Lamentations 3

1I am a man that has seen much trouble. The Lord beat us with a stick. And I saw it happen! 2The Lord led and brought me into darkness, not light. 3The Lord turned his hand against me. He did this again and again, all day. 4He wore out my flesh and skin. He broke my bones. 5The Lord built up bitterness and trouble against me. He made bitterness and trouble come all around me. 6He made me sit in the dark. He made me like some person that has been dead a long time. 7The Lord shut me in, so I could not get out. He put heavy chains on me. 8Even when I cry out and ask for help, the Lord does not listen to my prayer. 9He has blocked up my path with stones. He has made my path crooked. 10The Lord is like a bear about to attack me. He is like a lion that is in a hiding place. 11The Lord led me off my path. He tore me to pieces. He ruined me. 12He made his bow ready. He made me the target for his arrows. 13He shot me in the stomach. He shot me with his arrows. 14I have become a joke to all of my people. All day long they sing songs about me and make fun of me. 15The Lord gave me this poison ˻(punishment)˼ to drink. He filled me with this bitter drink. 16The Lord pushed my teeth into rocky ground. He pushed me into the dirt. 17I thought I would never have peace again. I forgot about good things. 18I said to myself, ”I no longer have any hope that the Lord will help me.” 19Lord, remember, I am very sad. And I have no home. Remember the bitter poison ˻(punishment)˼ that you gave me. 20I remember well all my troubles. And I am very sad. 21But then I think of something else, then I have hope. What I think of is this: 22The Lord’s love and kindness never ends. His compassion never ends. 23Every morning he shows it in new ways! Lord, you are so very true and loyal! 24I say to myself, ”The Lord is my God, and I trust him.” 25The Lord is good to people that wait for him. The Lord is good to people that look for him. 26It is good for a person to wait quietly for the Lord to save him. 27It is good for a person to wear the yoke of the Lord. It is good for a person to wear that yoke from the time he is young. 28That person should sit alone and be quiet when the Lord puts his yoke on him. 29That person should bow to the Lord with his face to the ground. Maybe there is still hope. 30That person should turn his cheek to the one that hits him. That person should let people insult him. 31That person should remember that the Lord does not reject people forever. 32When the Lord punishes, he also has mercy. He has mercy because of his great love and kindness. 33The Lord does not want to punish people. He does not like to make people unhappy. 34The Lord does not like these things: He does not like for someone to crush all the prisoners of the earth under his feet. 35He does not like for someone to be unfair to another person. But some people do those bad things right in front of God Most High. 36The Lord does not like for a person to cheat another person. The Lord does not like any of these things. 37Nobody can say something and have it happen, unless the Lord orders it to happen. 38God Most High commands both good and bad things to happen. 39No person alive can complain when the Lord punishes him for his sins. 40Let us check and see what we have done. Then let us turn back to the Lord. 41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to the God of heaven. 42Let us say to him, ”We have sinned and have been stubborn. Because of this, you haven’t forgiven us. 43You wrapped yourself with anger. You chased us. You killed us without mercy! 44You wrapped yourself in a cloud. You did that so that no prayer could get through. 45You made us like garbage and dirt to the other nations. 46All of our enemies speak angrily to us. 47We have been frightened. We have fallen into a pit. We have been hurt bad! We have been broken!” 48My eyes flow with streams of tears! I cry because of the destruction of my people! 49My eyes will flow without stopping! I will keep on crying! 50I will continue to cry until you look down and see us, Lord! I will continue to cry until you see us from heaven! 51My eyes make me sad, when I see what happened to the girls in my city. 52Those people were my enemies for no good reason, but they hunted me like a bird. 53They threw me into a pit while I was still alive. They threw stones at me. 54Water came up over my head. I said to myself, ”I am finished.” 55Lord, I called your name. I called out your name from the bottom of the pit. 56You heard my voice. You didn’t close your ears. You didn’t refuse to rescue me. 57You came to me on the day that I called out to you. You said to me, ”Don’t be afraid.” 58Lord, you defended me. You bought back my life for me. 59Lord, you have seen my trouble. Now judge my case for me. 60You have seen how my enemies have hurt me. You have seen all the evil plans that they made against me. 61You heard them insult me, Lord. You have heard all the evil plans that they made against me. 62The words and the thoughts of my enemies are against me all the time— 63when they sit down and when they stand up. Lord, look how they make fun of me! 64Give them back what they deserve, Lord! Pay them back for what they have done! 65Give them stubbornness of heart! Then put your curse on them! 66Chase them in anger! Destroy them! Destroy them from under the sky, Lord!

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