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1I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the LORD’s anger.

2He has brought me into deep darkness, shutting out all light.

3He has turned against me. Day and night his hand is heavy upon me.

4He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones.

5He has attacked me and surrounded me with anguish and distress.

6He has buried me in a dark place, like a person 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 shuts out my prayers.

9He has blocked my path with a high stone wall. He has twisted the road before me with many detours.

10He hid like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me.

11He dragged me off the path and tore me with his claws, leaving me helpless and desolate.

12He bent his bow and aimed it squarely at me.

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. He has given me a cup of deep sorrow to drink.

16He has made me grind my teeth 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.

20I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.

21Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:

22The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.

23Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.

24I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"

25The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him.

26So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.

27And it is good for the young to submit 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; then at last there is hope for them.

30Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them. Let them accept the insults of their enemies.

31For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever.

32Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love.

33For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.

34But the leaders of his people trampled prisoners underfoot.

35They deprived people of their God–given rights in defiance of the Most High.

36They perverted justice in the courts. Do they think the Lord didn’t see it?

37Can anything happen without the Lord’s permission?

38Is it not the Most High who helps one and harms another?

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 again in repentance 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, desolate, and ruined."

48Streams of tears flow from my eyes because of the destruction of my people!

49My tears flow down 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, chased me like a bird.

53They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me.

54The water flowed above my head, and I cried out, "This is the end!"

55But I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the well,

56and you heard me! You listened to my pleading; you heard my weeping!

57Yes, you came at my despairing cry and told me, "Do not fear."

58Lord, you are my lawyer! Plead my case! For 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 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––

62the plots my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.

63Look at them! In all their activities, they constantly mock me with their songs.

64Pay them back, LORD, for all the evil they have done.

65Give them hard and stubborn hearts, and then let your curse fall upon them!

66Chase them down in your anger, destroying them from beneath the LORD’s heavens.

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