3
1I am a man who has suffered greatly.
The Lord has used the Babylonians
to punish our people.
2He has driven me away. He has made me walk
in darkness instead of light.
3He has turned his powerful hand against me.
He has done it again and again, all day long.
4He has worn my body out.
He has broken my bones.
5He has surrounded me and attacked me.
He has made me suffer bitterly.
He has made things hard for me.
6He has made me live in darkness
like those who are dead and gone.
7He has built walls around me. I can't escape.
He has put heavy chains on me.
8I call out and cry for help.
But he won't listen to me when I pray.
9He has put up a stone wall to block my way.
He has made my paths crooked.
10He has been like a bear waiting to attack me.
He has been like a lion hiding in the bushes.
11He has dragged me off the path.
He has torn me to pieces.
And he has left me helpless.
12He has gotten his bow ready to use.
He has shot his arrows at me.
13The arrows from his bag
have gone through my heart.
14My people laugh at me all the time.
They sing and make fun of me all day long.
15The Lord has made my life bitter.
He has made me suffer bitterly.
16He made me chew stones that broke my teeth.
He has walked all over me in the dust.
17I have lost all hope of ever having any peace.
I've forgotten what good times are like.
18So I say, "My glory has faded away.
My hope in the Lord is gone."
19I remember how I suffered and wandered.
I remember how bitter my life was.
20I remember it very well.
My spirit is very sad deep down inside me.
21But here is something else I remember.
And it gives me hope.
22The Lord loves us very much.
So we haven't been completely destroyed.
His loving concern never fails.
23His great love is new every morning.
Lord, how faithful you are!
24I say to myself, "The Lord is everything I will ever need.
So I will put my hope in him."
25The Lord is good to those who put their hope in him.
He is good to those who look to him.
26It is good when people wait quietly
for the Lord to save them.
27It is good for a man to carry a heavy load of suffering
while he is young.
28Let him sit alone and not say anything.
The Lord has placed that load on him.
29Let him bury his face in the dust.
There might still be hope for him.
30Let him turn his cheek toward those who would slap him.
Let him be filled with shame.
31The Lord doesn't turn his back
on people forever.
32He might bring suffering.
But he will also show loving concern.
How great his faithful love is!
33He doesn't want to bring pain
or suffering to people.
34Every time people crush prisoners under their feet,
the Lord knows all about it.
35When people refuse to give a man his rights,
the Most High God knows it.
36When people don't treat a man fairly,
the Lord knows it.
37Suppose people order something to happen.
It won't happen unless the Lord has planned it.
38Troubles and good things alike come to people
because the Most High God has commanded them to come.
39A man who is still alive shouldn't blame God
when God punishes him for his sins.
40Let's take a good look at the way we're living.
Let's return to the Lord.
41Let's lift up our hands to God in heaven.
Let's pray to him with all our hearts.
42Let's say, "We have sinned.
We've refused to obey you.
And you haven't forgiven us.
43"You have covered yourself with the cloud of your anger.
You have chased us.
You have killed our people without pity.
44You have covered yourself with the cloud of your anger.
Our prayers can't get through to you.
45You have made us become like trash and garbage
among the nations.
46"All of our enemies have opened their mouths wide
to swallow us up.
47We are terrified and trapped.
We are broken and destroyed."
48Streams of tears flow from my eyes.
That's because my people are destroyed.
49Tears will never stop flowing from my eyes.
My eyes can't get any rest.
50I'll sob until the Lord looks down from heaven.
I'll cry until he notices my tears.
51What I see brings pain to my spirit.
All of the people in my city are suffering so much.
52Those who were my enemies for no reason at all
hunted me down as if I were a bird.
53They tried to end my life
by throwing me into a deep pit.
They threw stones down at me.
54The water rose and covered my head.
I thought I was going to die.
55Lord, I called out to you.
I called out from the bottom of the pit.
56I prayed, "Please don't close your ears
to my cry for help."
And you heard my appeal.
57You came near when I called out to you.
You said, "Do not be afraid."
58Lord, you stood up for me in court.
You saved my life and set me free.
59Lord, you have seen the wrong things
people have done to me.
Stand up for me again!
60You have seen how my enemies
have tried to get even with me.
You know all about their plans against me.
61Lord, you have heard them laugh at me.
You know all about their plans against me.
62You have heard my enemies
whispering among themselves.
They speak against me all day long.
63Just look at them sitting and standing there!
They sing and make fun of me.
64Lord, pay them back.
Punish them for what their hands have done.
65Cover their minds with a veil.
Put a curse on them!
66Lord, get angry with them and hunt them down.
Wipe them off the face of the earth.
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