18 November, 2016

Lamentations 3:33—“For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men”

For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men (Lamentations 3:33 KJV).

This text is often used to support the notion of a general attitude of compassion, longsuffering, and pity in the heart of God towards all of mankind individually.


Prof. Herman C. Hanko

As far as Lamentations 3:33 is concerned, Jeremiah is weeping because the nation, taken organically as God’s people, was severely chastised by God. But the elect in the nation (as is clear from the two verses preceding verse 33) are here referred to and are comforted by the fact that God will have mercy upon them.

The text itself refers to the fact that, in and by itself, God has no pleasure in chastising His people, any more than a father takes pleasure in chastising his son. But the purpose is the salvation of the one being chastised. The expression “the children of men” in this context, does not mean all men in the world, but the elect in the nation. They are merely “children of men," and God does not take pleasure in sending them to Babylon, but must do this in order to save them. Chastisement is not a goal in itself and for its own sake.



More to come! (DV)

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