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Lamentations 3 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 I'm the man who has seen trouble, trouble coming from the lash of God's anger. 1 I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
2 He took me by the hand and walked me into pitch-black darkness. 2 He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light;
3 Yes, he's given me the back of his hand over and over and over again. 3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.
4 He turned me into a scarecrow of skin and bones, then broke the bones. 4 He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones.
5 He hemmed me in, ganged up on me, poured on the trouble and hard times. 5 He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.
6 He locked me up in deep darkness, like a corpse nailed inside a coffin. 6 He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead.
7 He shuts me in so I'll never get out, manacles my hands, shackles my feet. 7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I cry out and plead for help, he locks up my prayers and throws away the key. 8 Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer.
9 He sets up blockades with quarried limestone. He's got me cornered. 9 He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.
10 He's a prowling bear tracking me down, a lion in hiding ready to pounce. 10 Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding,
11 He knocked me from the path and ripped me to pieces. When he finished, there was nothing left of me. 11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help.
12 He took out his bow and arrows and used me for target practice. 12 He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
13 He shot me in the stomach with arrows from his quiver. 13 He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver.
14 Everyone took me for a joke, made me the butt of their mocking ballads. 14 I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long.
15 He forced rotten, stinking food down my throat, bloated me with vile drinks. 15 He has filled me with bitter herbs and sated me with gall.
16 He ground my face into the gravel. He pounded me into the mud. 16 He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I gave up on life altogether. I've forgotten what the good life is like. 17 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I said to myself, "This is it. I'm finished. God is a lost cause." It's a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God 18 So I say, "My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD."
19 I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. 19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
20 I remember it all - oh, how well I remember - the feeling of hitting the bottom. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
21 But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
22 God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. 22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
25 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
26 It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
27 It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
28 When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. 28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him.
29 Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust-- there may yet be hope.
30 Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst. 30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.
31 Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return. 31 For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.
32 If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.
33 He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way: 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
34 Stomping down hard on luckless prisoners, 34 To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land,
35 Refusing justice to victims in the court of High God, 35 to deny a man his rights before the Most High,
36 Tampering with evidence - the Master does not approve of such things. God Speaks Both Good Things and Hard Things into Being 36 to deprive a man of justice-- would not the Lord see such things?
37 Who do you think "spoke and it happened"? It's the Master who gives such orders. 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Doesn't the High God speak everything, good things and hard things alike, into being? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
39 And why would anyone gifted with life complain when punished for sin? 39 Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins?
40 Let's take a good look at the way we're living and reorder our lives under God. 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
41 Let's lift our hearts and hands at one and the same time, praying to God in heaven: 41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say:
42 "We've been contrary and willful, and you haven't forgiven. 42 "We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.
43 "You lost your temper with us, holding nothing back. You chased us and cut us down without mercy. 43 "You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity.
44 You wrapped yourself in thick blankets of clouds so no prayers could get through. 44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through.
45 You treated us like dirty dishwater, threw us out in the backyard of the nations. 45 You have made us scum and refuse among the nations.
46 "Our enemies shout abuse, their mouths full of derision, spitting invective. 46 "All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us.
47 We've been to hell and back. We've nowhere to turn, nowhere to go. 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction."
48 Rivers of tears pour from my eyes at the smashup of my dear people. 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed.
49 "The tears stream from my eyes, an artesian well of tears, 49 My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief,
50 Until you, God, look down from on high, look and see my tears. 50 until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees.
51 When I see what's happened to the young women in the city, the pain breaks my heart. 51 What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city.
52 "Enemies with no reason to be enemies hunted me down like a bird. 52 Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird.
53 They threw me into a pit, then pelted me with stones. 53 They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me;
54 Then the rains came and filled the pit. The water rose over my head. I said, 'It's all over.' 54 the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to be cut off.
55 "I called out your name, O God, called from the bottom of the pit. 55 I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit.
56 You listened when I called out, 'Don't shut your ears! Get me out of here! Save me!' 56 You heard my plea: "Do not close your ears to my cry for relief."
57 You came close when I called out. You said, 'It's going to be all right.' 57 You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear."
58 "You took my side, Master; you brought me back alive! 58 O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life.
59 God, you saw the wrongs heaped on me. Give me my day in court! 59 You have seen, O LORD, the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause!
60 Yes, you saw their mean-minded schemes, their plots to destroy me. 60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me.
61 "You heard, God, their vicious gossip, their behind-my-back plots to ruin me. 61 O LORD, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me--
62 They never quit, these enemies of mine, dreaming up mischief, hatching out malice, day after day after day. 62 what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.
63 Sitting down or standing up - just look at them! - they mock me with vulgar doggerel. 63 Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs.
64 "Make them pay for what they've done, God. Give them their just deserts. 64 Pay them back what they deserve, O LORD, for what their hands have done.
65 Break their miserable hearts! Damn their eyes! 65 Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them!
66 Get good and angry. Hunt them down. Make a total demolition here under your heaven!" 66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the LORD.