Repenting for Our Fathers’ Sins – Part 2/6

There is also an example of repenting of the sins of our fathers to be found in the final chapter of Lamentations. There, Jeremiah offers a prayer to God in which he expresses contrition for the sins of the fathers. In this case, it is explicit that the fathers have died.

Lamentations 5:1-22 (the whole chapter)

Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.

  • Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.
  • We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.
  • We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us.
  • Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest.
  • We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
  • Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.
  • Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand.
  • We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness.
  • Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.
  • They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah.
  • Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honoured.
  • They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood.
  • The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their musick.
  • The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
  • The crown is fallen from our head:

Woe unto us, that we have sinned!

For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim. Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it. Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time? Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us.

Notice that here Jeremiah indicates as well that the children have borne the iniquities of the fathers. There is no conflict between this bearing of the sins of the fathers and either Deuteronomy 24:16 (that is a civil law – a limitation on human justice) or Ezekiel 18 (that provides relief from punishment for the fathers’ sins for those who repent). Nevertheless, until we repent and do not follow the sinful deeds of our fathers, we need to repent from them, as illustrated in these examples.

(to be continued)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: