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1"I am the man who has experienced suffering under the rod of God’s fury.

2God has driven me away and made me walk in darkness instead of light.

3He beat me again and again all day long.

4He has made my flesh and my skin waste away. He has broken my bones.

5He has attacked me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.

6He has made me live in darkness, like those who died a long time ago.

7He has blocked me so that I can’t get out. He has put heavy chains on me.

8Even when I cry and call for help, he shuts out my prayer.

9He has blocked my way with cut stones and made my paths crooked.

10He is like a bear waiting to ambush me, like a lion in hiding.

11He has forced me off the road I was taking, torn me to pieces, and left me with nothing.

12He has drawn his bow and made me the target for his arrows.

13He has shot the arrows from his quiver into my heart.

14I have become a laughingstock to all my people. All day long they make fun of me with their songs.

15He has filled me with bitterness. He has made me drink wormwood.

16He has ground my teeth with gravel. He has trampled me into the dust.

17"My soul has been kept from enjoying peace. I have forgotten what happiness is.

18I said, ‘I’ve lost my strength to live and my hope in the LORD.’

19Remember my suffering and my aimless wandering, the wormwood and poison.

20My soul continues to remember these things and is so discouraged.

21"The reason I can still find hope is that I keep this one thing in mind:

22the LORD’S mercy. We were not completely wiped out. His compassion is never limited.

23It is new every morning. His faithfulness is great.

24My soul can say, ‘The LORD is my lot in life. That is why I find hope in him.’

25The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to anyone who seeks help from him.

26"It is good to continue to hope and wait silently for the LORD to save us.

27It is good for people to endure burdens when they’re young.

28They should sit alone and remain silent because the LORD has laid these burdens on them.

29They should put their mouths in the dust. Maybe a reason to hope exists.

30They should turn their cheeks to the one who strikes them and take their fill of insults.

31"The Lord will not reject such people forever.

32Even if he makes us suffer, he will have compassion in keeping with the richness of his mercy.

33He does not willingly bring suffering or grief to anyone,

34crush any prisoner on earth underfoot,

35deny people their rights in the presence of the Most High God,

36or deprive people of justice in court. The Lord isn’t happy to see these things.

37Who was it who spoke and it came into being? It was the Lord who gave the order.

38Both good and bad come from the mouth of the Most High God.

39"Why should any living mortal (any person) complain about being punished for sin?

40Let us look closely at our ways and examine them and then return to the LORD.

41Let us raise our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

42"We have been disobedient and rebellious. You haven’t forgiven us.

43You covered yourself with anger and pursued us. You killed without pity.

44You covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer could get through it.

45You made us the scum and trash of the nations.

46All our enemies gawk at us.

47Panic and pitfalls have found us, so have devastation and destruction.

48"Streams of tears run down from my eyes over the ruin of my dear people.

49My eyes will keep flowing without stopping for a moment

50until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees.

51What I see with my eyes disturbs me deeply because of all the young women in my city.

52"Those who were my enemies for no reason hunted me like a bird.

53They threw me alive into a pit and threw rocks at me.

54Water flowed over my head. I thought I was finished.

55"I call your name from the deepest pit, O LORD.

56Listen to my cry for help. Don’t close your ears when I cry out for relief.

57Be close at hand when I call to you. You told me not to be afraid.

58Plead my case for me, O LORD. Reclaim my life.

59Look at the wrong that has been done to me, O LORD. Give me a fair verdict.

60Look at all their malice, all their plots against me.

61Listen to their insults, all their plots against me.

62The words and thoughts of those who attack me are directed against me all day long.

63Look at them! Whether they are sitting or standing, they make fun of me in their songs.

64Pay them back, O LORD, for what they deserve, for what their own hands have done.

65Make them stubborn. Let your curse be on them.

66Pursue them in anger, and wipe them out from under the LORD’S heaven."


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