The People Remember How they have Suffered

It is told that Philip of Macedon fell asleep one day while hearing a case. Waking suddenly and not having all the facts of the case straight, Philip passed an unjust sentence on the man who was at Philip’s mercy. Stung by the sentence, the poor man cried out, “I appeal!&quo … More

Appeal

This entire chapter is a prayer composed of two sections. The first part is a call for God to remember their condition (vv. 1-18). This also includes a confession of sin. After this is a call for God to restore Judah (vv. 19-22). In context this is a call to restore both the land of Israel and the blessings of the covenant (Deut. 30:1-10).

The people call on God to remember how they have suffered and to look at their present disgrace (v. 1). Their call was not just for God to see what had happened but rather for Him to see and act on their condition.

A description is given of the general conditions of suffering brought about by Babylon (v. 3). The land of Judah had been parceled out to foreigners . Babylon assumed dominion over the land, and its occupying forces were stationed there. In addition, nations surrounding Judah annexed some of her land for themselves. Besides losing their property, the people also lost their rights (v. 3).  The men were as defenseless as the orphans and fatherless. In Israel orphans and widows were the most helpless people in society. They had no one to stand up for their rights and under Babylon’s rule Judah had no rights.

Babylon’s rule over Judah was severe (vv.4-5). The Jews even had to pay for the water they drank and the wood they used for cooking, plus they were forced to perform hard labor without any rest. The people were disbursed by aliens (v. 2), made destitute (v. 3), put under tribute (v. 4), persecuted (v. 5) and left hungry (v. 6). In order to go on living, Judah finds herself begging bread from her enemies.

Application

If something happens in my life that I do not think is fair or is unjust I can always appeal this situation to the Lord knowing He will do what is best.

Lamentations 5:1-6 (English Standard Version)


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