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Free Bible Version - Lamentations

Lamentations 3

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1I am the man who has experienced suffering under the rod of God's anger.
2He has driven me away, forcing me to walk in darkness instead of the light.
3In fact he hits me again and again all day long.
4He has worn me out; he has broken me in pieces.
5He has besieged me, surrounding me with bitterness and misery.
6He has forced me to live in darkness like those long dead.
7He has built a wall around me so I can't escape; he has bound me with heavy chains.
8Even when I keep on crying out for help, he refuses to listen to my prayer.
9He has put stone blocks in my way and sends me down crooked paths.
10He is a bear that lies in wait for me, a lion in hiding ready to attack,
11He dragged me from my path and ripped me to pieces, leaving me helpless.
12He loaded his bow with an arrow and used me as his target,
13He shot me in my kidneys with his arrows.
14Now everyone laughs at me, singing songs that mock me all day long.
15He has filled me with bitterness; he has filled me up with bitter wormwood.
16He has broken my teeth with grit; he has trampled me in the dust.
17Peace has been torn away from me; I've forgotten all that's good in life.
18That's why I say, “My expectation of a long life is gone, along with all that I hoped for from Lord.

19Don't forget everything I've suffered in my wandering, as bitters as wormwood and poison.
20I certainly haven't forgotten. I remember it all too well, so I sink into depression.
21But I still hope when I think about this:
22It's because of the Lord's trustworthy love that our lives are not finished, for through his merciful actions he never lets us down.
23He renews them every morning. How wonderfully trustworthy you are, Lord!
24The Lord is all I need,” I tell myself, “so I will put my hope in him.”
25The Lord is good to those who trust in him, to anyone who seeks to follow him.
26It is good to wait quietly for the Lord's salvation.
27It is good for people to learn to patiently bear discipline while they're still young.
28They should sit by themselves in silence, because it's God who has disciplined them.
29They should bow low with their faces to the ground, for there may still be hope.
30They should turn a cheek to someone who wants to slap them; they should take the insults of others.
31For the Lord won't abandon us forever.
32Even though he may bring sadness, he shows us mercy because his trustworthy love is so great.
33For he doesn't willingly hurt people, or cause them grief.
34Whether it's mistreating all the prisoners of the land,
35Or denying someone their rights as the Most High watches,
36Or cheating someone in their legal case—these things the Lord doesn't approve of.

37Who spoke and it came into existence? Wasn't it the Lord who commanded it?
38When the Most High speaks it can be a disaster or a blessing.
39Why should any human being complain about the results of their sins?
40We should look at ourselves, examine what we're doing, and return to the Lord.
41Let's not just hold up our hands to God in heaven, but our minds as well, saying,
42“We are the ones who sinned; we are the ones who rebelled; and you haven't forgiven us!”
43You have wrapped yourself in anger and chased us down, killing without mercy. You have killed without pity.
44You have wrapped yourself with a cloud that no prayer can penetrate.
45You have made us waste and refuse to the nations around.
46All our enemies open their mouths to criticize us.
47We're terrified and trapped, devastated and destroyed.
48Tears stream from my eyes over the death of my people.
49My eyes overflow with tears all the time. They won't stop
50Until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees what's going on.
51What I've seen torments me because of what's happened to all the women in my city.
52For no reason my enemies trapped me like a bird.
53They tried to kill me by tossing me into a pit and throwing stones at me.
54Water flooded over my head, and I thought I was going to die.

55I called out for you, Lord, from deep inside the pit.
56You heard me when I prayed, “Please don't ignore my cry for help.”
57You came to me when I called you, and you told me, “Don't be afraid!”
58You have taken my case and defended me; you have saved my life!
59Lord, you have seen the injustices done to me; please vindicate me!
60You have observed how vengeful they are and how often they've plotted against me.
61Lord, you have heard how they've insulted me, and what they've plotted against me,
62How my enemies talk against me and complain about me all the time!
63Just look! Whether they're sitting down and or standing up, they go on making fun of me in their songs.
64Pay them back as they deserve, Lord, for all they've done!
65Give them a covering for their minds! May your curse be on them!
66Chase them down in your anger, Lord, and get rid of them from the earth!