Lamentations 3:40-42

40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say:
42 “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.

Images for Lamentations 3:40-42

Lamentations 3:40-42 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO LAMENTATIONS 3

This chapter is a complaint and lamentation like the former, and on the same subject, only the prophet mixes his own afflictions and distresses with the public calamities; or else he represents the church in her complaints; and some have thought him to be a type of Christ throughout the whole; to whom various things may be applied. It is indeed written in a different form from the other chapters, in another sort of metre; and though in an alphabetical manner as the rest, yet with this difference, that three verses together begin with the same letter; so that the alphabet is gone through three times in it. Here is first a complaint of the afflictions of the prophet, and of the people, expressed by a rod, by darkness, by wormwood and gall, and many other things; and especially by the Lord's appearing against them as an enemy, in a most severe and terrible manner; shutting out their prayer; being as a bear and lion to them; and giving them up to the cruelty and scorn of their enemies, La 3:1-21; then follows some comfort taken by them, from the mercy, faithfulness, and goodness of God; from the usefulness of patience in bearing afflictions; and from the end of God in laying them upon men; and from the providence of God, by which all things are ordered, La 3:22-38; wherefore, instead of complaining, it would be better, it is suggested, to attend to the duties of examination of their ways, and of repentance, and of prayer, La 3:39-41; and a particular prayer is directed to, in which confession of sin is made, and their miseries deplored, by reason of the hidings of God's face, and the insults of their enemies, La 3:42-47; and then the prophet expresses his sympathy with his people under affliction, and declares what he himself met with from his enemies, La 3:48-54; and relates bow he called upon the Lord, and he heard and delivered him, La 3:55-58; and concludes with a request that he would judge his cause, and avenge him on enemies, La 3:59-66.

Lamentations 3:40-42 In-Context

38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
39 Why should the living complain when punished for their sins?
40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say:
42 “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.
43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through.

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Cross References 5

  • 1. 2 Corinthians 13:5
  • 2. Psalms 119:59; Psalms 139:23-24
  • 3. S Psalms 25:1; S Psalms 28:2
  • 4. Jeremiah 14:20; Daniel 9:5
  • 5. S 2 Kings 24:4; Jeremiah 5:7-9
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