|Lamentations 3 |
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1 I AM the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
2 He has led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.
3 Surely against me is he turned; he turns his hand against me all the day.
4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones.
5 He has built against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
6 He has set me in dark places, as those who be dead of old.
7 He has hedged me about, that I cannot get out; he has made my chain heavy.
8 Also when I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has enclosed my ways with hewn stone, he has made my paths crooked.
10 He was to me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.
11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he has made me desolate.
12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
13 He has caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my loins.
14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.
15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has made me drunken with wormwood.
16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he has covered me with ashes.
17 And you have removed my soul far off from peace; I have forgotten prosperity.
18 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD:
19 Remembering my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
20 My soul has them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion does not fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 The LORD is my portion, said my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. [To wait on God is to seek. To wait on God is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him; only those who heed and obey Him receive eternal salvation. Heb 5:9. He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Heb 11:6.]
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. From the Word of the Lord within: "You must wait on the Lord to receive salvation."]
27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
28 He sits alone and keeps silence, because he has borne it upon him.
29 He puts his mouth in the dust; if so be, there may be hope.
30 He gives his cheek to him that smites him; he is filled full with reproach.1
31 For the LORD will not cast off forever.
32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
33 For he does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
34 To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.
35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
36 To subvert a man in his cause, the LORD approves not.
37 Who is he that said, and it comes to pass, when the Lord commands it not?
38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceeds not evil and good?
39 Therefore does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.
41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.
42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: you have not pardoned.
43 You have covered with anger, and persecuted us: you have slain, you have not pitied.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.
45 You have made us as the off scouring and refuse in the midst of the people.
46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
47 Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.
48 My eye runs down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eye pours down, and does not cease, without any intermission.
50 Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.
51 My eye affects my heart because of all the daughters of my city.
52 My enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.
53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
54 Waters flowed over my head; then I said, I am cut off.
55 I called upon your name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon.
56 You have heard my voice; hide not your ear at my breathing, at my cry.
57 You drew near in the day that I called upon you; you said, "Fear not."
58 O LORD, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life.
59 O LORD, you have seen my wrong; judge my cause.
60 You have seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me.
61 You have heard their reproach, O LORD, and all their imaginations against me;
62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.
63 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their music.
64 Render to them a recompense, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.
65 Give them sorrow of heart, your curse to them.
66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD.
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1 This entire chapter describes the supernatural tribulation that each man who seeks the Lord must endure; it is remarkably similar to Job's complaints. This tribulation is with the permission of the Lord, at the hand of the fallen angels, or demons. They surround a man, inflicting pain, ridiculing him, and judging his every thought. There seems to be no relief, however much a man prays and begs; for it is all to a purpose: for a man to see how low a worm he really is under affliction. As a man suffers and resigns himself to the hand of God, no matter how bad it seems, (for there is no alternative), that man begins to lose his selfish pride, his anger, and his resentment. His selfish nature is being crucified with the help of the Lord. Although it seems there will never be an end, the end comes; and then there is only a little suffering on occasions to remind that man of the need to maintain repentance and not slip backwards. The Lord must break us, lower us, and humble us, before we are acceptable to his purpose. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. Psa 51:17. For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isa 57:15 .
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2. Tribulation is not a hard day at the office, a car wreck, or some natural difficulty; it is unmistakably, supernaturally imposed. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. 1 Pet 2:21.
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