Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission?
Does not the Most High send both calamity and good?
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 back 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, devastated, and ruined.”
Tears stream from my eyes because of the destruction of my people!
My tears flow 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, hunted me down like a bird.
They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me.
The water rose over my head, and I cried out, “This is the end!”
But I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the pit.
You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!”
Yes, you came when I called; you 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 vengeful 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.
My enemies whisper and mutter as they plot against me all day long.
Look at them! Whether they sit or stand, I am the object of their mocking songs.
Pay them back, LORD, for all the evil they have done.
Give them hard and stubborn hearts, and then let your curse fall on them!
Chase them down in your anger, destroying them beneath the LORD ’s heavens.