I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the LORD's anger.
He has brought me into deep darkness, shutting out all light.
He has turned against me. Day and night his hand is heavy upon me.
He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones.
He has attacked me and surrounded me with anguish and distress.
He has buried me in a dark place, like a person long dead.
He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains.
And though I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayers.
He has blocked my path with a high stone wall. He has twisted the road before me with many detours.
He hid like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me.
He dragged me off the path and tore me with his claws, leaving me helpless and desolate.
He bent his bow and aimed it squarely at me.
He shot his arrows deep into my heart.
My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs.
He has filled me with bitterness. He has given me a cup of deep sorrow to drink.
He has made me grind my teeth on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust.
Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
I cry out, "My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!"
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. a20
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"
The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him.
So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.
And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of his discipline.
Let them sit alone in silence beneath the LORD's demands.
Let them lie face down in the dust; then at last there is hope for them.
Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them. Let them accept the insults of their enemies.
For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever.
Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love.
For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.
But the leaders of his people trampled prisoners underfoot.
They deprived people of their God-given rights in defiance of the Most High.
They perverted justice in the courts. Do they think the Lord didn't see it?
Can anything happen without the Lord's permission?
Is it not the Most High who helps one and harms another?
Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins?
Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn again in repentance to the LORD.
Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say,
"We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us.
"You have engulfed us with your anger, chased us down, and slaughtered us without mercy.
You have hidden yourself in a cloud so our prayers cannot reach you.
You have discarded us as refuse and garbage among the nations.
"All our enemies have spoken out against us.
We are filled with fear, for we are trapped, desolate, and ruined."
Streams of tears flow from my eyes because of the destruction of my people!
My tears flow down endlessly. They will not stop
until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees.
My heart is breaking over the fate of all the women of Jerusalem.
My enemies, whom I have never harmed, chased me like a bird.
They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me.
The water flowed above my head, and I cried out, "This is the end!"
But I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the well,
and you heard me! You listened to my pleading; you heard my weeping!
Yes, you came at my despairing cry and told me, "Do not fear."
Lord, you are my lawyer! Plead my case! For you have redeemed my life.
You have seen the wrong they have done to me, LORD. Be my judge, and prove me right.
You have seen the plots my enemies have laid against me.
LORD, you have heard the vile names they call me. You know all about the plans they have made --
the plots my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.
Look at them! In all their activities, they constantly mock me with their songs.
Pay them back, LORD, for all the evil they have done.
Give them hard and stubborn hearts, and then let your curse fall upon them!
Chase them down in your anger, destroying them from beneath the LORD's heavens.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)