Hope of Relief through God's Mercy

31 I am the man who has seen trouble by the rod of his wrath. 2 By him I have been made to go in the dark where there is no light. 3 Truly against me his hand has been turned again and again all the day. 4 My flesh and my skin have been used up by him and my bones broken. 5 He has put up a wall against me, shutting me in with bitter sorrow. 6 He has kept me in dark places, like those who have been long dead. 7 He has put a wall round me, so that I am not able to go out; he has made great the weight of my chain. 8 Even when I send up a cry for help, he keeps my prayer shut out. 9 He has put up a wall of cut stones about my ways, he has made my roads twisted. 10 He is like a bear waiting for me, like a lion in secret places. 11 By him my ways have been turned on one side and I have been pulled in bits; he has made me waste. 12 With his bow bent, he has made me the mark for his arrows. 13 He has let loose his arrows into the inmost parts of my body. 14 I have become the sport of all the peoples; I am their song all the day. 15 He has made my life nothing but pain, he has given me the bitter root in full measure. 16 By him my teeth have been broken with crushed stones, and I am bent low in the dust. 17 My soul is sent far away from peace, I have no more memory of good. 18 And I said, My strength is cut off, and my hope from the Lord. 19 Keep in mind my trouble and my wandering, the bitter root and the poison. 20 My soul still keeps the memory of them; and is bent down in me.

21 This I keep in mind, and because of this I have hope. 22 It is through the Lord's love that we have not come to destruction, because his mercies have no limit. 23 They are new every morning; great is your good faith. 24 I said to myself, The Lord is my heritage; and because of this I will have hope in him. 25 The Lord is good to those who are waiting for him, to the soul which is looking for him. 26 It is good to go on hoping and quietly waiting for the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for a man to undergo the yoke when he is young. 28 Let him be seated by himself, saying nothing, because he has put it on him. 29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if by chance there may be hope. 30 Let his face be turned to him who gives him blows; let him be full of shame. 31 For the Lord does not give a man up for ever. 32 For though he sends grief, still he will have pity in the full measure of his love. 33 For he has no pleasure in troubling and causing grief to the children of men. 34 In a man's crushing under his feet all the prisoners of the earth, 35 In his turning away the right of a man before the face of the Most High. 36 In his doing wrong to a man in his cause, the Lord has no pleasure.

37 Who is able to say a thing, and give effect to it, if it has not been ordered by the Lord? 38 Do not evil and good come from the mouth of the Most High? 39 What protest may a living man make, even a man about the punishment of his sin? 40 Let us make search and put our ways to the test, turning again to the Lord; 41 Lifting up our hearts with our hands to God in the heavens.

42 We have done wrong and gone against your law; we have not had your forgiveness. 43 Covering yourself with wrath you have gone after us, cutting us off without pity; 44 Covering yourself with a cloud, so that prayer may not get through. 45 You have made us like waste and that for which there is no use, among the peoples. 46 The mouths of all our haters are open wide against us. 47 Fear and deep waters have come on us, wasting and destruction. 48 Rivers of water are running down from my eyes, for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49 My eyes are streaming without stopping, they have no rest, 50 Till the Lord's eye is turned on me, till he sees my trouble from heaven. 51 The Lord is unkind to my soul, more than all the daughters of my town. 52 They who are against me without cause have gone hard after me as if I was a bird; 53 They have put an end to my life in the prison, stoning me with stones. 54 Waters were flowing over my head; I said, I am cut off.

55 I was making prayer to your name, O Lord, out of the lowest prison. 56 My voice came to you; let not your ear be shut to my breathing, to my cry. 57 You came near in the day when I made my prayer to you: you said, Have no fear. 58 O Lord, you have taken up the cause of my soul, you have made my life safe. 59 O Lord, you have seen my wrong; be judge in my cause. 60 You have seen all the evil rewards they have sent on me, and all their designs against me. 61 Their bitter words have come to your ears, O Lord, and all their designs against me; 62 The lips of those who came up against me, and their thoughts against me all the day. 63 Take note of them when they are seated, and when they get up; I am their song. 64 You will give them their reward, O Lord, answering to the work of their hands. 65 You will let their hearts be covered over with your curse on them. 66 You will go after them in wrath, and put an end to them from under the heavens of the Lord.

The Punishment of Zion Accomplished

41 How dark has the gold become! how changed the best gold! the stones of the holy place are dropping out at the top of every street. 2 The valued sons of Zion, whose price was the best gold, are looked on as vessels of earth, the work of the hands of the potter! 3 Even the beasts of the waste land have full breasts, they give milk to their young ones: the daughter of my people has become cruel like the ostriches in the waste land. 4 The tongue of the child at the breast is fixed to the roof of his mouth for need of drink: the young children are crying out for bread, and no man gives it to them. 5 Those who were used to feasting on delicate food are wasted in the streets: those who as children were dressed in purple are stretched out on the dust. 6 For the punishment of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of Sodom, which was overturned suddenly without any hand falling on her. 7 Her holy ones were cleaner than snow, they were whiter than milk, their bodies were redder than corals, their form was as the sapphire: 8 Their face is blacker than night; in the streets no one has knowledge of them: their skin is hanging on their bones, they are dry, they have become like wood. 9 Those who have been put to the sword are better off than those whose death is caused by need of food; for these come to death slowly, burned up like the fruit of the field. 10 The hands of kind-hearted women have been boiling their children; they were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people. 11 The Lord has given full effect to his passion, he has let loose his burning wrath; he has made a fire in Zion, causing the destruction of its bases. 12 To the kings of the earth and to all the people of the world it did not seem possible that the attackers and the haters would go into the doors of Jerusalem.

13 It is because of the sins of her prophets and the evil-doing of her priests, by whom the blood of the upright has been drained out in her. 14 They are wandering like blind men in the streets, they are made unclean with blood, so that their robes may not be touched by men. 15 Away! unclean! they were crying out to them, Away! away! let there be no touching: when they went away in flight and wandering, men said among the nations, There is no further resting-place for them. 16 The face of the Lord has sent them in all directions; he will no longer take care of them: they had no respect for the priests, they gave no honour to the old men. 17 Our eyes are still wasting away in looking for our false help: we have been watching for a nation unable to give salvation. 18 They go after our steps so that we may not go in our streets: our end is near, our days are numbered; for our end has come. 19 Those who went after us were quicker than the eagles of the heaven, driving us before them on the mountains, waiting secretly for us in the waste land. 20 Our breath of life, he on whom the holy oil was put, was taken in their holes; of whom we said, Under his shade we will be living among the nations.

21 Have joy and be glad, O daughter of Edom, living in the land of Uz: the cup will be given to you in your turn, and you will be overcome with wine and your shame will be seen. 22 The punishment of your evil-doing is complete, O daughter of Zion; never again will he take you away as a prisoner: he will give you the reward of your evil-doing, O daughter of Edom; he will let your sin be uncovered.

A Prayer for Mercy

51 Keep in mind, O Lord, what has come to us: take note and see our shame. 2 Our heritage is given up to men of strange lands, our houses to those who are not our countrymen. 3 We are children without fathers, our mothers are like widows. 4 We give money for a drink of water, we get our wood for a price. 5 Our attackers are on our necks: overcome with weariness, we have no rest. 6 We have given our hands to the Egyptians and to the Assyrians so that we might have enough bread. 7 Our fathers were sinners and are dead; and the weight of their evil-doing is on us. 8 Servants are ruling over us, and there is no one to make us free from their hands. 9 We put our lives in danger to get our bread, because of the sword of the waste land. 10 Our skin is heated like an oven because of our burning heat from need of food. 11 They took by force the women in Zion, the virgins in the towns of Judah. 12 Their hands put princes to death by hanging: the faces of old men were not honoured. 13 The young men were crushing the grain, and the boys were falling under the wood. 14 The old men are no longer seated in the doorway, and the music of the young men has come to an end. 15 The joy of our hearts is ended; our dancing is changed into sorrow. 16 The crown has been taken from our head: sorrow is ours, for we are sinners.

17 Because of this our hearts are feeble; for these things our eyes are dark; 18 Because of the mountain of Zion which is a waste; jackals go over it. 19 You, O Lord, are seated as King for ever; the seat of your power is eternal. 20 Why have we gone from your memory for ever? why have you been turned away from us for so long? 21 Make us come back to you, O Lord, and let us be turned; make our days new again as in the past. 22 But you have quite given us up; you are full of wrath against us.

Let Us Draw Near and Hold Fast

19 So then, my brothers, being able to go into the holy place without fear, because of the blood of Jesus, 20 By the new and living way which he made open for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having a great priest over the house of God, 22 Let us go in with true hearts, in certain faith, having our hearts made free from the sense of sin and our bodies washed with clean water: 23 Let us keep the witness of our hope strong and unshaking, for he is true who has given his word: 24 And let us be moving one another at all times to love and good works; 25 Not giving up our meetings, as is the way of some, but keeping one another strong in faith; and all the more because you see the day coming near. 26 For if we do evil on purpose after we have had the knowledge of what is true, there is no more offering for sins, 27 But only a great fear of being judged, and of the fire of wrath which will be the destruction of the haters of God. 28 A man who has gone against the law of Moses is put to death without pity on the word of two or three witnesses: 29 But will not the man by whom the Son of God has been crushed under foot, and the blood of the agreement with which he was washed clean has been taken as an unholy thing, and who has had no respect for the Spirit of grace, be judged bad enough for a very much worse punishment? 30 For we have had experience of him who says, Punishment is mine, I will give reward. And again, The Lord will be judge of his people. 31 We may well go in fear of falling into the hands of the living God. 32 But give thought to the days after you had seen the light, when you went through a great war of troubles; 33 In part, in being attacked by angry words and cruel acts, before the eyes of everyone, and in part, in being united with those who were attacked in this way. 34 For you had pity on those who were in prison, and had joy in the loss of your property, in the knowledge that you still had a better property and one which you would keep for ever. 35 So do not give up your hope which will be greatly rewarded. 36 For, having done what was right in God's eyes, you have need of waiting before his word has effect for you. 37 In a very little time he who is coming will come; he will not be slow. 38 But the upright man will be living by his faith; and if he goes back, my soul will have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of those who go back to destruction; but of those who have faith even to the salvation of the soul.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Hebrews 10:19-39

Commentary on Hebrews 10:19-25

(Read Hebrews 10:19-25)

The apostle having closed the first part of the epistle, the doctrine is applied to practical purposes. As believers had an open way to the presence of God, it became them to use this privilege. The way and means by which Christians enjoy such privileges, is by the blood of Jesus, by the merit of that blood which he offered up as an atoning sacrifice. The agreement of infinite holiness with pardoning mercy, was not clearly understood till the human nature of Christ, the Son of God, was wounded and bruised for our sins. Our way to heaven is by a crucified Saviour; his death is to us the way of life, and to those who believe this, he will be precious. They must draw near to God; it would be contempt of Christ, still to keep at a distance. Their bodies were to be washed with pure water, alluding to the cleansings directed under the law: thus the use of water in baptism, was to remind Christians that their conduct should be pure and holy. While they derived comfort and grace from their reconciled Father to their own souls, they would adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Believers are to consider how they can be of service to each other, especially stirring up each other to the more vigorous and abundant exercise of love, and the practice of good works. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a means of stedfastness and perseverance. We should observe the coming of times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greater diligence. There is a trying day coming on all men, the day of our death.

Commentary on Hebrews 10:26-31

(Read Hebrews 10:26-31)

The exhortations against apostacy and to perseverance, are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is a total and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixed will and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives some notorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in their consciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escape it. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy? We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which they have despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only the justice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call for vengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any souls who sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any will be refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing to accept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out.

Commentary on Hebrews 10:32-39

(Read Hebrews 10:32-39)

Many and various afflictions united against the early Christians, and they had a great conflict. The Christian spirit is not a selfish spirit; it puts us upon pitying others, visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. All things here are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven will last for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods. This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here. The greatest part of the saints' happiness, as yet, is in promise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for their reward till God's time to give it is come. He will soon come to them at death, to end all their sufferings, and to give them a crown of life. The Christian's present conflict may be sharp, but will be soon over. God never is pleased with the formal profession and outward duties and services of such as do not persevere; but he beholds them with great displeasure. And those who have been kept faithful in great trails for the time past, have reason to hope for the same grace to help them still to live by faith, till they receive the end of their faith and patience, even the salvation of their souls. Living by faith, and dying in faith, our souls are safe for ever.