Hope in the Lord’s Faithfulness
1I am the one who has seen the afflictions
that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.
2He has led me into darkness,
shutting out all light.
3He has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
4He has made my skin and flesh grow old.
He has broken my bones.
5He has besieged and surrounded me
with anguish and distress.
6He has buried me in a dark place,
like those long dead.
7He has walled me in, and I cannot escape.
He has bound me in heavy chains.
8And though I cry and shout,
he has shut out my prayers.
9He has blocked my way with a high stone wall;
he has made my road crooked.
10He has hidden like a bear or a lion,
waiting to attack me.
11He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces,
leaving me helpless and devastated.
12He has drawn his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.
13He shot his arrows
deep into my heart.
14My own people laugh at me.
All day long they sing their mocking songs.
15He has filled me with bitterness
and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.
16He has made me chew on gravel.
He has rolled me in the dust.
17Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
19The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.*3:19 Or is wormwood and gall.
20I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
22The faithful love of the Lord never ends!*3:22 As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads of the Lord keeps us from destruction.
His mercies never cease.
23Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
25The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
26So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.
27And it is good for people to submit at an early age
to the yoke of his discipline:
28Let them sit alone in silence
beneath the Lord’s demands.
29Let them lie face down in the dust,
for there may be hope at last.
30Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
and accept the insults of their enemies.
31For no one is abandoned
by the Lord forever.
32Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion
because of the greatness of his unfailing love.
33For he does not enjoy hurting people
or causing them sorrow.
34If people crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the land,
35if they deprive others of their rights
in defiance of the Most High,
36if they twist justice in the courts—
doesn’t the Lord see all these things?
37Who can command things to happen
without the Lord’s permission?
38Does not the Most High
send both calamity and good?
39Then why should we, mere humans, complain
when we are punished for our sins?
40Instead, let us test and examine our ways.
Let us turn back to the Lord.
41Let us lift our hearts and hands
to God in heaven and say,
42“We have sinned and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven us.
43“You have engulfed us with your anger, chased us down,
and slaughtered us without mercy.
44You have hidden yourself in a cloud
so our prayers cannot reach you.
45You have discarded us as refuse and garbage
among the nations.
46“All our enemies
have spoken out against us.
47We are filled with fear,
for we are trapped, devastated, and ruined.”
48Tears stream from my eyes
because of the destruction of my people!
49My tears flow endlessly;
they will not stop
50until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees.
51My heart is breaking
over the fate of all the women of Jerusalem.
52My enemies, whom I have never harmed,
hunted me down like a bird.
53They threw me into a pit
and dropped stones on me.
54The water rose over my head,
and I cried out, “This is the end!”
55But I called on your name, Lord,
from deep within the pit.
56You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading!
Hear my cry for help!”
57Yes, you came when I called;
you told me, “Do not fear.”
58Lord, you have come to my defense;
you have redeemed my life.
59You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord.
Be my judge, and prove me right.
60You have seen the vengeful plots
my enemies have laid against me.
61Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me.
You know all about the plans they have made.
62My enemies whisper and mutter
as they plot against me all day long.
63Look at them! Whether they sit or stand,
I am the object of their mocking songs.
64Pay them back, Lord,
for all the evil they have done.
65Give them hard and stubborn hearts,
and then let your curse fall on them!
66Chase them down in your anger,
destroying them beneath the Lord’s heavens.