The Meaning of Suffering
I am a man who has seen much trouble.
God beat us with a stick, and I saw it happen.
He led and brought me
into darkness, not light.
He turned his hand against me.
He did this again and again, all day.
He wore out my flesh and skin.
He broke my bones.
He built up bitterness and trouble against me.
He surrounded me with bitterness and trouble.
He put me in the dark,
like someone who died long ago.
He shut me in, so I could not get out.
He put heavy chains on me.
Even when I cry out and ask for help,
he does not listen to my prayer.
He has blocked up my path with stones.
He has made my path crooked.
10 He is like a bear about to attack me,
like a lion that is in a hiding place.
11 He led me off my path.
He tore me to pieces and ruined me.
12 He made his bow ready.
He made me the target for his arrows.
13 He shot me in the stomach
with his arrows.
14 I have become a joke to all my people.
All day long they sing songs about me and make fun of me.
15 He gave me this poison to drink.
He filled me with this bitter drink.
16 He pushed my teeth into rocky ground.
He pushed me into the dirt.
17 I thought I would never have peace again.
I forgot about good things.
18 I said to myself, “I no longer have any hope
that the LORD will help me.”
19 Remember, I am very sad,
and I have no home.
Remember the bitter poison that you gave me.
20 I remember well all my troubles,
and I am very sad.
21 But then I think about this,
and I have hope:
22 We are still alive because
the LORD’S faithful love never ends.
23 Every morning he shows it in new ways!
You are so very true and loyal!
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my God,
and I trust him.”* The LORD … him Or “The LORD is my portion and I trust him.”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him.
He is good to those who look for him.
26 It is good to wait quietly
for the LORD to save them.
27 It is good for a man to wear his yoke
from the time he is young.
28 He should sit alone and be quiet
when the Lord puts his yoke on him.
29 He should bow down to the Lord.
Maybe there is still hope.
30 He should turn his cheek to the one who hits him
and let people insult him.
31 He should remember that
the Lord does not reject people forever.
32 When he punishes, he also has mercy.
He has mercy because of his great love and kindness.
33 He does not enjoy causing people pain.
He does not like to make anyone unhappy.
34 He does not like any prisoner on earth
to be trampled down.
35 He does not like anyone to be unfair to another person.
Some people will do such things right in front of God Most High.
36 The Lord does not like anyone to cheat another person.
He does not like any of these things.
37 No one can say something and make it happen,
unless the Lord orders it.
38 God Most High commands
both good and bad things to happen.
39 No one alive can complain
when he punishes them for their sins.
40 Let us check and see what we have done.
Then let us turn back to the LORD.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to the God of heaven.
42 Let us say to him, “We have sinned and have been stubborn.
Because of this, you have not forgiven us.
43 You wrapped yourself with anger.
You chased us.
You killed us without mercy!
44 You wrapped yourself in a cloud
so that no prayer could get through.
45 You made us like garbage and dirt
to the other nations.
46 All of our enemies
speak angrily against us.
47 We have been frightened.
We have fallen into a pit.
We have been badly hurt.
We have been broken.”
48 My eyes flow with streams of tears.
I cry because of the destruction of my people.
49 My eyes will flow without stopping.
I will keep on crying.
50 I will continue to cry
until you look down and see us, LORD!
I will continue to cry
until you see us from heaven.
51 My eyes make me sad, when I see
what happened to the young women in my city.
52 For no reason,
my enemies hunted me like a bird.
53 They threw me alive into a pit
and then threw stones at me.
54 Water came up over my head.
I said to myself, “I am finished.”
55 LORD, I called your name
from the bottom of the pit.
56 You heard my voice.
You didn’t close your ears.
You didn’t refuse to rescue me.
57 You came to me on the day that I called out to you.
You said to me, “Don’t be afraid.”
58 You defended me
and bought me back to life.
59 LORD, you have seen my trouble.
Now judge my case for me.
60 You have seen how my enemies have hurt me.
You have seen all the evil plans that they made against me.
61 You heard them insult me, LORD.
You have heard all the evil plans that they made against me.
62 The words and the thoughts of my enemies
are against me all the time—
63 when they sit down and when they stand up.
Look how they make fun of me!
64 Give them back what they deserve, LORD.
Pay them back for what they have done.
65 Make them stubborn
and then curse them.
66 Chase them in anger and destroy them.
Wipe them off the face of the earth, LORD!

*3:24 The LORD … him Or “The LORD is my portion and I trust him.”