Lamentations 3

Jeremiah's Afflictions

I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of [God’s] wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness instead of light. Indeed, He keeps turning His hand [against me] all day long. He has worn away my flesh and skin; He has shattered my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those dead for ages. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; He has weighed me down with chains. Even when I cry out and plead for help, He shuts out my prayer. He has barred my ways with cut stones; He has made my paths crooked. 10  He is a bear lying in wait, a lion in hiding. 11  He forced me off my path and tore me to pieces; He left me without help. 12  He bent His bow and set me as the target for His arrow. 13  He pierced my kidneys with His arrows. 14  I am a laughingstock to all my people; they mock me in song all day long. 15  He has filled me with bitterness; He has intoxicated me with wormwood. 16  He has ground my teeth with gravel and trampled me in the dust. 17  My soul has been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. 18  So I say, “My strength has perished along with my hope from the LORD.”

Jeremiah's Hope

19  Remember my affliction and wandering, the wormwood and the gall. 20  Surely my soul remembers and is humbled within me. 21  Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22  Because of the LORD’s loving devotion we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. 23  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! 24  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” 25  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. 26  It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. 27  It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young. 28  Let him sit alone in silence, for God has disciplined him. 29  Let him bury his face in the dust— perhaps there is still hope. 30  Let him offer his cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with reproach. 31  For the Lord will not cast us off forever. 32  Even if He causes grief, He will show compassion according to His abundant loving devotion. 33  For He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men. 34  To crush underfoot all the prisoners of the land, 35  to deny a man justice before the Most High, 36  to subvert a man in his lawsuit— of these the Lord does not approve.

God's Justice

37  Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it? 38  Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High? 39  Why should any mortal man complain, in view of [his] sins? 40  Let us examine and test our ways, and turn back to the LORD. 41  Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: 42  “We have sinned and rebelled; You have not forgiven.” 43  You have covered Yourself in anger and pursued us; You have killed without pity. 44  You have covered Yourself with a cloud that no prayer can pass through. 45  You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. 46  All our enemies open their mouths against us. 47  Panic and pitfall have come upon us— devastation and destruction. 48  Streams of tears flow from my eyes over the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49  My eyes overflow unceasingly, without relief, 50  until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees. 51  My eyes bring grief to my soul because of all the daughters of my city. 52  Without cause my enemies hunted me like a bird. 53  They dropped me alive into a pit and cast stones at me. 54  The waters flowed over my head, and I thought I was going to die.

A Prayer for Deliverance

55  I called on Your name, O LORD, out of the depths of the Pit. 56  You heard my plea: “Do not ignore my cry for relief.” 57  You drew near when I called on You; You said, “Do not be afraid.” 58  You defend my cause, O Lord; You redeem my life. 59  You have seen, O LORD, the wrong done to me; uphold my cause. 60  You see all their malice, all their plots against me. 61  O LORD, You have heard their insults, all their plots against me— 62  the slander and murmuring of my opponents against me all day long. 63  When they sit and when they rise, see how they mock me in song. 64  You will pay them back what they deserve, O LORD, according to the work of their hands. 65  You will give them hardness of heart; may Your curse be upon them! 66  You will pursue them in anger and exterminate them from under the heavens of the LORD.
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