1 Remember, Lord, what has happened to us;
look, and see our disgrace.
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
our homes to foreigners.
3 We have become fatherless,
our mothers are widows.
4 We must buy the water we drink;
our wood can be had only at a price.
5 Those who pursue us are at our heels;
we are weary and find no rest.
6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria
to get enough bread.
7 Our ancestors sinned and are no more,
and we bear their punishment.
8 Slaves rule over us,
and there is no one to free us from their hands.
We get our bread at the risk of our lives
because of the sword in the desert.
10 Our skin is hot as an oven,
feverish from hunger.
11 Women have been violated in Zion,
and virgins in the towns of Judah.
12 Princes have been hung up by their hands;
elders are shown no respect.
13 Young men toil at the millstones;
boys stagger under loads of wood.
14 The elders are gone from the city gate;
the young men have stopped their music.
15 Joy is gone from our hearts;
our dancing has turned to mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head.
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our hearts are faint;
because of these things our eyes grow dim
18 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
with jackals prowling over it.
19 You, Lord, reign for ever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why do you always forget us?
Why do you forsake us so long?
21 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
renew our days as of old
22 unless you have utterly rejected us
and are angry with us beyond measure.
This week's questions for reflection are:
- Lamentations encourages us to be honest with God about our sins and problems. How have you done this in the past month?
- We are also encouraged us to be a people focused on Jesus. How might the Lordship of Jesus give us a different perception of our problems than the writer of Lamentations would have had?
- Spend some time in worship thanking God for his mercy.