Lamentations 3

Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Affliction

1I am [Jeremiah] the man who has seen affliction
Because of the rod of His wrath.
2He has led me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
3Surely He has turned His hand against me
Repeatedly all the day.
4He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away;
He has shattered my bones.
5He has besieged and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. 6He has made me live in dark places
Like those who have long been dead.
7He walled me in so that I cannot get out;
He has weighted down my chain.
8Even when I cry out and shout for help,
He shuts out my prayer.
9He has blocked my ways with cut stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
10He is to me like a bear lying in wait,
And like a lion [hiding] in secret places.
11He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces;
He has made me desolate.
12He has bent His bow
And set me as a target for the arrow.
13He has caused the arrows of His quiver
To enter my inner parts.
14I have become the [object of] ridicule to all my people,
And [the subject of] their mocking song all the day.
15He has filled me with bitterness;
He has made me drunk with wormwood (bitterness).
16He has broken my teeth with gravel;
He has [covered me with ashes and] made me cower in the dust.
17My soul has been cast far away from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
18So I say, “My strength has perished
And so has my hope and expectation from the LORD.”
Hope of Relief in God’s Mercy 19Remember [O LORD] my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). 20My soul continually remembers them
And is bowed down within me.
21But this I call to mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22It is because of the LORD’S lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed,
Because His [tender] compassions never fail.
23They are new every morning;
Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.
24“The LORD is my portion and my inheritance,” says my soul;
“Therefore I have hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.”
25The LORD is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him,
To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].
26It is good that one waits quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.
27It is good for a man that he should bear
The yoke [of godly discipline] in his youth.
28Let him sit alone [in hope] and keep quiet,
Because God has laid it on him [for his benefit].
29Let him put his mouth in the dust [in recognition of his unworthiness];
There may yet be hope.
30Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him;
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 and tender mercy.
33For He does not afflict willingly and from His heart
Or grieve the children of men.
34To trample and 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—
The Lord does not approve of these things.
37Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has authorized and commanded it?
38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both adversity (misfortune) and good (prosperity, happiness) proceed?
39Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Complain [of punishment] in view of his sins?
40Let us test and examine our ways,
And let us return to the LORD.
41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [in prayer]
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 [without pity] and have not spared.
44You have covered Yourself with a cloud
So that no prayer can pass through.
45You have made us scum and refuse
Among the peoples (Gentile nations).
46All our enemies have gaped at us. 47Panic and pitfall (traps, danger) have come on us,
Devastation and destruction.
48My eyes overflow with streams of tears
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people (Jerusalem).
49My eyes overflow unceasingly,
Without stopping,
50Until the LORD looks down
And sees from heaven.
51My eyes [see things that] bring pain to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
52Without cause my enemies
Hunted me down like a bird;
53They silenced me in the pit
And placed a stone over me.
54The waters ran down on my head;
I said, “I am cut off (destroyed)!”
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 on the day I called to You;
You said, “Do not fear.”
58O Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause [You have guided my way and protected me];
You have rescued and redeemed my life.
59O LORD, You have seen the wrong [done to me];
Judge my case.
60You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.
61You have heard their reproach, O LORD,
And all their schemes against me.
62The lips and whispering of my assailants
Are against me all day long.
63Look at their sitting and their rising [their actions and secret counsels];
I am their mocking song [the subject of their ridicule].
64You will repay them, O LORD,
According to the work of their hands.
65You will harden their hearts;
Your curse will be upon them.
66You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
From under the heavens of the LORD.