It is evident that Jeremiah was the author of the
Lamentations which bear his name. The book was not written till
after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. May we be
led to consider sin as the cause of all our calamities, and
under trials exercise submission, repentance, faith, and prayer,
with the hope of promised deliverance through God's mercy.
The miserable state of Jerusalem, the just consequences of its
sins. (1-11) Jerusalem represented as a captive female,
lamenting, and seeking the mercy of God. (12-22)
The prophet sometimes speaks in his own person; at other
times Jerusalem, as a distressed female, is the speaker, or some
of the Jews. The description shows the miseries of the Jewish
nation. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave, by reason of the
greatness of her sins; and had no rest from suffering. If we
allow sin, our greatest adversary, to have dominion over us,
justly will other enemies also be suffered to have dominion. The
people endured the extremities of famine and distress. In this
sad condition Jerusalem acknowledged her sin, and entreated the
Lord to look upon her case. This is the only way to make
ourselves easy under our burdens; for it is the just anger of
the Lord for man's transgressions, that has filled the earth
with sorrows, lamentations, sickness, and death.
Jerusalem, sitting dejected on the ground, calls on those
that passed by, to consider whether her example did not concern
them. Her outward sufferings were great, but her inward
sufferings were harder to bear, through the sense of guilt.
Sorrow for sin must be great sorrow, and must affect the soul.
Here we see the evil of sin, and may take warning to flee from
the wrath to come. Whatever may be learned from the sufferings
of Jerusalem, far more may be learned from the sufferings of
Christ. Does he not from the cross speak to every one of us?
Does he not say, Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Let
all our sorrows lead us to the cross of Christ, lead us to mark
his example, and cheerfully to follow him.