Lamentations 3

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Read Lamentations 3

3 I am the man who has seen affliction
    by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
He has driven me away and made me walk
    in darkness rather than light;
indeed, he has turned his hand against me
    again and again, all day long.

He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
    and has broken my bones.
He has besieged me and surrounded me
    with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me dwell in darkness
    like those long dead.

He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
    he has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I call out or cry for help,
    he shuts out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
    he has made my paths crooked.

10 Like a bear lying in wait,
    like a lion in hiding,
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
    and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow
    and made me the target for his arrows.

13 He pierced my heart
    with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
    they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
    and given me gall to drink.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
    he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
    I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
    and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
    while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
    there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
    and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

34 To crush underfoot
    all prisoners in the land,
35 to deny people their rights
    before the Most High,
36 to deprive them of justice—
    would not the Lord see such things?

37 Who can speak and have it happen
    if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
    that both calamities and good things come?
39 Why should the living complain
    when punished for their sins?

40 Let us examine our ways and test them,
    and let us return to the Lord.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
    to God in heaven, and say:
42 “We have sinned and rebelled
    and you have not forgiven.

43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us;
    you have slain without pity.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud
    so that no prayer can get through.
45 You have made us scum and refuse
    among the nations.

46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
    wide against us.
47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
    ruin and destruction.”
48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes
    because my people are destroyed.

49 My eyes will flow unceasingly,
    without relief,
50 until the Lord looks down
    from heaven and sees.
51 What I see brings grief to my soul
    because of all the women of my city.

52 Those who were my enemies without cause
    hunted me like a bird.
53 They tried to end my life in a pit
    and threw stones at me;
54 the waters closed over my head,
    and I thought I was about to perish.

55 I called on your name, Lord,
    from the depths of the pit.
56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
    to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near when I called you,
    and you said, “Do not fear.”

58 You, Lord, took up my case;
    you redeemed my life.
59 Lord, you have seen the wrong done to me.
    Uphold my cause!
60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
    all their plots against me.

61 Lord, you have heard their insults,
    all their plots against me—
62 what my enemies whisper and mutter
    against me all day long.
63 Look at them! Sitting or standing,
    they mock me in their songs.

64 Pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
    for what their hands have done.
65 Put a veil over their hearts,
    and may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them
    from under the heavens of the Lord.

Go Deeper

Things aren’t going well for Jeremiah. As Jeremiah surveys Jerusalem in the wake of Babylon’s conquest, he personalizes the suffering of the city by applying it to his own life. What God has done to Israel, Jeremiah considers done to himself, too. At the crux of these verses are questions we still struggle to answer today. How do we find the strength to overcome life’s most difficult moments? Where do we turn when hope seems like nothing more than wishful thinking?

While Jeremiah has spent the first two and a half chapters decrying the state of a war-torn and joyless land, he eventually finds his anchor in the storm. The shift comes in verses 21-23. “Yet this I keep in mind: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Let’s think more about these verses as we grow in the Lord today. Feel free to read through each phrase slowly and carefully, asking God to share his heart with you as you read.

    • Yet this I keep in mind: God wants us to keep in mind who he is and what he is doing all the time. It is easy to let our minds be filled with ideas from other people or ourselves.
  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed: His love will save us from evil. No matter how difficult our scenario appears to be, we will not be overtaken. 
  • His compassions never fail: He is with us and cares for us.
  • They are new every morning: God’s love and compassion are consistent. 
  • Great is your faithfulness: God’s faithfulness is stronger than our own or others around us. 

Jeremiah’s words give us hope today. In the midst of suffering—whether it is communal or personal—we need an anchor to hold on to when the storm seems to be pulling our boat out to sea. God is our anchor. We should cling to him. Let us keep His words in our mind, holding on to hope, filled with his love and admiring his faithfulness.


  1. How would you describe God’s character throughout this chapter?
  2. The ‘anchor’ of Jeremiah’s hope appears in verse 21. How is that anchor formed (v. 25-29)? Why is it important to know your faith before hardship comes?
  3. In the midst of suffering, what is something (a verse, a memory, a prayer) that keeps you going?

Did You Know?

Chapter 3 differs from the others through a literary device that Jeremiah uses called an acrostic poem. Each stanza begins with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and the verses within each stanza begin with the same letter. Even within the suffering, Jeremiah is reaching to bring beauty back into the city through his own poetry.

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4 thoughts on “Lamentations 3”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    While reading this chapter I was reminded of ANOTHER who was “given bitter herbs and gall to drink” and “offered his cheek to one who would strike him.” Unlike the sinful people reaping God’s vengeance, Christ was completely innocent and willingly chose to endure God’s wrath for the collective sin of mankind. He paid our debt we could NEVER pay. I wonder what Jeremiah would say to our generation? Today, I will remember the unfailing, never ending love & faithfulness of the Lord and fix my eyes on Him.

  2. Audrey Andrews

    Good morning ☀️

    I sat in Lam 3 for a while. Jeremiah is crushed and all around him is decay. His city, his people, what he could see is dying. He turns that inward and feels the weight of all of the trials. The turning point comes for him when he pauses and says, “yet!!! This I call to mind and therefore I have hope!!” (21)

    We must ready our minds because it unlocks the current circumstances to a future hope.

    I am reminded that when we are in trials, we must hold to the anchor of hope. Question 2: How is this anchor of hope formed? (25-29) Dependence, searching for Him, waiting quietly, submitting, be disciplined now, sitting alone, surrendering.

    James 1:2-6 oh that we do not doubt…Persevere!

  3. As we go through life there are reasons to lament. We can feel sorrow, grief, and anger, ect.. But we do not need to dwell in it. Tell God, he already knows but He can bare all those feelings with you and then give you His Love, His comfort, His wisdom and His compassion. Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. And also. 2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. God gives us His word and hopefully we are surrounded by like minded believers who come along side us to Love on each other during life!!

    Thank you God for for your love!!! Thank you for that amazing sunset last night that oh so BLESSED me and my people who watched it with me!! God I praise you, give you honor and glory. God thank you for your compassion and grace. I am soooooooo grateful thankful and blessed!!!! God let me be effervessing today of YOU!!! In Jesus name amen

  4. v. 22-26–Great is thy faithfulness! One of my favorite hymns and quotes from scripture. New mercies I see morning by morning! Praise to God for that promise!!! Oh, to wait upon the Lord! 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;,26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. I feel like I am professional ‘waiter’ in this season of my life (which I am not to speak of). But just this week I have been consoled by God, that my waiting is His will for my breakthrough. The reassurance when you seek God in times of trouble and uncertainty can be overwhelmingly hard, but just about the time I want to become frustrated–He sends His word to comfort me. He is always there in our waiting if we seek Him. It is so important to be watchful and be prepared in your waiting…if I have learned one thing it’s what you do–how you act–how you have faith–in your waiting that determines your breakthrough. God promises to always work things for good to those who love God. If you’re in a season of waiting, friend….don’t lose heart–God is working behind the scenes. Trust Him. Worship Him.

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