Punishment, Repentance, and Hope
2 He drove me deeper and deeper into darkness
3 And beat me again and again with merciless blows.
5 He has shut me in a prison of misery and anguish.
6 He has forced me to live in the stagnant darkness of death.
8 I cry aloud for help, but God refuses to listen;
9 I stagger as I walk; stone walls block me wherever I turn.
11 He chased me off the road, tore me to pieces, and left me.
12 He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
14 People laugh at me all day long; I am a joke to them all.
15 Bitter suffering is all he has given me for food and drink.
17 I have forgotten what health and peace and happiness are.
18 I do not have much longer to live; my hope in the Lord is gone.
20 I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed.
21 Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing:
23 Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
24 The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.
26 So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—
27 And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.
29 We should bow in submission, for there may still be hope.
30 Though beaten and insulted, we should accept it all.
32 He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong.
33 He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain.
35 He knows when we are denied the rights he gave us;
36 When justice is perverted in court, he knows.
38 Good and evil alike take place at his command.
39 Why should we ever complain when we are punished for our sin?[b]
41 Let us open our hearts to God in heaven and pray,
42 “We have sinned and rebelled, and you, O Lord, have not forgiven us.
44 By a cloud of fury too thick for our prayers to get through.
45 You have made us the garbage dump of the world.
47 We have been through disaster and ruin; we live in danger and fear.
48 My eyes flow with rivers of tears at the destruction of my people.
50 Until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees us.
51 My heart is grieved when I see what has happened to the women of the city.
53 They threw me alive into a pit and closed the opening with a stone.
54 Water began to close over me, and I thought death was near.
56 And when I begged you to listen to my cry, you heard.
57 You answered me and told me not to be afraid.
59 Judge in my favor; you know the wrongs done against me.
60 You know how my enemies hate me and how they plot against me.
62 All day long they talk about me and make their plans.
63 From morning till night they make fun of me.
65 Curse them and fill them with despair!
66 Hunt them down and wipe them off the earth!”
- Lamentations 3:37 The will … out; or No one can make anything happen unless the Lord is willing.
- Lamentations 3:39 Why should … sin?; or Why should we complain about being punished for sin, as long as we are still alive?