|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:21-36 Having stated his distress and temptation, the prophet shows how he was raised above it. Bad as things are, it is owing to the mercy of God that they are not worse. We should observe what makes for us, as well as what is against us. God's compassions fail not; of this we have fresh instances every morning. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is a portion for ever. It is our duty, and will be our comfort and satisfaction, to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Afflictions do and will work very much for good: many have found it good to bear this yoke in their youth; it has made many humble and serious, and has weaned them from the world, who otherwise would have been proud and unruly. If tribulation work patience, that patience will work experience, and that experience a hope that makes not ashamed. Due thoughts of the evil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that it is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. If we cannot say with unwavering voice, The Lord is my portion; may we not say, I desire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in his word do I hope? Happy shall we be, if we learn to receive affliction as laid upon us by the hand of God.
Verses 31-33. - Two grounds of comfort:
(1) the trouble is only for a time, and God will have compassion again (vers. 31, 32); and
(2) God does not afflict in a malicious spirit (ver. 33).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the Lord will not cast off for ever. Which is not to be understood of all his creatures; for there are some he does cast off for ever, as the angels that sinned; reprobate men, profligate and abandoned sinners, that live and die impenitent; and unbelievers, carnal professors, and apostates; but not his own special and peculiar people, the people whom he has foreknown and loved with an everlasting love, his spiritual Israel; or, as the Targum supplies it, "his servants"; see Psalm 94:14; he may seem for a while to reject them, but not in reality and for ever; as when he hides his face from them, lays his afflicting hand on them, or suffers then, to be afflicted by others, and defers his help, and does not immediately appear to their deliverance and salvation; but in reality he never rejects them from being his people, his servants, and his sons; they have always a place in his heart, and are ever under his eye and care; they continue in his covenant, and abide in his family; and though they may be cast down in their souls, and cast out by men, yet are not cast off by God, neither in youth nor old age, in time or eternity; his love is unchangeable; his purposes firm and unalterable; his counsel, covenant, oath, and promise, immutable; and they are his jewels, his portion, and inheritance; and this is a ground and reason of bearing patiently all afflictions, injuries, and reproaches; for though men cast off, God will not.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31-33. True repentance is never without hope (Ps 94:14).
Lamentations 3:31 Parallel Commentaries
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