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Bible Commentaries
Lamentations 4

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-22

  1. Intro: Chapter 4
    1. “No more agonizing questions here. No appeal to God. They except what God is doing. The tragedy remains. Misery abounds.” (Barclay)
    2. We start w/a serious of contrasts of how Zion was vs. how it is now!
  2. ZION, BEFORE & AFTER! (1-12)
    1. Vs.1,2 - The greatest destruction from sin is not to buildings but to people!
    2. (2) In God’s sight, His people had been like Gold & precious gems.
      1. Ex.19:5,6 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
      2. Now they were only seen as cheap clay pots!
      3. Their gold had tarnished; their Holy Stones were scattered in the streets; They once were worth their weight in gold, nowreduced to clay pots.
    3. Q: How does God see you today! Clay Pots, or Gold?
    4. Story - Ken shared today at lunch about when he worked for the airlines. A gold Bullion(brick of Gold, raw form) was lost in shipment somewhere. It was found about 1 year later in (Newark N.J) as a doorstop in the ramp room(baggage handlers hang out). - It laid there for a year!
    5. I believe we are the same if we seem misplaced for a time, we don’t stop being gold! Just gold out of place!
    6. Vs.3,4 – During the final stage of the attack famine conditions were rampant.
      1. The young were receiving far worse treatment then that provided by nature for the offspring of Jackals.
      2. Jackals How do Jackals treat their young?
        1. Background: They are a wild dog. They have a long lasting “pair-bond”.
        2. They raise their young together, & our dedicated to feeding their young. They may be away 40% of the time just to look for food for them.
        3. ​​​​​​​The point – The Jewish women were less kind then the Jackals, in whom their maternal instinct was very strong.
      3. Ostriches How do ostriches treat their young?
        1. Background: 8’; 330 lbs; largest living bird; run up to 40 mhp; they are polygamous(3/4 females); Egg 3 lbs.; Male sits on eggs at night, female by day.
        2. Job.39:13-18 – (13) Proud bird yet can’t even fly. (14,15)Not very maternal leaves the eggs on her shift{lays the m in a hole scratched din the sand, then buried a little ways for the sun to incubate them for her.}. (16-18) The Arabs have a saying “stupid as an ostrich!”{the’ll swallow about anything,iron, stones, etc.}
        3. The point – The Jewish women were showing cruelty leaving their young abandoned(see last ch.).
    7. Vs.5 – People of luxuries could not find the necessities of life.
      1. Those that shopped at Nordstroms now were finding there clothes at the dump!
        1. From Riches to Rags! Q: How many have gone down that road?
        2. Q: How many times has that been the best route though? (I hear it over & over again...thanks you Lord for stripping ti all away…so I could see you)
        3. Q: Is God doing a tearing in your life? (Eccl 3:7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;)
          1. Why would he tear? Look at 1 Sam.2:6-8 – Awesome!
    8. Vs.6, 9-12 – Read w/vs. 9-12.
      1. A quick death like a Hiroshima would be better then a slow lingering death by starvation, driving them to cannibalism.
      2. Sodom was proverbial for its wickedness yet it was destroyed swiftly & thus didn’t suffer prolonged agonies.
        1. Remember Sodom was a pagan city vs. Jerusalem Gods city! – They rejected His covenant mercies, thus “His own” receiving the greater chastisement.
      3. Again this is all because of SIN!
        1. Regarding sin - “The grass may look greener on the other side, but often its not even edible!”
        2. How many times have we bitten into the forbidden fruit only to find it sour?
    9. Vs.7,8 – Even their appearance changed.
      1. Sin takes a toll on the body!
    10. Vs.12b – It seemed impregnable, a mighty fortress.
      1. But any wall we trust in, outside of God, is sure to have a crack in it somewhere!
      2. Zach & I are building a real castle(small scale)walls of rock & mortar. – We got done last night w/the last stone, then looked at the face of the wall & saw breaches/crevices all over it.
        1. We started with our mortar too wet, the rocks came a tumblin down.
        2. Ezek 13:14 “So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”
        3. Let God be our only foundation, & let every stone in our wall be hewn by the hand of God Himself, in which no mortar is necessary!
  3. ​​​​​​​BECAUSE OF THE SINS! (13-22)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.13 – All of this came about because the leaders of the land wouldn’t obey the Word of God but listened to false teachers.
      1. Sin slipped through Jerusalem’s cracks.
    2. Vs.15 - The very one’s(the priests,13) to pronounce others(Lepers) “unclean”, they themselves are being called, “Unclean! Go Away!”
      1. Now they are condemned to wander the streets(14); & welcomed by no one(15b).
    3. Vs.17-20 – Depression & hopelessness as the end drew near.
      1. (17) The nation that couldn’t save them was Egypt.
      2. Q: What are you trusting in that can’t save you?
        1. We need to trust in Him!…FULLY!& That is a journey of its own!
        2. Read Trust – “Pedal!”
    4. Vs.21,22 – Doom of the Edomites.
      1. (21) Rejoice = Facetious.
      2. Zion’s doom is accomplished, Edom’s just begun.
        1. Is.40:1,2 "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" Says your God. "Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord's hand Double for all her sins."
      3. One now covered, the other now uncovered!
      4. Zion – A full judgment, but a covering of her sins.
        Edom – No promise of restoration, instead an uncovering of her sins.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Lamentations 4". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/lamentations-4.html. 2017.
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