3
There Is Still Hope
The Prophet Speaks:
1I have suffered much
because God was angry.
2He chased me into a dark place,
where no light could enter.
3I am the only one he punishes
over and over again,
without ever stopping.
4God caused my skin and flesh
to waste away,
and he crushed my bones.
5He attacked and surrounded me
with hardships and trouble;
6he forced me to sit in the dark
like someone long dead.
7God built a fence around me
that I cannot climb over,
and he chained me down.
8Even when I shouted
and prayed for help,
he refused to listen.
9God put big rocks in my way
and made me follow
a crooked path.
10God was like a bear or a lion
waiting in ambush for me;
11he dragged me from the road,
then tore me to shreds.#3.11 shreds: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 11.
12God took careful aim
and shot his arrows
13straight through my heart.
14I am a joke to everyone—
no one ever stops
making fun of me.
15God has turned my life sour.
16He made me eat gravel
and rubbed me in the dirt.
17I cannot find peace
or remember happiness.
18I tell myself, “I am finished!
I can't count on the Lord
to do anything for me.”
19Just thinking of my troubles
and my lonely wandering
makes me miserable.
20That's all I ever think about,
and I am depressed.#3.20 I am depressed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
21Then I remember something
that fills me with hope.
22The Lord's kindness never fails!
If he had not been merciful,
we would have been destroyed.#3.22 destroyed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 22.
23The Lord can always be trusted
to show mercy each morning.
24Deep in my heart I say,
“The Lord is all I need;
I can depend on him!”
25The Lord is kind to everyone
who trusts and obeys him.
26It is good to wait patiently
for the Lord to save us.
27When we are young,
it is good to struggle hard
28and to sit silently alone,
if this is what
the Lord intends.
29Being rubbed in the dirt
can teach us a lesson;#3.29 lesson: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 29.
30we can also learn from insults
and hard knocks.
31The Lord won't always reject us!
32He causes a lot of suffering,
but he also has pity
because of his great love.
33The Lord doesn't enjoy
sending grief or pain.
34Don't trample prisoners
under your feet
35or cheat anyone out of
what is rightfully theirs.
God Most High sees everything,
36and he knows when you refuse
to give someone a fair trial.
37No one can do anything
without the Lord's approval.
38Good and bad each happen
at the command
of God Most High.
39We're still alive!
We shouldn't complain
when we are being punished
for our sins.
40Instead, we should think
about the way we are living,
and turn back to the Lord.
41When we lift our hands
in prayer to God in heaven,
we should offer him our hearts
and say, 42“We've sinned!
We've rebelled against you,
and you haven't forgiven us!
43Anger is written all over you,
as you pursue and slaughter us
without showing pity.
44You are behind a wall of clouds
that blocks out our prayers.
45You allowed nations
to treat us like garbage;
46our enemies curse us.
47We are terrified and trapped,
caught and crushed.”
48My people are destroyed!
Tears flood my eyes,
49and they won't stop
50until the Lord looks down
from heaven and helps.
51I am horrified when I see
what enemies have done
to the young women of our city.
52No one had reason to hate me,
but I was hunted down
like a bird.
53Then they tried to kill me
by tossing me into a pit
and throwing stones at me.
54Water covered my head—
I thought I was gone.
55From the bottom of the pit,
I prayed to you, Lord.
56I begged you to listen.
“Help!” I shouted. “Save me!”
You answered my prayer
57and came when I was in need.
You told me, “Don't worry!”
58You rescued me
and saved my life.
59You saw them abuse me, Lord,
so make things right.
60You know every plot
they have made against me.
61Yes, you know their insults
and their evil plans.
62All day long they attack
with words and whispers.
63No matter what they are doing,
they keep on mocking me.
64Pay them back for everything
they have done, Lord!
65Put your curse on them
and make them suffer.#3.65 make them suffer: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
66Get angry and go after them
until not a trace is left
under the heavens.
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