishing any portion of scripture one over another. Yet this is what most of the western church has done. How many preachers have told in specific words, or by strong implication, that the old testament is not relevant for the believer today? Yes it has some nice stories, but they encourage you to stick with the new testament, so you don’t become confused.

They say these things because the old testament confuses them! Having refused to pay the price to spend the time on prayer and study, like everything else in our churches, these hirelings think they have found a shortcut to the victorious, obedient Christian life. Yet how can we obey God is we won’t even read most of the instruction manual that he has sent to us? Why would we intentionally tear our three quarters of God’s words to us? Do we not all long to hear even more and more of God’s words in our ears? Is this not why we search for the prophetic word, and carefully examine each prophecy, to see if God is speaking something new to us today? Yet many of us flit from conference to conference, web site to web site, seeking a fresh word from the Lord, while continually ignoring a tried and tested, absolutely true and infallible utterance that we hold right in our laps!

Let us first master what has already been given thousands of years ago, before running out and seeking some new thing.

Ok, now that that is out of my system, let us turn to the text once again. The first thing we see is that we now definitely see that Jeremiah is speaking. This chapter reminds me of open heart surgery. We will see the prophet’s heart exposed for all to see. We will be privileged to have access to the innermost feelings and thought processes of this great man of God.

We will see that each verse is very short. They are all one sentence, or one thought, each. We will see Jeremiah speak out of his own personal experience, much more than the experience of the city or the nation. While we saw Jerusalem personified in the previous two chapters, as the city spoke to us of what it was like for her as she watched herself and her inhabitants being destroyed, we now will examine what it was like strictly from Jeremiah’s point of view.

While the previous two chapters made it crystal clear that God was the one responsible for the calamity, in this chapter God is not mentioned as the author of Jeremiah’s afflictions. Babylon was not mentioned as the chief instrument of God’s wrath at all. Yet the first two chapters have clearly established that it was Yehovah who did all this. That truth has been settled. Jeremiah does not feel the need to go over that again. Every time you see the word ‘he’, that is referring to God. Jeremiah refuses to speak his name in his agony and sorrow. It is enough that he bares his soul, reminiscent of Job in his day of affliction.

I believe it is significant that Jeremiah uses the word gheh-ber – valiant man or warrior, to describe himself. He could of used the word am or eesh or A-dawm even. He may of saw himself as God’s champion, his warrior in the faith. Perhaps he had dreams of power and victory, maybe thinking about the life of Elijah, how God smote his enemies with a display of fire and fury. Instead of the people falling down before him and stating that the Lord, he is God, he gets thrown in a dungeon (amongst other awful things) for his troubles! He ended up experiencing a measure of God’s wrath just like everyone else he was sent to warn. I am sure it must of taken time for him to process the reality of his situation. I am sure that is one of the main reasons that he was open to, and then felt compelled to write this book. In writing about his experience, I am sure this helped him to come to terms with what had just happened. To put it on paper, giving vent to his confusion and sorrow, was a therapeutic way to organize his thoughts and make sense of the new reality. So we too need to take time to meditate upon and absorb the truths of our world, so that we are able to go forward with what God would have us do.

Lam 3:2 He hath led (guided) me, and brought me into darkness (kho-shek – misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, night, obscurity), but not into light (ore – illumination).

Think about the implications of what the text is saying. Did not Jesus say that he was the light of the world? That those who walk in darkness, do not know him? That the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth? So what is happening here? Jeremiah states that God is indeed guiding him. Yet not towards illumination, but to obscurity, towards the place of wickedness, sorrow, even ignorance.

Could this be a proof text for the ancient Christian concept of the dark night of the soul? How many saints over the centuries speak of a common experience. The experience is that at a certain point in one’s walk with God, God will take you through something akin to the valley of the shadow of death. His presence is temporarily withdrawn. Revelation is withheld. No oil of gladness. Just oppression and heaviness on the soul. No matter how much you pray or fast, no matter how much you repent and mediate on the word, the light of life seems to of been extinguished within. Many have even despaired of life, and came so close to their breaking point. In the midst of this experience, all seems lost.

Perhaps this is the place where some of you find yourself. I found myself in that place for a season a couple of years ago. God led me into a dark place. He blinded me to make a certain decision that would end up costing me dearly. When he lifted the blinders, I could not believe the decision I had just made. It would take several months of weeping and seeking God before the light was truly restored and I was delivered from my circumstance and my sorrow.

This chapter is not for the new believer. If this all seems strange to you, do not despair. Just tuck it away in your toolkit, as you may need its wisdom and encouragement at some future date.

Lam 3:3 Surely against me is he turned (shoob); he turneth (haw-vak – to turn about) his hand against me all the day.

Only those who have felt the hand of darkness descend and remain upon them for a season could really relate to what Jeremiah is talking about. This is not just some normal word of rebuke or correction that the Lord employs against all his children. This is soul destroying, taking one to the brink of endurance, type of experience.

This is why I feel such an urgency in my spirit to write these commentaries at this time, with the haste that I am producing them in. Total judgment is on the way. Not only on the way, but already here. We are going to be experiencing such upheavals and calamities, that we won’t know where to turn to.

Well, just as in everything else in life, the place to turn to is the bible. For our appointed time and season, the place we should turn to is Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel. This is the place the Lord has led me to. I am sure that if you are here and sticking with me thus far, then there is a good chance that he is leading you to the same place as well for answers to our present distress.

Can we not begin to relate to this weeping prophet? Does it not sometimes feel as if the hand of God has turned against all of us? That it is so unrelenting, with a new evil law or decree being passed almost every day, a new manufactured crisis continually springing up out of nowhere, that it feels as if the hand of the Lord is against us all the day? Well, we’ve come to the right place if we wanted to find another soul who has felt exactly the same way!

Lam 3:4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old (to wear out, decay, be consumed); he hath broken my bones.

This is not simply the ravages of old age, but the effect that great evil has on the prophet’s body. We can talk about the jab, the spraying us with poisons like bugs, the toxins placed in our water and in our food supply, but here Jeremiah is speaking about how the stresses of living in such an evil time has prematurely aged him. I am sure he is also referring to having lived through an 18 month siege, where food was scarce.

He hath broken my bones is a figure of speech stating that God has taken away the source of his strength, which was found in his bones. Don’t we all feel that all our sources of strength have been taken away?

Lam 3:5 He hath builded (set up) against me, and compassed (encircled) me with gall (poison, venom) and travail (distress, trouble).

Oh boy, can we get more relevant than this? It seems as if God has set up something to take us all down. No matter which way we turn, we are encircled by our enemies. If we try to escape one way, that avenue is soon cut off. Everywhere we look, poison and venom is there. If we escaped the jab, then we find it in our dental anaesthetic. If we skip going to the dentist, then we read of our animals being jabbed, and perhaps even our vegetables. If we grow all our own food, then they spray us from the sky like cockroaches. If we hide in our bunkers, then the dew weapons find us.

Where can we run? Who do we flee to?

Lam 3:6 He hath set (yaw-shab – set me down as in ambush) me in dark places, as they that be dead of old (o-lawm – vanishing point, time out of mind, eternity).

The prophet feels as if God has sent him away to the equivalent of hell. A place so dark and so far away as to be as far away from the presence of God as you can get. These statements do not mean that God actually sent Jeremiah so such a place, only that to the prophet’s perception, that is exactly how it feels for him.

Lam 3:7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.

He feels bound up like a chained captive. There is no direction he can turn to escape. Even if he tries to move, it feels like molasses moving in water.

Are we not sensing the same thing in our lives, in our nations? No matter what we try to push back the darkness, it just does not work. There is not a direction that we can go and move about freely. If we try to exercise freedom of speech, it is cancelled, suppressed, or worse. If we try to go to our politicians, they betray us even deeper. If we go to the courts, they almost always take the enemies’ side. If we go to our family, they often reject us. If we go to our brothers and sisters in Christ and try to speak to them of all these dark things, they do not understand, and usually flee.

Lam 3:8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

Let us be completely honest for a moment. In these last 4 years, have not all of us prayed so fervently for the wickedness to be halted and turned back in our lands? How are those prayers working out for you? And don’t tell me that you can’t talk like that, because my doubt will cancel the prayer of faith. If you are still reading these lessons, then I know that you are far beyond the heretical word of faith nonsense that so many of us were once filled with.

This verse says that God himself stops the prayer from reaching his ears. I don’t think every single prayer is implied, but those having to do with the theme of stopping God’s total judgment on Judah. Do you not think that Jeremiah did not cry night and day for the salvation of his nation and his people? And yet we remember that more than once God instructed him to stop praying for their deliverance, as it was too late.

So too we find ourselves in the same fate. Are there still prayers that God is listening to? Of course, else what would be the point of the urgent exhortations that he has given us via the prophetic word,
and the word of God itself, to pray like we never have before? The point in this verse is that certain prayers that expect the judgment of God to cease at this point in time are essentially a waste of time and effort, as those will not be heard.

Let us seek the true will of the Lord in this matter, and find out exactly what we can still salvage, and stop wasting time on those things which cannot. Remember, the book of Revelation and the book of Daniel, as 2 examples, are books that have already been written. Their words are set in stone and cannot be altered. Events described therein must come to pass, exactly as they are written. Trying to pray away the apocalypse is like trying to hold back the tide with your hands.

Lam 3:9 He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.

We are going to see that Jeremiah has a seemingly inexhaustible array of extremely expressive metaphors and figures of speech to try and describe his innermost impressions in the most poignant and descriptive means possible. Here he says that God has build an impenetrable wall around him, so that he cannot get out. Any deh-rek (road) he tries to take ends up going nowhere, as one who travels a crooked path that is nothing but deceptive.

Lam 3:10 He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.

God is likened as unto a ravenous beast, one who lies in wait for its prey to strike at its most vulnerable moment.

Lam 3:11 He hath turned aside my ways (deh-rek), and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.

Let us remember that Jeremiah never laments that Babylon’s armies are doing this. He never once blames the devil or evil spirits. I know it is a temptation to recall the subtle sayings of the slick sellers of silly stories, such as the old testament writers didn’t know that the devil was behind all evil, so they naturally blamed God. If you go down that path, then what scripture is not subject to your own private subjective interpretation? Maybe Paul himself did not have the revelation we have today, so we can change any and all of his letters as we see fit?

This way of thinking is actually insulting God in the worst possible way. Either you are calling him a deceiver, leaving lies in his word that will make us believe something that is not true (ie, that it is God who judges us), or he is too stupid or limited in his power to be able to communicate the real truth to Jeremiah. Either you believe what the text says or you don’t. But don’t try and come up with ridiculous reasons as to why the text does not mean what it clearly says it means. And by the way, read the first two chapters of Job if you still think the old testament writers had no idea about the devil. Since that is the oldest book in the bible, all the subsequent old testament writers would of had access to that material as well.

Jeremiah had a good road that he was on. He was obeying God, and expected God to take care of him, as a covenant child of the king. Yet it now seemed to Jeremiah that God has literally pulled the rug out from under him! Instead of the blessings of obedience, he is experiencing the same curses for disobedience as all of his rebellious countrymen. This troubling truth is part of the cross that all believers are expected to bear, that at times, our circumstances will seem to be contradicting the sure promises of God, at least for a season. Who is the faithful man and woman that will continue to soldier, despite all he sees and hears?

Lam 3:12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark (or erected a jail, or aimed at) for the arrow (piercer).
Lam 3:13 He hath caused the arrows (bane – sons) of his quiver to enter into my reins (kidney, mind).

How many times have we encountered the picture of an archer as a type of God’s judgments! God has unleashed his bow, he has taken aim on behalf of his piercer. A Hebraism follows, in that the sons of his quiver is likened to a pregnant woman giving birth. Or, God’s four sore judgments have been unleashed, or discharged from his bow – sword, famine, pestilence, evil beasts (Dt 32:23). They have entered into my innermost being, that is, their poison has penetrated as deep inside me as is possible. What a picture of the bio-weapon in the natural, and the spiritual and emotional grief in the soul.

God has bent the bow. He has intentionally aimed his piercer at us. He caused the arrows of his judgments to fly straight and true, lodging within our innermost man.

Lam 3:14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.

Now we get a clearer insight into the prophet’s mind. We now know that he speaks of these awful things as primarily describing what was done to him, more so than what was done to his fellow countrymen. We see here that the persecution he faced in the form of rejection of his peers affected him very deeply. It wounded him to the core, more so than the physical punishments he had endured.

In today’s terms, he would of said: ‘i was shadow banned. I was deplatformed. Fact checkers said that I spoke disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation. I was unfriended. I was censored. I was called a hater, a white supremacist, a racist. I was placed on a watch list. My phone was tapped. My emails read. I was labelled a domestic terrorist, a maga insurrectionist, full of white privilege. Bots plagued my comments page. Cyber attacks took my website down. I was demonetized, vilified, ostracized, and most likely even french fried. Woe, woe, woe, is me!

Lam 3:15 He hath filled me with bitterness (bitter herbs), he hath made me drunken with wormwood (poisonous hemlock, curses).

Getting back to our regularly scheduled programming, Jeremiah is sinking deeper and deeper into despair. He knows God is in control of all things. He knows he has been called from his mother’s womb. He knows God had spoken through him many times. Yet he also knows that he cannot recall any prophet of the past that had not only to pronounce harsh judgments and suffer the pushback for it, but then had to actually go through said judgment themselves, with all the hardship, sorrow, and grief that that entailed. I am sure that instead of thanking Jeremiah as the people saw his predictions come to pass, they somehow ended up blaming him for them, as we often like to shoot the messenger.

Lam 3:16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.

Poor quality bread in those days may of had bits of gravel in it, which would cause broken teeth, a not very pleasant sensation. The way God is treating Jeremiah feels like that, according to him. Ashes signified mourning. God has covered him with ashes, signifying that God has given him an overabundance of reasons to mourn.

Lam 3:17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (tobe – good in the widest sense).

I think all of us can relate to this verse. Shalom, or peace, can be hard to come by, at times. All we need to do is look at the latest manufactured crisis and peace is outta here! We also are starting to forget what a normal functioning society looks like. If things keep going at the same trajectory for another 10 years, can you even imagine what the world is going to be like? Us older folks will die off, who were raised in freedom, when goodness was cherished for itself. What sort of world will be left if only those who only know this form of communistic satanism are left? As insanity after insanity piles up all around us, it becomes harder and harder to remember when mankind retained a decent measure of sanity, and you could actually talk and debate with your fellow man, arrive at compromises, and actually agree on the fact that we should all pursue goals that benefited mankind instead of exterminating them.

Lam 3:18 And I said, My strength (confidence, goal, victory) and my hope (expectation) is perished from the LORD (Yehovah):

We now begin to get a hint, a glimmer of hope, even though on the surface it is not yet readily apparent. Instead of referring to God as he or him, he begins to recollect and finds the courage to call him by his true name, Yehovah. He is reaching what we call ‘hitting bottom’. Oftentimes that is the only way to recovery, as any alcoholic will tell you. If you still think you have options, then you may not be ready for this place of total abandonment to the will of your creator.

Jeremiah is stating that he is out of options. His religious expectations of God have not panned out. He once had confidence in what he believed about God. Experience has torn that from him. He had certain expectations about how God would act, based on his denomination’s doctrine (the priests in the temple). There was a general consensus about the ways of the Lord. However, the season of total judgment has shattered his preconceptions and notions about the divine.

Has our confidence in our gracious, loving Lord been somewhat shattered? Are you walking around in confusion, wondering why your family, your church, your employer, and your nation is falling apart all around you at warp speed? Has your confidence and expectations been shattered? Is your hope in Yahweh perishing? Well, take some comfort. You are not the only one. Jeremiah has been there, done that. You are now officially joining a long line of saints that have progressed far enough along the path to true righteousness and intimacy that he is entrusting you with your very own ‘dark night of the soul’.

Hang in there, we are almost at the place where one of the greatest promises ever found in the entire word of God may be found. And in the book of Lamentations, no less!

Lam 3:19 Remembering mine affliction (misery, oppression, trouble) and my misery (maltreatment, being an outcast, made destitute), the wormwood (poisonous curse) and the gall (venomous poison of serpents).

It is good to meditate on our sufferings. What a vivid picture Jeremiah paints! Do we all not have our poignant moments of singular evil? Perhaps a loved one dies of the venomous poison. Perhaps you were mistreated severely when you refused to take the jab. Perhaps you lost your source of income, and were flung into temporary misery. Perhaps you were maltreated by your family when you wouldn’t submit to the marching orders of the medically insane. Perhaps you were made an outcast in various ways.

Lam 3:20 My soul hath them still in remembrance (zaw-kar zaw-kar – earnestly mark, recognize), and is humbled (shoo-akh – sunk down, inclined) in me.

Nothing like tribulation to destroy all pride and arrogance in one’s soul! Certain personality types are especially vulnerable to being lifted up in pride and the exaltation of oneself. When you have experienced the judgment of Yehovah and are caught up in the midst of it, finally realizing just how completely powerless you are, then all pride quickly dissipates as air out of a punctured balloon.

Us prosperous North Americans are fully realizing that we are not as special as we think. We thought we were untouchable, unsinkable, unshakable. God has had other thoughts. Sin is sin, and the consequences of sin are same, whether you call yourself a Judean, a Canadian, or an American.

Lam 3:21 This I recall (shoob) to my mind (labe – heart), therefore have I hope (yaw-chal – to wait patiently).

After 64 verses of some of the most intensely negative and painful expression of heartache, loss and deep sorrow, we are suddenly jarred by a stark change of tone. What is the word ‘hope’ doing here? Are we not talking about the destruction of all things, especially of hope? How can hope be found in any shape, form or fashion in this place?

There is hope because our favorite, oh so faithful friend the shoob has popped back in! Jeremiah’s heart is turned toward a recollection of his sorrows, which have produced a humbled heart. It’s because of that very humility that the grace of hope has returned within to illuminate and re-energize his inner man. If you are still operating in pride, then once all your natural options are exhausted, you will find no hope at the end of that road. However, if you have meditated sufficiently on your afflictions, and have changed your thinking and gleaned the truths that God wanted you to glean, then you will first encounter the life saving virtue of humility, which is the deh-rek, or road, that next leads to hope.

Lam 3:22 It is of the LORD’S (Yehovah’s) mercies (chesed – kindness, favor) that we are not consumed (come to a full end), because his compassions (pity) fail not.

Now we are getting somewhere. Affliction led to humility, which led to hope. Now this wonderful road is taking us to mercy and compassion. No revelation of mercy is possible without first encountering the grace of genuine humility.

Even after the road of total judgment has been trodden, one would think that nothing good would be found on the other side of that. Yet here we are. Look at what is on the other side. What is just over the horizon of total destruction. Humility. Hope. Mercy. Compassion. Is not the word of God truly wondrous in its unexpected surprises? That we find mercy and compassion in a place where the most awful evil has just been unleashed? Yet that is the true nature of Yehovah. No matter how much he is forced to act to destroy sin, at the end of it all his trademark is mercy.

This verse is a proclamation of the unfathomable depth of the riches of God’s mercy and compassion. Jeremiah realizes in a lightning flash of illumination, that he has been looking at his situation from the totally opposite angle. Instead of continually bemoaning all the evil that the Lord had to send on his wayward, rebellious people, he should be meditating on the wondrous fact that despite their extreme wickedness, he and several others are still alive! They are not all dead, like they all deserve to be. If God was only a God of judgment, there would not be a single human soul to populate heaven. The devil would of gotten us all.

So you see, it is all a matter of perspective. Half empty, or half full?

Lam 3:23 They are new (kaw-dawsh – fresh, a new thing) every morning (boker – as the morning of the days of creation): great is thy faithfulness (moral fidelity).

Here is a truth that should sustain us even in the darkest days to come. God’s mercies and compassion are new every single day. Every. Single. Day. So no matter what horror will be unleashed upon us tomorrow, we can always hope that whenever we wake up, we can confidently wonder if this new day will be the day of our deliverance! It just might be, as God creates a new kind of mercy and compassion, crafted and tailor made just for that particular day! Who knows what sort of grace he has prepared for us tomorrow morning? So as we survive yet another day in apocalyptic dystopia, take heart. When you wake tomorrow, perhaps that is the day that Jesus has chosen to bring forth a new mercy never seen before in your life. One that is equivalent to the uniqueness that was showcased on each of the six days of creation.

Lam 3:24 The LORD (Yehovah) is my portion (inheritance), saith my soul; therefore will I hope (wait, tarry, be patient) in him.

The line of reasoning continues to be developed. Remember our road to the recovery and permanent retention of hope all began with judgment. When a nation goes so far off the rails that day to day chastisement is of no use, then God’s national judgments begin to kick in.

While these judgments will destroy the majority, being corrupted past the point of no return, the remnant will be placed on a different path. A path of humility. A restoration of hope. A reacquaintance with the virtues of God’s eternal mercy and compassion. A fresh vision of the uniqueness of God’s most positive attributes, and a fuller understanding that outside of Yahweh, there is really no other place to turn.

We then begin to grasp that God is our portion, our true inheritance. Not the things of this world. Not its wealth or its accolades. Although at this time of darkness we cannot see with our physical eyes the manifestation of all those special life sustaining promises of God, somehow we find a greater ability to rest and endure, knowing that our heavenly inheritance awaits us. Yet but a little longer, and our true promised land will be ours.

Lam 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh (diligently inquire, specifically to worship) him.

When the soul has been made still through a deeper understanding of the true purposes of God’s judgments, then not only is hope rekindled, but the ability to wait patiently is also found. I like the idea of the Hebrew nuances for seeketh – to diligently inquire, but with the motive of worship underpinning the venture. Most souls under severe mishpat will curse God and die. The soul that has been refined by the Lord in the crucible of his holy, cleansing fire, will emerge with a purity of heart attitude that fully acknowledges God’s tsed-eh-aw – his rightness or righteousness of his ways, which are found in his mish-pat – his verdicts, decisions, and decrees against sin.

If you want to experience God’s goodness during the tribulation, then work on this chain of virtues that Jeremiah is revealing to us.

Lam 3:26 It is good (tobe) that a man should both hope and quietly wait (silently in stillness) for the salvation (tesh-oo-aw – personal, national, or spiritual) of the LORD.

We are seeing the word ‘good (tobe)’ used quite a lot here. The word means good in every sense imaginable. It means the best, beautiful, sweet, precious, pleasant. Sort of the opposite of all things that we are seeing happening in the earth today.

With all the turmoil encroaching ever nearer, it is quite a challenge to wait in quiet stillness for God’s salvation. And this salvation covers every aspect – personal and general. We are seeing many who are desperately urging everyone to rise up and get involved. To fight for your freedoms with everything you’ve got. To expend whatever energy and resources you have left, if for nothing else than to leave some sort of nation for your offspring. All of this is sincere and commendable. Some are genuinely being led of the Holy Spirit to do these things. Yet I cannot shake the conviction that no matter what seems right in our eyes, nothing will prosper if we are found to be kicking against the biblical pattern that we are immersed in at this time. And that pattern is most clearly found on the lips of Jeremiah. That is why I am led to create these commentaries. I could of picked a nice book like Romans or Ephesians, or even the gospels. Yet I think we have enough commentaries on those volumes. We have been doctrinalized to dire depths of desensitization in areas such as predestination, sanctification, glorification, eschatology, soteriology, hermeneutics, christology, and every other ‘ology’ that we can think of. Yet where is the life of Christ? Where is that image of Jesus that should shine through each and every one of us? Why do we have so much information, yet so little wisdom and understanding? We have gorged ourselves on the positive truths and have left off the demands of the gospel life that are compulsory for all believers. We now are desperately trying to play catch up to discovering and embracing the true will of the Lord.

Lam 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Jeremiah now concludes that it would be a good thing to endure one’s share of suffering at an early age. This would better equip him to bear all things later in life. I truly fear for the western church, born and bred during this Laodicean age. Because we have spent all our lives in comfort and ease, will be be able to successfully navigate the severe change that is taking us to the loss of all comforts and wealth? If we were raised in a muslim or a communist nation, hardship would be all we would know. I see that most of us don’t even want to really know what truly is going on. Just the hearing of reality makes most of us too uncomfortable, never mind the actual experiencing of it. This is why we must make every effort to adjust our thinking and theology just as radically as we can, to give us the best chance of surviving the days ahead.

Lam 3:28 He sitteth alone (separate and solitary) and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.

As God places the yoke of affliction upon us, let us learn the wisdom of solitude and silence. God has placed this yoke, this burden of judgment on our generation. Will we be like those who refuse to accept reality, who refuse to accept the punishment of our iniquity (Lev 26:41), and frantically latch upon one scheme after another? Or will we find that lonely place in the wilderness, and shut our mouths and listen until we hear God’s clear instruction unto us?

I have been contacted by more than one saint, stating the fact that they simply cannot find even one other person of like mind whom they can find fellowship with. My heart goes out to each and every one of them. I know what that is like. I too, do not have a single person whom I can freely discuss these revelations of judgment with, except my wife, of which I am eternally grateful, as I know that many do not have the blessing of a like minded spouse to bounce ideas off of. I did have a sibling that did understand these things whom I could speak to, but the Lord took her home in 2021.

Yet I have to confess that when circumstances forced me to go to my prayer closet like never before, seeking the face of God in solitude and silence, eventually the rewards of that effort have paid off a hundredfold. Without the judgments and tribulations from God, nothing would move us to seek God like we do when we are pressured sufficiently.

Lam 3:29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.

Can we imagine the picture that God is trying to paint for us? Can we grasp the sort of attitude that God is looking for? How many of us need to put our mouth in the dust, instead of in someone else’s ear, talking it right off their heads! I am reminded of so many televangelists and the like that defiled the airwaves in years gone past. How arrogant and shameful they seem to me now! They would never shut up, telling everyone to declare this and declare that. Strutting around like the cock of the walk, pride, presumption and arrogance oozing out of every pore. Dear God, forgive us! How did we not recognize those creatures for what they really were? Why were we so easily deceived?

Lam 3:30 He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

We start to sense a messianic undertone in this passage. Does this not remind us of Isaiah chapter 53? Jeremiah states that the man who has walked through the furnace of severe affliction has learned the secret of meekly submitting to the wrath of both God and man. He will not let shame and a natural desire for revenge dictate his actions. He does not let any affront or insult move him. Whether it is God that is afflicting, or God’s instrument of judgment, it is all the same to the truly broken and submissive man (or woman) of God. Pride has no place in a refined and cleansed child of the king.

Lam 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever:

The prophet encourages himself with one of the most fundamental truths to be found in all of scripture. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Ps 30:5). All suffering is temporary. Some is a little less temporary than others, but temporary it is. The challenge to life is can we endure whatever God allows our way, for however longs he allows it, and maintain our faith to the uttermost end? Free will is free will. It has a price, and the price is that it is up to us to decide if we will endure unto the end. Those that do are promised many rewards, as Jesus makes clear (Rev 2:7, 10-11, 17, 26, 3:5, 10-12, 21).

If we knew we had exactly one year to endure before Jesus came to take us home, would we not all set our hearts and minds to endure whatever came? I think the success rate would be pretty high. Well, if we can endure one day, one month, one year, why not for however long the Lord wills?

Lam 3:32 But though he cause grief (afflicts us), yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies (chesed).

Again and again the old testament reminds us that it is God who brings evil, as well as good. He breaks us, then heals us. He causes us grief, but then he has compassion and mercy. He never hurts us because he himself is evil. The devil and his children do so out of wicked, depraved hearts. God grieves us always for a redemptive purpose. Only to the unredeemable does his hammer of wrath fall upon them for strictly punitive purposes. When God judges us, it’s so that we won’t be judged along with the rest of the world (1 Cor 11:32).

By now I think the case is made that it is God that sends affliction and judgment, always first upon his people, always so that they may repent and return. If they refuse, then the judgments become increasingly punitive, as God’s holiness cannot allow wickedness to go unpunished forever. These last few verses gave us the only prescription when we find ourselves in a generation of total judgment like we find ourselves in. The only remedy is humility, silence, repentance, and a quiet hope in a future where we may see mercy and compassion emerge once again.

Lam 3:33 For he doth not afflict (hurt, browbeat, depress) willingly (from the heart) nor grieve (vex) the children (bane – sons) of men (eesh).

It is not in God’s heart to afflict us. He is not looking for every opportunity to vex us. Unlike our leaders today, where every policy and directive is intentionally trying to destroy us, God gave us his instruction manual on how to live. If we would have just simply followed that book, he would have no need to afflict anyone. However, there is a reality of having to live in community. We may of lived a blameless life, like Job or Daniel, yet even they were caught up in affliction due to being a part of a community of wicked men. These men were afflicted by others as a test, or perhaps as an opportunity to move them into higher positions, as in the case of Daniel. Yet Daniel was also afflicted because his countrymen had turned their backs on Yehovah as a whole, and he got swept up in it. He was hurt even to the extent that he most likely was castrated by the king of Babylon, as he was given over to the keeper of the eunuchs. So the next time you feel hard done by because your fellow Americans (and Canadians) are causing God’s judgments to fall, at least you can rejoice that you still have all your body parts!

Lam 3:34 To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth,
Lam 3:35 To turn aside the right (mishpat) of a man before the face of the most High (el-yon),
Lam 3:36 To subvert (overthrow) a man in his cause, the Lord (Adonai) approveth not.

God continues the previous thought. God does not ever initially intend to grieve and vex us as his first option. He does not sit up all night, planning how to crush us. He is not looking at ways to ensure that we don’t get justice. He is not looking to screw us over in the law courts of heaven.

Sometimes the afflicted man may certainly feel this way. We all are prisoners, or captives under this world’s Babylonian system. The oppression is increasing, and has almost completely enclosed us. All our natural law courts have failed, the righteous man’s cause has been subverted. This is not the way of Adonai. The most high does not approve of injustice. Yet times of total judgment is full of nothing but injustice. That is why the instruments of his wrath will experience wrath in turn that is all the greater.

I wonder if it’s man’s perpetual tendency to cut the wicked far more slack than God ever intended that causes him to almost exclusively use the wicked as instruments of his punishment. Since their corrupt hearts cannot help but abuse that power he gives them, they always set themselves up for total annihilation once they have served God’s purpose. If the people of God punished the wicked in the way God desired, we certainly wouldn’t of given evil such latitude to germinate and flourish so quickly and thoroughly. Of course, all these thoughts are moot, as the wicked have now overrun the land.

Lam 3:37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

The greatest blasphemy of the cabal is they actually think that they can supersede the sovereign will of God by utilizing technology obtained from the fallen ones. They believe that partaking of the knowledge of good and evil will enable them to eat of the tree of life and become immortal, just like Yahweh. Quantum mechanics has the strange property of locality, the idea that objects can be in 2 places at once. Thus, they think they can obtain omniscience, perhaps existing in the present and the future. They believe that consciousness can be uploaded into an indestructible cloud network, giving them immortality. Thus, they stretch out their hands and think to become like gods. The depopulation is most likely the price they need to pay to access this technology, the evil angels on a vendetta of destroying all of God’s creation. What evil billionaire would not sacrifice the entire world for the promise of immortality?

This verse makes mockery of their deluded ideas. Do they actually believe that they can somehow escape the great white throne judgment and live forever? I think the only reason that God has not already completely wiped them out is that he is finding it very difficult to stop laughing!

Lam 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High (el-yon) proceedeth not evil (rah) and good (tobe)?

I find it illuminating that no classic commentator of a century or more ago had any problem with ascribing both good and evil as coming from God. No, it’s only the wicked Laodicean generation that threw out this vital doctrine. We created our own golden calf of Yahweh, as Jeroboam did of old. We worship a version of Yahweh that exists only in our own corrupt imaginations.

The verse is a bit awkward. It asks: ‘does not both evil and good proceed out of God’s mouth?’. The answer is of course, yes. Take that, Copeland and all you other heretics! Peddle your golden calf somewhere else.

Lam 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man (adam) complain, a man (gheh-ber – mighty man, warrior) for the punishment (penalty) of his sins?

Since we know that God sends evil to punish and avenge sin, why does sinful man complain? We always feel that we are so hard done by. All of us have seen countless cases where someone seems to suffer unjustly. Our hearts go out to them, and we pray for and try to help them, and rightly so. Yet underlying everything that occurs in this dark, broken, sinful planet, is the grim fact that we are all under Adam’s curse. In a world with free will and sin natures and demons freely roaming, innocent people are continually at risk of tragedy and sorrow. This is reality. This is life. God encourages us to look at life from his point of view. By rights, you should all be dead. It is only my mercy and my grace that allows you breath. Yes, the cross has paid for your sins. However, don’t get cocky. I do not change. I am still the same God that I always was. Read the book of Numbers if you want to find out what I think of murmurers and complainers. Be glad that I do not deal with you according to your folly, as I dealt with my people in the wilderness. Take heed to my patterns!

We may be suffering the cumulative judgment of generations, but in reality we are all worthy of wrath.

What would we do without the precious blood of the Lamb!

Lam 3:40 Let us search and try (examine) our ways (deh-rek), and turn again (shoob) to the LORD (Yehovah).

Yehovah is certainly into repetition. We are first and foremost to judge ourselves, rather than others. We are to examine our road, our course of life. Jeremiah automatically assumes that we will need to do at least some shoobing towards Yehovah. He knows full well the iniquity of men’s hearts. Has he just not survived a terrible stretch of events, made all the worse by the terrible deh-rek his people took, and the absolute absence of any shoobing back toward Yehovah?

Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

You can lift up your hands in an outward show of piety, but if the heart is missing, then it is in vain. We should always automatically respond to judgment with a deep repentance, and a permanent lifestyle change. Let us remember that God is in the heaven, and we are here down on earth. Let our words be few. Rather, let our renewed behaviors speak as thunder instead.

Lam 3:42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.

As Jeremiah looked down upon the ruined city, he confesses that we have brought this upon ourselves. At this time, there is no evidence of forgiveness. Your just sentence is still being carried out. There is still no forgiveness, as the wrath of God takes its time to complete its cleansing work.

Lam 3:43 Thou hast covered (fenced us in) with anger (wrath as smoke coming from the nostril), and persecuted us (ran after us with hostile intent): thou hast slain (smite with deadly intent), thou hast not pitied (spared us).

In the midst of destruction, there is no physical sign of goodness. There is no timeout for pity to take charge. When the deep felt wrath of God takes hold, there is no sanctuary. No place to hide. We must be able to envision this and come to terms with our new reality.

Lam 3:44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.

We have been given many chances to repent. To fast and pray. To seek the Lord, and turn from our wicked ways. There is a good reason why the word says to seek him, while he may be found. This implies that there comes a time when he won’t be found. This verse says that in the time of his final judgment is when that time comes to pass.

I genuinely fear that certain prayers cannot be prayed to any effect anymore. Our nations’ glory has been spent. As I seek the Lord ever more urgently these days, I find that certain prayers that have to do with doing his specific will in my life get answered quite regularly and speedily. However, the constant cry that I lift up for my sin sick nation seems to not have much witness in my inner man.

We must be willing to be brutally honest with ourselves in our prayer closet. Time is truly running out, and we should not be afraid to abandon petitions that God has no interest in responding to. This takes great maturity and discernment, as you may be simply weary in well doing, or the evil one is simply testing your faith. Let us continually seek the Lord, and be willing to learn ever more deeply of his will and his ways.

Let us remember that many will cry out to God as the end of their lives come barrelling right at them in these next few years. In their distress, many will not be heard. As judgments increase, the patience and pity of God decreases. Do not fritter away your chance of getting right with him, presuming that he will always be there for you. Just ask king Saul or Esau if that was the case for them.

Lam 3:45 Thou hast made us as the offscouring (sweepings) and refuse (cast offs) in the midst of the people (am – people, tribe, flock, nation).

Because we have totally rejected God, God has turned us into the equivalent of garbage that you sweep up and throw out. Our nations have, as a whole, become totally worthless. Can we honestly think that Canada and America are in any better shape morally than Judah was at this time? This is the main point that I hope that God is getting across to us. We are the same as Judah. We have begun to suffer the same fate as Judah. Therefore, we will continue to suffer the same judgment until we end up like Judah did, that is, totally destroyed.

This verse reminds us of the verse in Jeremiah (Jer 6:29-30). God has thrown them in the fire to purify them, and all that came out was reprobate silver. In other words, useless garbage, worthless in God’s eyes.

Lam 3:46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.

It is fair game upon all the west. All the enemies of freedom now mock and gloat over us. They never need fear us again. They never need to feel morally inferior to America. And indeed, isn’t that yet another tragedy of America’s moral freefall? We once lived a standard that convicted other nations, that made the tyrants of the world pause. Now, no one needs to feel a sense of restraint anymore. Look at America. See how morally bankrupt she is. We’re not so bad after all, aren’t we?

We have just condemned all these other nations to an eternity in hell, as now they have no further reason to investigate and consider the claims of Christianity, if the greatest of all Christian nations has become so degraded and obscene in everyone’s eyes.

Lam 3:47 Fear (pakh-ad – dread, terror) and a snare (pakh-ath – pit) is come upon us, desolation (shayth – devastation) and destruction (shay-ber – ruin).

It looks like Jeremiah is resorting to some Hebrew alliteration to help make his point. Pakh-ad and pakh-ath. Shayth and shay-ber. It is perfectly acceptable to use various literary devices and figures of speech to help make a passage memorable. These kinds of things are lost in translation. It reminds me of the often humorous and nonsensical translations that software can make when translating user instructions of something that was made in China from Chinese to English. In the same way, we have all ran across verses in the King James especially that seem to leave something to be desired. That is usually due to the fact that the translators were committed to the principle of literalness in their translation. Our solution has been to abandon the King James and go to a translation where the modern author solves this by arbitrarily choosing a new way of interpreting the text. Sometimes it is accurate, sometimes it is not. The proper way to deal with these difficulties is to go back to the original text, pray about it, and let God show you what was meant. This is where the older commentaries really do shine. They may not of been as spirit filled and full of revelation as we would like, but one thing they knew was the original languages! A strong understanding of Hebrew is a great starting point in discovering the true meaning(s) of a particularly difficult passage. Don’t expect God to pop in an obscure interpretation of a passage when you have absolutely no knowledge that the original Hebrew actually contains nuances that would allow for the text to be translated that way. That is not how God works. He takes what you give him, and performs miracles with it. Think of the widow’s last meal in Elijah’s time. God could of chosen to fill her empty vessels with all the food in the world without asking her to provide what she had, but he chose not to do so. Jesus took some initial loaves and fish, and worked with them. He could of produced all the food from thin air, but chose not to do so. So in the same pattern don’t expect God to spring upon you some subtle revelation of his word if you have not paid the price by offering him what you have. In this case, the effort required to look up the words and meanings for yourself. Then, and only then, have you given him something to work with, and revelation will often flow thereafter.

In this verse, Jeremiah is telling us that no happy thing is to be expected in such an evil time as this. Fear will be much harder to overcome. The enemy will set traps for the unwary at a rate never before seen. Things will not be built up, but rather torn down. Look at the pace of deindustrialization occurring in the west. How about the obliteration of fertilizer and farmland?

Lam 3:48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Here we envision either the prophet, the city, or the people of the city in an abject state of total sorrow. How hard it is to create something of lasting value. How easy it is to tear it all down. The destruction that is occurring all around us will not be so easily repaired, if it ever is.

Do our eyes run continually with tears, or have our hearts become hardened to all the wickedness?

Of course, I think it is appropriate to bring up the matter of cultural norms. Historical Canadians, regardless of nationality (excepting French), have been brought up in British cultural traditions. That is why we have had an affinity for British television shows in the past, particularly British humor. Part and parcel of this culture is the ‘stiff upper lip, and all that’ attitude of emotional stoicism in the face of tragedy. We generally do not weep and wail like a typical middle easterner.

Keeping this in mind, we may not be culturally equipped to showcase our emotions on our sleeves quite like Jeremiah would. We look at the displays of modern middle eastern grieving as over the top, deliberately ostentatious exhibitions of exaggerated emotion. Whatever we conclude, and whatever cultural background we are from, the question is do we allow ourselves to be immersed in the genuine compassions of our Lord, regardless of our outward display? Does the suffering of others truly move you on the inside, or is it only your own personal losses that cause you to feel sorrow? It is always a good thing to spend time alone with Jesus, and ask him to give you a piece of his heart, if you find yourself becoming cold and indifferent to the pain of others.

Lam 3:49 Mine eye trickleth (pours) down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission (slackness),

The Hebrew word can mean trickle or pour. I think pour better fits the context, since we are talking of Jeremiah’s deep, deep well of sorrow. Jeremiah sees no end to his suffering. He cannot stop weeping. Even so today in our lands, if we are honest, we do not see an end to our destruction.

Lam 3:50 Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.

Jeremiah understands. You may fight your unjust charge, your illegal arrest, your nonsensical fine. You may even win a victory for yourself, but at the cost of all your wealth. The process is the penalty. Let us let go of our own works, and the hope we have placed in man. Let us be totally honest with ourselves. Only when Yehovah decides to look at us, with the intention of allowing his pity for our situations to outweigh his righteous need to avenge our rebellion, will we see any relief.

Lam 3:51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart (nephesh – breath, vitality) because of all the daughters of my city.

Has not our vitality been sapped by all that we are seeing? We see all the deaths, all the disabilities, all the sorrow, all the crime. It has to have an effect. I submit that the damage inside of us may be greater than any temporal physical loss we experience due to crime, government theft, loss of freedom, etc. It is when our spirits are broken that our reason for living dims. If life becomes such a burden that we cannot find a reason to go on, then regardless of financial status, losing purpose is losing life itself.

This is where we must embrace truths such as Jeremiah is laying out for us in this chapter. I see him urging us to look at our situation from an entirely different angle. Not so much at all that we’re losing, but from God’s point of view, where it is taking all his restraint not to consume every last one of us. All of us glass half empty types need to find a way to become glass half full advocates!

Lam 3:52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

It is generally understood that Jeremiah now switches to his personal trials and tribulations, by what is said by the following verses. He has been spending all of his prophetic ministry trying to convince his audience that they really do deserve everything that God is sending their way, so he wouldn’t be abruptly switching gears now. Obviously, he’s not talking how Judah does not deserve her judgments. He is speaking of what his own people did to him personally, just for being the messenger.

Lam 3:53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.

We know that the prophet was placed in a miry pit, at the bottom of a well. Perhaps a stone was placed at the opening, blocking off all light. They had certainly intended to leave him there to die. Only God’s providential rescue by the Ebed-melech saved him.

We can also look at this passage metaphorically. God’s heavy hand of judgment does feel like our life is being snuffed out. We may feel like we are in a prison, and all avenues of escape have been blocked. Perhaps you lost your job because you took a stand against the jab. Or perhaps you lost a job because you refused to submit to some other vile precept of our woke culture. Maybe you then lost your home. Maybe your spouse divorced you, and took the kids with them. Maybe the government took away your kids because you wouldn’t allow them to be poisoned. Or maybe you even took the jab yourself, and later on realised what a costly mistake it was, and now are facing some permanent consequences.

Lam 3:54 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off (gaw-zar – destroyed).

The hopelessness of your situation has begun to overwhelm you. You have cried and cried, until you can cry no more. In your grief you believe that this is the end. No way out. No hope.

Lam 3:55 I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon.

Yet by the grace of Almighty God, he reached down and touched you. He brought to remembrance that you are still a child of the King. He has not totally forsaken you, or left you to rot forever. For a little while, he hid his face from you. Now he has inspired you to once again turn to the only one who can possibly save you.

Lam 3:56 Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing (relief, my breathing space), at my cry.

And lo and behold, God does hear! In the midst of the lowest point of your life, when all seems lost, you receive a witness that he is still there. As finally a small glimmer of hope is restored to your soul, you quickly implore heaven that this breathing space of relief not be extinguished. Keep it going Lord. Attend unto my sorrow. Let me not just glimpse you, only to have it snatched away once again.

Lam 3:57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.

When I finally was able to reestablish contact with my savior, the first thing I heard was: ‘Fear not’. Isn’t that what God always says to us? And yet how hard it is to obey! Our senses love to paint a picture of fear. Fear rules the world. It certainly has reigned supreme since 2020. fear caused the entire world to change how it operates, by what rules it will obey. Until and unless we can learn to conquer fear, we will not have much success in navigating and surviving the days ahead.

Lam 3:58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded (defended) the causes (legal contest) of my soul (nephesh); thou hast redeemed (gaw-al – acted the part of kinsman redeemer) my life.

Does not this sound like our great mediator, who pleads our case before the throne of heaven? This is a clearly Messianic verse. Jesus is our lawyer in heaven. He argues our case. His record is perfect. He never loses a case. Unlike the lawyers we use down below, he can never be defeated. And all because of his precious blood. That blood stamps a verdict of ‘not guilty’ on each and every one of our files!

Is it not remarkable that in the most unlikeliest of places, in the middle of the book of Lamentations, we see such a clear passage extolling the primary virtue of our master, our kinsman redeemer, who makes our access into the eternal places of rest possible?

Lam 3:59 O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong (oppression, from a root meaning to falsify, deal perversely with)): judge (shaw-fat – pronounce sentence) thou my cause (mishpat – verdict, decree).

Jeremiah, now confident that he has once again obtained the ear of God, asks him to look at all his enemies who lied about him, and made up false accusations against him. He asks the righteous God to pronounce his judgment on his case. When we are walking blameless with the Lord, we too will have confidence to take our personal situations before him to receive a just decision, to release us from the grip of our enemies.

Lam 3:60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations (contrivances, also from a root word that means fabrications) against me.

Jeremiah continues to remind God that all these charges against him are fake news. It is all lies, based on their hatred of his message of judgment. Do not be surprised if the world hates you, especially if you start preaching the judgments of God to them. No corrupted heart wants to hear about the price they will have to pay at the end of the road. Humanity loves the credit based Babylonian financial system that we live in. You can have it all now. Don’t worry about the payments, that’s for another day. Enjoy life while you can.

Lam 3:61 Thou hast heard (shama) their reproach (rebukes, also from a root word that means blasphemies), O LORD, and all their imaginations (contrivances) against me;

Not only have you seen their actions taken against me, you have also heard every lie they spoke. They insulted me, rebuked me at every turn. And why? Because I told them the truth.

Lam 3:62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.

Jeremiah continues to present his case of innocence before the Lord.

Lam 3:63 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick (satire).

He continues to paint the picture of how his enemies charges are all without merit. Think of the wrath of God that these enemies of his were piling up for themselves. They sat down at their feasts and Jeremiah’s prophecies of doom and gloom were the object of their mockery and their laughter. They laughed at God’s judgments. Think of what God thought of that as he observed them. Does it not make you cringe when you see our youth mock God and blaspheme the gospel message when they are exposed to it? How they think it’s all garbage and somehow hateful to preach the love of Jesus, how he died for them? Can you imagine the thoughts that will go through their minds in hell?

I heard something the other day that I thought is so appropriate to insert here. Hell is repetition. Not only will punishments repeat endlessly, but regrets will be replayed over and over and over again.

Lam 3:64 Render unto them a recompence, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.

Jeremiah is not afraid to ask God to punish the wicked. Why is that such a taboo subject in the church? It is because of Jesus’ words on the sermon on the mount. We have a very hard time rightly dividing the word in this area. When we see verses such as this one, we tend to say Jesus’ teaching has superseded this verse, thus making this verse invalid since the days of the sermon on the mount. As if Jesus came to abolish the Law or the Prophets (Mat 5:17)! If he did that, then Mat 5:18 is not true:

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

So nothing Jesus said annulled any verse in the old testament. Therefore, the prayer of Jeremiah is a valid prayer. When Jesus said don’t retaliate, he meant your personal enemies, on a personal scale. Don’t take vengeance into your own hands, like their middle eastern culture was so apt to do. If someone insulted or shamed you, you were not considered a man unless you gave back at least as good as you got. Jeremiah is not saying that he will pay back his enemies. He asks God to take care of it. While we may pray for our enemies, when it comes to those who persecute us with the intent of hindering or destroying the work of God, then verses such as this should come into consideration. These men were not just opposing Jeremiah, they were opposing the will of God himself.

Lam 3:65 Give them sorrow (meg-in-naw – blindness of obstinacy) of heart, thy curse (tah-al-aw – imprecation) unto them.

This is a unique verse in that it contains 2 Hebrew words found nowhere else in the bible. Give them meg-in-aw of heart. Let their heart be blinded, or made permanently stubborn. Is this not what Isaiah said, and Jesus referred to?

Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Isa 29:10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Mar 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Obviously Jesus had no problem with this verse. He did not ‘disannul’ or replace the teaching found in Lamentations with his own. Rather, he affirmed it.

The second unique word is tah-al-aw, a curse or imprecation, the pronouncement of a curse. Jeremiah is asking God to proclaim his curse upon these wicked men. He is simply asking God to keep his word. Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28 are two chapters with nothing but the promises of God. Some promises if we obey him, far more promises if we disobey. We love to remind God about keeping his promise to us when we obey. We’re not so quick to ask him to keep his word when we don’t! Of course, those are promises directed to the reader, but Jeremiah is simply applying them to those who have rejected the word of the Lord. Let the promises of God take hold, on both the good and the evil.

Lam 3:66 Persecute (run after with hostile intent, chase, hunt, put to flight) and destroy (overthrow, pluck down) them in anger (af – as smoke from the nostrils) from under the heavens of the LORD.

Not only is Jeremiah asking for judgment on his enemies, who are really God’s enemies as they oppose his holy word, but he wants God to really put some oomph in his efforts! He wants them to feel the raging, white hot heat of God’s displeasure. He wants them to not have a single moment’s rest. He wants them to feel the breath of God tickling at the back of their neck, as he draws closer and closer, signalling their utter doom.

Jeremiah is obviously worked up. Strong persecution, along with living through the consequences of a nation that utterly rejects God’s warnings, will do that to you. How can you not feel strong emotion at what is going on all around us? Does it not just tear at your soul? Do you not want to just scream and rage against the insanity, the absurdity of it all?

We have been thrust into the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations in real time. How will God judge us, once all the dust settles?

Solitary Man


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