Lamentations 4

* The deplorable state of the nation is contrasted with its

ancient prosperity.

1-12 What a change is here! Sin tarnishes the beauty of the

most exalted powers and the most excellent gifts; but that gold,

tried in the fire, which Christ bestows, never will be taken

from us; its outward appearance may be dimmed, but its real

value can never be changed. The horrors of the siege and

destruction of Jerusalem are again described. Beholding the sad

consequences of sin in the church of old, let us seriously

consider to what the same causes may justly bring down the

church now. But, Lord, though we have gone from thee in

rebellion, yet turn to us, and turn our hearts to thee, that we

may fear thy name. Come to us, bless us with awakening,

converting, renewing, confirming grace.
13-20 Nothing ripens a people more for ruin, nor fills the

measure faster, than the sins of priests and prophets. The king

himself cannot escape, for Divine vengeance pursues him. Our

anointed King alone is the life of our souls; we may safely live

under his shadow, and rejoice in Him in the midst of our

enemies, for He is the true God and eternal life.
21,22 Here it is foretold that an end should be put to Zion's

troubles. Not the fulness of punishment deserved, but of what

God has determined to inflict. An end shall be put to Edom's

triumphs. All the troubles of the church and of the believer

will soon be accomplished. And the doom of their enemies

approaches. The Lord will bring their sins to light, and they

shall lie down in eternal sorrow. Edom here represents all the

enemies of the church. And the corruption, and sin of Israel,

which the prophet has proved to be universal, justifies the

judgments of the Lord. It shows the need of that grace in Christ

Jesus, which the sin and corruption of all mankind make so

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