Lamentations 3:32
But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
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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.Reasons for the resignation urged in the previous triplet. 32. The punishments of the godly are but for a time. But though, as a prudent parent, he may see reason to cause grief in and to afflict his own people, yet as a tender good father, that pitieth his children in misery, he will have compassion upon them, having not only mercies, but a multitude or abundance of mercies.

But though he cause grief,.... As he sometimes does in his own people; by convincing them of sin, and producing in them godly sorrow, which worketh repentance unto life, not to be repented of; by correcting and chastising them for it, and by hiding his face from them; all which are grievous to them:

yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies; his mercies are many, both temporal and spiritual, and his compassion is answerable; which he shows to his people by an application of pardoning grace, through the blood of Christ, by sympathizing with them under their afflictions, and delivering from them; by granting them his gracious presence, and restoring to them the joys of his salvation; all which is not according to their merits, but his mercies.

But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
Lamentations 3:32Let him also learn patiently to bear abuse and reviling from men. Let him present his cheek to him who smites him, as was done by Job (Job 16:10) and the servant of Jahveh (Isaiah 50:6); cf. Matthew 5:39. On Lamentations 3:30, cf. Psalm 88:4; Psalm 123:3, etc. There is a certain gradation in the three verses that it quite unmistakeable. The sitting alone and in silence is comparatively the easiest; it is harder to place the mouth in the dust, and yet cling to hope; it is most difficult of all to give the cheek to the smiter, and to satiate oneself with dishonour (Ngelsbach). In Lamentations 3:31-33 follow the grounds of comfort. The first is in Lamentations 3:31 : the sorrow will come to an end; the Lord does not cast off for ever; cf. Jeremiah 3:5, Jeremiah 3:12. The second is in Lamentations 3:32 : when He has caused sorrow, He shows pity once more, according to the fulness of His grace. Compassion outweighs sorrow. On this subject, cf. Psalm 30:6; Job 5:18; Isaiah 54:8. The third ground of comfort is in Lamentations 3:33 : God does not send affliction willingly, as if it brought Him joy (cf. Jeremiah 32:41), but merely because chastisement is necessary to sinful man for the increase of his spiritual prosperity; cf. Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 4:17. ויּגּה is for וייגּה: cf. Ewald, 232, f; Gesenius, 69, 3, Rem. 6.

That he may bring home to the hearts of God's people the exhortation to bear suffering with patience and resignation, and that he may lead them to see that the weight of sorrow under which they are sighing has been sent from the Lord as a chastisement for their sins, the prophet carries out the thought, in Lamentations 3:34-39, that every wrong committed upon earth is under the divine control (Lamentations 3:34-36), and generally that nothing happens without God's permission; hence man ought not to mourn over the suffering that befalls him, but rather over his sins (Lamentations 3:37-39).

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