God, treat our enemies like they treated us
In the hands of an angry God1I’m the one who knows what it means to suffer
For I suffer at the hands of an angry God.
2He kidnapped me
And carried me off into darkness,
A place without light.
3He turned on me and hurt me
Over and over
All day long.
4He wore the skin right off me.
Then he broke my bones.
5He surrounded me with poison
He encircled me with miserable hardship.
6He forced me into complete darkness,
Like a corpse in a grave.
7He built a wall around me
So, I can’t get out.
And he loaded me with heavy chains.
8I call to him for help.
I pray for his help,
But he ghosts me with no response.
9He walled off any possible escape route,
And he loaded the trail with signs of misdirection.
God is attacking like a wild animal10He’s a bear waiting to attack me.
He’s a lion in hiding, waiting to pounce.
11He led me on a forced march
And ripped off my clothes.
I have nothing left.
12He bent his bow
And pointed his arrow at me,
13He hit me in a vital organ
With an arrow from his quiver.
14I’m the one everyone makes fun of now.
All day long
They mock me with their music.
15He has turned me bitter and toxic.
16He has me clenching my jaws so hard
I’m grinding my teeth.
He’s beating me,
Pulverizing me into dust.
Peace and happiness are dead to me17There’s not a grain of peace inside my soul.
I can’t remember what happiness feels like.
18Everything good and glorious in my life is gone.
So are the dreams I had entrusted to the LORD.
19I’m homeless, helpless, and miserable.
And I’m more bitter because of it.
20All this tragedy
Humbles and humiliates me.
My hope: God’s love endures21But a burst of hope appears
Whenever I remember this:
22The love of the LORD lives on.
He never runs out of mercy.
23He fills up on mercy,
Fresh every morning.
LORD, your devotion to us
Is awesome and wonderful.
24I remind myself of this:
I inherited the LORD.
He’s mine, and part of who I am.
So, I’ll put my faith in him.
25The LORD is good to those who trust his timing,
To those who want what he wants.
26It’s smart to be patient
And to wait for the LORD to rescue us.
27It’s good for people to work.
And it’s good for young people, too.
28Sometimes it’s good to sit quietly,
Especially when the LORD wants it.
29Sometimes a person needs to bow low.
There’s hope when there’s humility.
30There’s a time to turn the other cheek when slapped.
There’s a time to take insults and let them pile up.
The LORD won’t give up on us31Here’s what the LORD won’t do:
Abandon us forever.
32He’ll cause us grief sometimes.
But he’ll love us all the time,
And for that reason, he’ll show us compassion.
33He never grieves us because he enjoys it,
Or punishes us because he wants to.
34Jailers mistreat their prisoners,
Crushing them under heels on their necks.
35Judges poison and pervert justice
In front of the Greatest Judge of all.
36When these things happen and justice dies,
Don’t you think the LORD sees it?
37What can happen to anyone
Unless God approved it?
38Whatever happens, happy or sad,
Isn’t God the one who allows it?
39If we’re punished for something we’ve done wrong,
What right do we have to complain?
Israel’s blunt prayer to God40Let’s consider what we did wrong,
Resolve to do better,
And get back on good terms with the LORD.
41Let’s turn our attention to the LORD
And lift our hands to the sky and pray:
42We sinned by breaking your laws.
You haven’t forgiven us yet.
43You wrapped yourself in angry storm clouds.
You ran us down and killed us without mercy.
44You wrapped yourself in clouds so thick
Our prayers couldn’t get through.
45You’ve turned us into a nation of trash.
That’s how the world sees us.
46Whenever enemies talk about us,
It’s always a painful insult.
47Trapped in this place, we’re panicking.
All we can see is death and destruction.
We cry a river for the holocaust48I cry a river for the holocaust,
The decimation of my people.
49Tears won’t stop.
They keep flowing.
50They’ll flow for as long as it takes,
Until the LORD looks down and sees it.
51I grieve at what my eyes have shown me.
I saw what happened to Jerusalem’s young women.
52I gave my enemies no reason to hate me.
Yet they hunt me like they’d hunt a bird.
53They pushed me into a pit,
A cistern to collect rainwater.
Then they threw stones down on me.
54Water started to swallow me.
I screamed, “I’m drowning!”
I cry from the pit, “Help me!”55I cried out your name, LORD,
From deep in that pit.
56You heard me say,
“Don’t shut me out!
Please listen and help me!
I need your help!”
57You came close to me and said,
“Don’t be afraid.”
58You’re on my side now.
You came and saved me.
59You’ve seen how badly they treated me, LORD.
Judge this case and give us justice.
60You’ve seen them taking revenge on us
And how they still plot to make our lives miserable.
61You’ve heard their insults.
You know how they think up new ways to humiliate us.
62All day long they criticize me,
They’re always on the attack.
63It doesn’t matter if they’re working or resting,
I’m always the butt of their jokes
And the chorus in the songs they sing.
64Make them pay for what they did.
Let them see what it feels like.
65Fill them up on fear.
Curse them with nothing but failure.
66Turn your anger loose on them.
Wipe them off the face of the earth.
Often translated into what became the title of a beloved hymn: “Great is thy faithfulness.”
The unanswered question is about what it means to “inherit” the LORD, or as some put it, “The LORD is my inheritance” or “my portion” or “is mine.” Perhaps another way to express the idea is to say, “God is part of who I am.” Descendants of Abraham, and his son Isaac, and grandson Jacob were founding members of a unique family. God chose them to discover what it means to devote themselves to God and to live on good terms with him. That was initially a family thing, passed on from one generation to the next. But some Bible writers said that devotion to God needed to become the inheritance of everyone who wanted a connection with God. God told the prophet Isaiah that after the exile, “I want you to do more than resurrect the tribes of Israel / And take the Jewish survivors back to their homes. / I want you to become a beacon of hope to the nations. / Take my salvation on a road trip all over the world” (Isaiah 49:6). The Jewish people were to become a guiding light to the world. See Matthew 5:14 and John 8:12.
Literally, put a curse on them. We might say that in different ways today. Make them fail at everything they do. Give them nothing but bad luck. Make them suffer. Kill them all.
There are 22 letters in the ancient Hebrew alphabet. There are also 22 verses in every Lamentations chapter except one. Chapter 3 has three sets of 22 verses; 66 verses in all. Each verse in Lamentations starts with a letter of the alphabet, working from the first to the last. Verse one begins with the Hebrew letter aleph. Verse two begins with the second Hebrew letter beth, and verse three begins with the third letter gimel. It’s possible that the writer was trying to say these people suffered everything we could imagine, from A-Z.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.