Lamentations 3

Jeremiah Shares Israel's Affliction

1I am the man who has seen affliction

Because of the rod of His wrath.

2He has driven me and made me walk

In darkness and not in light.

3Surely against me He has turned His hand

Repeatedly all the day.

4He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away,

He has broken my bones.

5He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship.

6In dark places He has made me dwell,

Like those who have long been dead.

7He has walled me in so that I cannot go out;

He has made my chain heavy.

8Even when I cry out and call for help,

He shuts out my prayer.

9He has blocked my ways with hewn stone;

He has made my paths crooked.

10He is to me like a bear lying in wait,

Like a lion in secret places.

11He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces;

He has made me desolate.

12He bent His bow

And set me as a target for the arrow.

13He made the arrows of His quiver

To enter into my inward parts.

14I have become a laughingstock to all my people,

Their mocking song all the day.

15He has filled me with bitterness,

He has made me drunk with wormwood.

16He has broken my teeth with gravel;

He has made me cower in the dust.

17My soul has been rejected from peace;

I have forgotten happiness.

18So I say, “My strength has perished,

And so has my hope from the Lord.”

Hope of Relief in God's Mercy

19Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.

20Surely my soul remembers

And is bowed down within me.

21This I recall to my mind,

Therefore I have hope.

22The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,

For His compassions never fail.

23They are new every morning;

Great is Your faithfulness.

24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

“Therefore I have hope in Him.”

25The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,

To the person who seeks Him.

26It is good that he waits silently

For the salvation of the Lord.

27It is good for a man that he should bear

The yoke in his youth.

28Let him sit alone and be silent

Since He has laid it on him.

29Let him put his mouth in the dust,

Perhaps there is hope.

30Let him give his cheek to the smiter,

Let him be filled with reproach.

31For the Lord will not reject forever,

32For if He causes grief,

Then He will have compassion

According to His abundant lovingkindness.

33For He does not afflict willingly

Or grieve the sons of men.

34To crush under His feet

All the prisoners of the land,

35To deprive a man of justice

In the presence of the Most High,

36To defraud a man in his lawsuit—

Of these things the Lord does not approve.

37Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,

Unless the Lord has commanded it?

38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High

That both good and ill go forth?

39Why should any living mortal, or any man,

Offer complaint in view of his sins?

40Let us examine and probe our ways,

And let us return to the Lord.

41We lift up our heart and hands

Toward God in heaven;

42We have transgressed and rebelled,

You have not pardoned.

43You have covered Yourself with anger

And pursued us;

You have slain and have not spared.

44You have covered Yourself with a cloud

So that no prayer can pass through.

45You have made us mere offscouring and refuse

In the midst of the peoples.

46All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.

47Panic and pitfall have befallen us,

Devastation and destruction;

48My eyes run down with streams of water

Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49My eyes pour down unceasingly,

Without stopping,

50Until the Lord looks down

And sees from heaven.

51My eyes bring pain to my soul

Because of all the daughters of my city.

52My enemies without cause

Hunted me down like a bird;

53They have silenced me in the pit

And have placed a stone on me.

54Waters flowed over my head;

I said, “I am cut off!”

55I called on Your name, O Lord,

Out of the lowest pit.

56You have heard my voice,

“Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief,

From my cry for help.”

57You drew near when I called on You;

You said, “Do not fear!”

58O Lord, You have pleaded my soul's cause;

You have redeemed my life.

59O Lord, You have seen my oppression;

Judge my case.

60You have seen all their vengeance,

All their schemes against me.

61You have heard their reproach, O Lord,

All their schemes against me.

62The lips of my assailants and their whispering

Are against me all day long.

63Look on their sitting and their rising;

I am their mocking song.

64You will recompense them, O Lord,

According to the work of their hands.

65You will give them hardness of heart,

Your curse will be on them.

66You will pursue them in anger and destroy them

From under the heavens of the Lord!

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