3 I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger. 2 He has led me into darkness, shutting out all light. 3 He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.
4 He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones. 5 He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress. 6 He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead.
7 He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains. 8 And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers. 9 He has blocked my way with a high stone wall; he has made my road crooked.
10 He has hidden like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me. 11 He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces, leaving me helpless and devastated. 12 He has drawn his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
13 He shot his arrows deep into my heart. 14 My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs. 15 He has filled me with bitterness and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.
16 He has made me chew on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust. 17 Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. 18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.[a] 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends![b] His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. 26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. 27 And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline:
28 Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord’s demands. 29 Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last. 30 Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them and accept the insults of their enemies.
31 For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. 33 For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.
34 If people crush underfoot all the prisoners of the land, 35 if they deprive others of their rights in defiance of the Most High, 36 if they twist justice in the courts— doesn’t the Lord see all these things?
37 Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? 38 Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? 39 Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins?
40 Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. 41 Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, 42 “We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us.
43 “You have engulfed us with your anger, chased us down, and slaughtered us without mercy. 44 You have hidden yourself in a cloud so our prayers cannot reach you. 45 You have discarded us as refuse and garbage among the nations.
46 “All our enemies have spoken out against us. 47 We are filled with fear, for we are trapped, devastated, and ruined.” 48 Tears stream from my eyes because of the destruction of my people!
49 My tears flow endlessly; they will not stop 50 until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees. 51 My heart is breaking over the fate of all the women of Jerusalem.
52 My enemies, whom I have never harmed, hunted me down like a bird. 53 They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me. 54 The water rose over my head, and I cried out, “This is the end!”
55 But I called on your name, Lord, from deep within the pit. 56 You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!” 57 Yes, you came when I called; you told me, “Do not fear.”
58 Lord, you have come to my defense; you have redeemed my life. 59 You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord. Be my judge, and prove me right. 60 You have seen the vengeful plots my enemies have laid against me.
61 Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me. You know all about the plans they have made. 62 My enemies whisper and mutter as they plot against me all day long. 63 Look at them! Whether they sit or stand, I am the object of their mocking songs.
64 Pay them back, Lord, for all the evil they have done. 65 Give them hard and stubborn hearts, and then let your curse fall on them! 66 Chase them down in your anger, destroying them beneath the Lord’s heavens.
1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.
The Son Is Greater Than the Angels
5 For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:
“You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.[a]”
“He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.”[f]
8 But to the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 9 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”[g]
10 He also says to the Son,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. 12 You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.”[h]
13 And God never said to any of the angels,
“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”[i]
14 Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.
A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord.
1 Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! 2 Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you. 3 For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. 4 My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. 5 Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones. 6 I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. 7 I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof. 8 My enemies taunt me day after day. They mock and curse me. 9 I eat ashes for food. My tears run down into my drink 10 because of your anger and wrath. For you have picked me up and thrown me out. 11 My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass.
12 But you, O Lord, will sit on your throne forever. Your fame will endure to every generation. 13 You will arise and have mercy on Jerusalem[a]— and now is the time to pity her, now is the time you promised to help. 14 For your people love every stone in her walls and cherish even the dust in her streets. 15 Then the nations will tremble before the Lord. The kings of the earth will tremble before his glory. 16 For the Lord will rebuild Jerusalem. He will appear in his glory. 17 He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas.
18 Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord. 19 Tell them the Lord looked down from his heavenly sanctuary. He looked down to earth from heaven 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to release those condemned to die. 21 And so the Lord’s fame will be celebrated in Zion, his praises in Jerusalem, 22 when multitudes gather together and kingdoms come to worship the Lord.
23 He broke my strength in midlife, cutting short my days. 24 But I cried to him, “O my God, who lives forever, don’t take my life while I am so young! 25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 26 They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. 27 But you are always the same; you will live forever. 28 The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.”
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