In a season of mourning? What do you do? … (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 14])


In this world we will have troubles. In this world we will have trials. Have you lost someone important to you? Are you grieving for some reason? What is going on? What has happened?

Apr 14 - Lamentation 5_16 - Public Death Announcements in Jerusalem - Bible verses for times of grief or loss

The Bible teaches us that we are to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” As the body we are to connect together in order to support one another during both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We have the reminder too that when Jesus left the Holy Spirit would come as our comforter.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- — John 14:16

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. — John 14:26 

We were never meant to go through this life alone. We were created to be in relationship with God and with one another. We aren’t supposed to be networking to receive but to build meaningful relationships that will last. We are to serve one another. We are to love one another. We are to support one another. It is so important than we find the commandments and instructions of God about “one another” about 59 times… Let’s consider it…

  1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
  2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
  3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
  4. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
  5. “…Love one another…” (John 13:35)
  6. “…Love one another…” (John 15:12)
  7. “…Love one another” (John 15:17)
  8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
  9. “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
  10. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
  11. “…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8)
  12. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
  13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
  14. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
  15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16)
  16. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33)
  17. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
  18. “…Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)
  19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)
  20. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
  21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15)
  22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
  23. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
  24. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
  25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
  26. “…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
  27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
  28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
  29. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
  30. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
  31. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
  32. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
  33. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
  34. “…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
  35. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
  36. “…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)
  37. “…Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)
  38. “…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11)
  39. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
  40. “Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13)
  41. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
  42. “…Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
  43. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
  44. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9)
  45. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
  46. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
  47. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
  48. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
  49. “…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8)
  50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
  51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
  52. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)
  53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)
  54. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:11)
  55. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:23)
  56. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:7)
  57. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:11)
  58. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:12)
  59. “…Love one another.” (II John 5)

— From Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future (Tarrytown: Revell, 1991), 129-131.

So don’t go it alone! Lean on God! Lean on one another! And walk thru this together!

Today’s reading comes from Lamentation 5…

Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord

Remember, O Lord , what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought. Our pursuers are at our necks; we are weary; we are given no rest. We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough. Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities. Slaves rule over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand. We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness. Our skin is hot as an oven with the burning heat of famine. Women are raped in Zion, young women in the towns of Judah. Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders. Young men are compelled to grind at the mill, and boys stagger under loads of wood. The old men have left the city gate, the young men their music. The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, for Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it. But you, O Lord , reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. Why do you forget us forever, why do you forsake us for so many days? Restore us to yourself, O Lord , that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old— unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.

Lamentations 5

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of Acts of Mercy comes from Lamentation 5:15

The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!

from Lamentations 5:16

and speaks to the public death announcements in Jerusalem. Today’s devotional speaks of the Mea Shearim neighborhood and how a common way of communication (as many of the ultra-orthodox Jews don’t use the internet, television, or smartphones) are posters on the wall which are called pashkevilim. The posters announce various information like commercial, political, and religious topics. What today’s devotional also surfaces is how these posters are used for public death announcements and how the announcements for respected rabbis contain words from Lamentation 5:16. Because of the communities emphasis on scholars, “the death of a great teacher is newsworthy and often leads to a period of deep mourning”. (The Global Impact Bible, Lamentation 5, P. 1092)

 


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I ask Lord for Your wisdom and discernment for each and every conversation that comes my way. Help me Lord to speak truth and life in love. Help me to be salt and light into the world around me. Help me to be Your hands extended that I can be part of the “one another” as You have called me to be. Lord I give this day into Your hands and ask that You will help me live a life that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

It’s sad when we lose people…


Have you lost anyone? Do you remember the pain? Do you remember the sadness? Do you remember the emotional rollercoaster? Do you remember the anger? Do you remember the joy? Do you remember the love? Do you remember someone who wasn’t treating you well who passed? Do you remember someone who was like a brother or sister who passed? How did you respond? How did you manage to be able to let them go?

Today’s reading opens up with David facing the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan…

David Mourns Saul and Jonathan

1Now it came to pass after the death of Saul—when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites—that David stayed two days in Ziklag. 2On the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. Now when he approached David, he fell to the ground and prostrated himself. 3Then David asked him, “Where are you coming from?” “I’ve escaped from the camp of Israel,” he answered. 4“How did things go?” David asked him. “Please, tell me.” He answered, “The troops fled the battlefield—also many of the troops fell and died. And even Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.” 5David asked the young man informing him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6The young man informing him answered, “I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, and look, Saul was leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen were closing in on him. 7When he turned around and saw me, he called me. So I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8Then he asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “So I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9So he said to me, ‘Stand now over me and kill me! For I’m in agony, yet I’m still alive.’ 10So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew he couldn’t survive after he had fallen. Then I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and brought them here—to my lord.” 11Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men that were with him, 12and they mourned, wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the troops of Adonai and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13Then David said to the young man who informed him, “Where are you from?” “I am a son of an Amalekite outsider,” he replied. 14Then David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy Adonai’s anointed one?” 15Then David called one of the young men and said, “Come and strike him down.” And he struck him down and he died. 16David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your mouth testified against you saying, ‘I killed Adonai’s anointed.’” 17Then David chanted this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan, 18and ordered that the sons of Judah be taught the “Song of the Bow.” (Behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar): 19“Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! 20Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in Ashkelon’s streets, lest Philistine daughters rejoice, lest daughters of the uncircumcised gloat! 21Hills of Gilboa, let no dew or rain be on you, nor on bountiful fields, for there the shield of the mighty ones lay defiled—Saul’s shield will no longer be anointed with oil. 22From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, Jonathan’s bow never turned back, Saul’s sword never returned empty. 23Saul and Jonathan, loved and delightful, parted neither in life nor death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 24Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who put ornaments of gold on your clothes. 25How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan on your heights is slain! 26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan! Very pleasing were you to me. Wonderful was your love to me more than the love of women. 27How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war destroyed!

–from 2 Samuel 1

Do you remember celebrating their lives? Do you remember mourning their loss?

Let’s be reminders to the world around us the importance of turning back to God! Let’s be testimonies of God’s great love and how His ask is that we love Him and love one another! Be it in the old testament where the prophets were speaking out to people on behalf of God to tell them to turn back to God and love Him and obey Him or be it that they were treating one another bad and needed to be treating one another with love, dignity, and respect. Be it in the new testament where Jesus summarized the 10 commandments into 2 – Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength and second to love your neighbor as you love yourself. It goes beyond ourselves! It goes beyond trying to make us the center! So let’s live out today so that we make a difference and glorify God!

Restore Your People from Captivity

1For the music director, a psalm of the sons of Korah. 2Adonai, will you favor Your land? Will You restore Jacob from captivity? 3Will You bear away Your people’s iniquity, Will You pardon all their sin? Selah 4Will You withdraw all Your wrath? Will You turn from Your burning anger? 5Restore us, O God of our salvation, and renounce Your indignation with us. 6Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger from generation to generation? 7Will You not revive us again, so Your people may rejoice in You? 8Show us Your mercy, Adonai, and grant us Your salvation. 9Let me hear what God Adonai will say. For He will speak shalom to His people, and to His kedoshim— but let them not turn back to folly. 10Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land. 11Lovingkindness and truth meet together. Righteousness and shalom kiss each other. 12Truth will spring up from the earth, and justice will look down from heaven. 13Yes, Adonai will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. 14Righteousness is going before Him and prepares a way for His feet.

–from Psalms 85

And let’s do it before it is too late! Let’s make a difference  today! Let’s be light! Let’s be salt! Let’s be love! Don’t be lead astray! Don’t be deceived! Put your hope and trust in God! Allow Jesus to be the center of your life! Follow after Him! Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you all the days of your life! Be prepared! Notice the signs of the times! Don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Your time to make a difference is now! Don’t miss out! Don’t be left out! Let’s be bold and courageous! Let’s be living the right way and be prepared for the trumpet sound and to be restored and lifted up to meet with and be with Jesus! Let’s be aware of the times we are living in today! God’s Word will last forever! Love the greatest thing will last forever! So grab a hold of the truth and stand firm! Put on the full armor of God and be prepared to make and take a stand today! Let’s live that we may hear “well done my good and faithful servant” from Jesus!

1Now when Yeshua went out and was going away from the Temple, His disciples came up to point out to Him the Temple buildings. 2“Don’t you see all these?” He responded to them. “Amen, I tell you, not one stone will be left here on top of another—every one will be torn down!”

Signs of the End of Time

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray! 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 7For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. 10And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. 11Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15“So when you see ‘the abomination of desolation,’ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17The one on the roof must not go down to take what is in his house, 18and the one in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20Pray that your escape will not happen in winter, or on Shabbat. 21For then there will be great trouble, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. Or, ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather. 29“But immediately after the trouble of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Watching for Messiah’s Return

32“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. 34Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone. 37“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left. 42Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The Faithful Servant

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. 47Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow servants, and he eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51And he will cut him in two and assign his place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

–from Matthew 24

 

 

 

Ever wondered what lamentation means?


Looking it up today in preparation for today’s reading, I found the following:

Lamentation definedHave you been in a situation where you have lamented over something? Have you been in a situation where things seemed so bad that you were weeping, wailing, crying, sobbing, moaning, grieving, mourning over it? Do remember what it took to get you to that point? Do you remember how bad or how big it had to get to get you to that point? Do you remember how long it took? Take a look around you. Consider what is going on. Do you think it makes God’s heart happy? Do you think it grieves God’s heart? What can we do? What can we say? What difference can we step up and make to day? Before it is too late…Will you share the hope that is within you? Will you point people to the way out? Will you help others get turned back around in the right direction? Will you?

Let’s take a look at today’s reading from the book of Lamentations…

The Sorrows of Jerusalem

1How lonely lies Jerusalem, once so full of people! Once honored by the world, she is now like a widow; The noblest of cities has fallen into slavery. 2All night long she cries; tears run down her cheeks. Of all her former friends, not one is left to comfort her. Her allies have betrayed her and are all against her now. 3Judah’s people are helpless slaves, forced away from home. They live in other lands, with no place to call their own—Surrounded by enemies, with no way to escape. 4No one comes to the Temple now to worship on the holy days. The young women who sang there suffer, and the priests can only groan. The city gates stand empty, and Zion is in agony. 5Her enemies succeeded; they hold her in their power. The Lord has made her suffer for all her many sins; Her children have been captured and taken away. 6The splendor of Jerusalem is a thing of the past. Her leaders are like deer that are weak from hunger, Whose strength is almost gone as they flee from the hunters. 7A lonely ruin now, Jerusalem recalls her ancient splendor. When she fell to the enemy, there was no one to help her; Her conquerors laughed at her downfall. 8Her honor is gone; she is naked and held in contempt. She groans and hides her face in shame. Jerusalem made herself filthy with terrible sin. 9Her uncleanness was easily seen, but she showed no concern for her fate. Her downfall was terrible; no one can comfort her. Her enemies have won, and she cries to the Lord for mercy. 10The enemies robbed her of all her treasures. She saw them enter the Temple itself, Where the Lord had forbidden Gentiles to go. 11Her people groan as they look for something to eat; They exchange their treasures for food to keep themselves alive. “Look at me, Lord,” the city cries; “see me in my misery.” 12“Look at me!” she cries to everyone who passes by. “No one has ever had pain like mine, Pain that the Lord brought on me in the time of his anger. 13“He sent fire from above, a fire that burned inside me. He set a trap for me and brought me to the ground. Then he abandoned me and left me in constant pain. 14“He took note of all my sins and tied them all together; He hung them around my neck, and I grew weak beneath the weight. The Lord gave me to my foes, and I was helpless against them. 15“The Lord laughed at all my strongest soldiers; He sent an army to destroy my young men. He crushed my people like grapes in a wine press. 16“That is why my eyes are overflowing with tears. No one can comfort me; no one can give me courage. The enemy has conquered me; my people have nothing left. 17“I stretch out my hands, but no one will help me. The Lord has called enemies against me from every side; They treat me like some filthy thing. 18“But the Lord is just, for I have disobeyed him. Listen to me, people everywhere; look at me in my pain. My young men and women have been taken away captive. 19“I called to my allies, but they refused to help me. The priests and the leaders died in the city streets, Looking for food to keep themselves alive. 20“Look, O Lord, at my agony, at the anguish of my soul! My heart is broken in sorrow for my sins. There is murder in the streets; even indoors there is death. 21“Listen to my groans; there is no one to comfort me. My enemies are glad that you brought disaster on me. Bring the day you promised; make my enemies suffer as I do. 22“Condemn them for all their wickedness; Punish them as you punished me for my sins. I groan in misery, and I am sick at heart.”
–from Lamentations 1

The Lord’s Punishment of Jerusalem

1The Lord in his anger has covered Zion with darkness. Its heavenly splendor he has turned into ruins. On the day of his anger he abandoned even his Temple. 2The Lord destroyed without mercy every village in Judah And tore down the forts that defended the land. He brought disgrace on the kingdom and its rulers. 3In his fury he shattered the strength of Israel; He refused to help us when the enemy came. He raged against us like fire, destroying everything. 4He aimed his arrows at us like an enemy; He killed all those who were our joy and delight. Here in Jerusalem we felt his burning anger. 5Like an enemy, the Lord has destroyed Israel; He has left her forts and palaces in ruins. He has brought on the people of Judah unending sorrow. 6He smashed to pieces the Temple where we worshiped him; He has put an end to holy days and Sabbaths. King and priest alike have felt the force of his anger. 7The Lord rejected his altar and deserted his holy Temple; He allowed the enemy to tear down its walls. They shouted in victory where once we had worshiped in joy. 8The Lord was determined that the walls of Zion should fall; He measured them off to make sure of total destruction. The towers and walls now lie in ruins together. 9The gates lie buried in rubble, their bars smashed to pieces. The king and the noblemen now are in exile. The Law is no longer taught, and the prophets have no visions from the Lord. 10Jerusalem’s old men sit on the ground in silence, With dust on their heads and sackcloth on their bodies. Young women bow their heads to the ground. 11My eyes are worn out with weeping; my soul is in anguish. I am exhausted with grief at the destruction of my people. Children and babies are fainting in the streets of the city. 12Hungry and thirsty, they cry to their mothers; They fall in the streets as though they were wounded, And slowly die in their mothers’ arms. 13O Jerusalem, beloved Jerusalem, what can I say? How can I comfort you? No one has ever suffered like this. Your disaster is boundless as the ocean; there is no possible hope. 14Your prophets had nothing to tell you but lies; Their preaching deceived you by never exposing your sin. They made you think you did not need to repent. 15People passing by the city look at you in scorn. They shake their heads and laugh at Jerusalem’s ruins: “Is this that lovely city? Is this the pride of the world?” 16All your enemies mock you and glare at you with hate. They curl their lips and sneer, “We have destroyed it! This is the day we have waited for!” 17The Lord has finally done what he threatened to do: He has destroyed us without mercy, as he warned us long ago. He gave our enemies victory, gave them joy at our downfall. 18O Jerusalem, let your very walls cry out to the Lord! Let your tears flow like rivers night and day; Wear yourself out with weeping and grief 19All through the night get up again and again to cry out to the Lord; Pour out your heart and beg him for mercy on your children—Children starving to death on every street corner! 20Look, O Lord! Why are you punishing us like this? Women are eating the bodies of the children they loved! Priests and prophets are being killed in the Temple itself 21Young and old alike lie dead in the streets, Young men and women, killed by enemy swords. You slaughtered them without mercy on the day of your anger. 22You invited my enemies to hold a carnival of terror all around me, And no one could escape on that day of your anger. They murdered my children, whom I had raised and loved.
–from Lamentations 2

Punishment, Repentance, and Hope

1I am one who knows what it is to be punished by God. 2He drove me deeper and deeper into darkness 3And beat me again and again with merciless blows. 4He has left my flesh open and raw, and has broken my bones. 5He has shut me in a prison of misery and anguish. 6He has forced me to live in the stagnant darkness of death. 7He has bound me in chains; I am a prisoner with no hope of escape. 8I cry aloud for help, but God refuses to listen; 9I stagger as I walk; stone walls block me wherever I turn. 10He waited for me like a bear; he pounced on me like a lion. 11He chased me off the road, tore me to pieces, and left me. 12He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. 13He shot his arrows deep into my body. 14People laugh at me all day long; I am a joke to them all. 15Bitter suffering is all he has given me for food and drink. 16He rubbed my face in the ground and broke my teeth on rocks. 17I have forgotten what health and peace and happiness are. 18I do not have much longer to live; my hope in the Lord is gone. 19The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. 20I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed. 21Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: 22The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, 23Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. 24The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope. 25The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him, 26So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—27And it is best to learn this patience in our youth. 28When we suffer, we should sit alone in silent patience; 29We should bow in submission, for there may still be hope. 30Though beaten and insulted, we should accept it all. 31The Lord is merciful and will not reject us forever. 32He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong. 33He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain. 34The Lord knows when our spirits are crushed in prison; 35He knows when we are denied the rights he gave us; 36When justice is perverted in court, he knows. 37The will of the Lord alone is always carried out. 38Good and evil alike take place at his command. 39Why should we ever complain when we are punished for our sin? 40Let us examine our ways and turn back to the Lord. 41Let us open our hearts to God in heaven and pray, 42“We have sinned and rebelled, and you, O Lord, have not forgiven us. 43“You pursued us and killed us; your mercy was hidden by your anger, 44By a cloud of fury too thick for our prayers to get through. 45You have made us the garbage dump of the world. 46“We are insulted and mocked by all our enemies. 47We have been through disaster and ruin; we live in danger and fear. 48My eyes flow with rivers of tears at the destruction of my people. 49“My tears will pour out in a ceaseless stream 50Until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees us. 51My heart is grieved when I see what has happened to the women of the city. 52“I was trapped like a bird by enemies who had no cause to hate me. 53They threw me alive into a pit and closed the opening with a stone. 54Water began to close over me, and I thought death was near. 55“From the bottom of the pit, O Lord, I cried out to you, 56And when I begged you to listen to my cry, you heard. 57You answered me and told me not to be afraid. 58“You came to my rescue, Lord, and saved my life. 59Judge in my favor; you know the wrongs done against me. 60You know how my enemies hate me and how they plot against me. 61“You have heard them insult me, O Lord; you know all their plots. 62All day long they talk about me and make their plans. 63From morning till night they make fun of me. 64“Punish them for what they have done, O Lord; 65Curse them and fill them with despair! 66Hunt them down and wipe them off the earth!”
–from Lamentations 3