Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Affliction
1I am [Jeremiah] the man who has seen affliction
Because of the rod of His wrath.
He has led me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
Surely He has turned His hand against me
Repeatedly all the day.
He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away;
He has shattered my bones.
He has besieged and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me live in dark places
Like those who have long been dead.
He walled me in so that I cannot get out;
He has weighted down my chain.
Even when I cry out and shout for help,
He shuts out my prayer.
He has blocked my ways with cut stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
He is to me like a bear lying in wait,
And like a lion [hiding] in secret places.
He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces;
He has made me desolate.
He has bent His bow
And set me as a target for the arrow.
He has caused the arrows of His quiver
To enter my inner parts.
I have become the [object of] ridicule to all my people,
And [the subject of] their mocking song all the day.
He has filled me with bitterness;
He has made me drunk with wormwood (bitterness).
He has broken my teeth with gravel;
He has [covered me with ashes and] made me cower in the dust.
My soul has been cast far away from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
So I say, “My strength has perished
And so has my hope and expectation from the Lord.”
Hope of Relief in God’s Mercy
Remember [O Lord] my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness).
My soul continually remembers them
And is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
Therefore I have hope.
It is because of the Lord’s lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed,
Because His [tender] compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion and my inheritance,” says my soul;
“Therefore I have hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him,
To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].
It is good that one waits quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he should bear
The yoke [of godly discipline] in his youth.
Let him sit alone [in hope] and keep quiet,
Because God has laid it on him [for his benefit].
Let him put his mouth in the dust [in recognition of his unworthiness];
There may yet be hope.
Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him;
Let him be filled with reproach.
For the Lord will not reject forever,
For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness and tender mercy.
For He does not afflict willingly and from His heart
Or grieve the children of men.
To trample and crush under His feet
All the prisoners of the land,
To deprive a man of justice
In the presence of the Most High,
To defraud a man in his lawsuit—
The Lord does not approve of these things.
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has authorized and commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both adversity (misfortune) and good (prosperity, happiness) proceed?
Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Complain [of punishment] in view of his sins?
Let us test and examine our ways,
And let us return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [in prayer]
Toward God in heaven;
We have transgressed and rebelled,
You have not pardoned.
You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain [without pity] and have not spared.
You have covered Yourself with a cloud
So that no prayer can pass through.
You have made us scum and refuse
Among the peoples (Gentile nations).
All our enemies have gaped at us.
Panic and pitfall (traps, danger) have come on us,
Devastation and destruction.
My eyes overflow with streams of tears
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people (Jerusalem).
My eyes overflow unceasingly,
Until the Lord looks down
And sees from heaven.
My eyes [see things that] bring pain to my soul
Because of all the daughters of my city.
Without cause my enemies
Hunted me down like a bird;
They silenced me in the pit
And placed a stone over me.
The waters ran down on my head;
I said, “I am cut off (destroyed)!”
I called on Your name, O Lord,
Out of the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice,
“Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief,
From my cry for help.”
You drew near on the day I called to You;
You said, “Do not fear.”
O Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause [You have guided my way and protected me];
You have rescued and redeemed my life.
O Lord, You have seen the wrong [done to me];
Judge my case.
You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.
You have heard their reproach, O Lord,
And all their schemes against me.
The lips and whispering of my assailants
Are against me all day long.
Look at their sitting and their rising [their actions and secret counsels];
I am their mocking song [the subject of their ridicule].
You will repay them, O Lord,
According to the work of their hands.
You will harden their hearts;
Your curse will be upon them.
You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
From under the heavens of the Lord.