A maskil of Asaph.
1 God, why have you turned your back on us for so long?
Why are you so angry with us? We are your very own sheep.
2 Remember the nation that you chose as your own so long ago.
Remember that you set us free from slavery to be your very own people.
Remember Mount Zion, where you lived.
3 Walk through this place that has been torn down beyond repair.
See how completely your enemies have destroyed the temple!
4 In the place where you used to meet with us,
your enemies have shouted, “We’ve won the battle!”
They have set up their flags to show they have beaten us.
5 They acted like people cutting down a forest with axes.
6 They smashed all the beautiful wooden walls
with their axes and hatchets.
7 They burned your temple to the ground.
They polluted the place where your Name is.
8 They had said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!”
They burned every place where you were worshiped in the land.
9 We don’t get signs from God anymore.
There aren’t any prophets left.
None of us knows how long that will last.
10 God, how long will your enemies make fun of you?
Will they attack you with their words forever?
11 Why don’t you help us? Why do you hold back your power?
Use your strong power to destroy your enemies!
12 God, you have been my king for a long time.
You are the only God who can save anyone on earth.
13 You parted the waters of the Red Sea by your power.
You broke the heads of that sea monster in Egypt.
14 You crushed the heads of the sea monster Leviathan.
You fed it to the creatures of the desert.
15 You opened up streams and springs.
You dried up rivers that flow all year long.
16 You rule over the day and the night.
You created the sun and the moon.
17 You decided where the borders of the earth would be.
You made both summer and winter.
18 Lord, remember how your enemies have made fun of you.
Remember how foolish people have attacked you with their words.
19 Don’t hand over Israel, your dove, to those wild animals.
Don’t forget your suffering people forever.
20 Honor the covenant you made with us.
Horrible things are happening in every dark corner of the land.
21 Don’t let your suffering people be put to shame.
May those who are poor and needy praise you.
22 God, rise up. Stand up for your cause.
Remember how foolish people make fun of you all day long.
23 Pay close attention to the shouts of your enemies.
The trouble they cause never stops.
An Asaph Psalm
1You walked off and left us, and never looked back.
God, how could you do that?
We’re your very own sheep;
how can you stomp off in anger?
2-3 Refresh your memory of us—you bought us a long time ago.
Your most precious tribe—you paid a good price for us!
Your very own Mount Zion—you actually lived here once!
Come and visit the site of disaster,
see how they’ve wrecked the sanctuary.
4-8 While your people were at worship, your enemies barged in,
brawling and scrawling graffiti.
They set fire to the porch;
axes swinging, they chopped up the woodwork,
Beat down the doors with sledgehammers,
then split them into kindling.
They burned your holy place to the ground,
violated the place of worship.
They said to themselves, “We’ll wipe them all out,”
and burned down all the places of worship.
9-17 There’s not a sign or symbol of God in sight,
nor anyone to speak in his name,
no one who knows what’s going on.
How long, God, will barbarians blaspheme,
enemies curse and get by with it?
Why don’t you do something? How long are you going
to sit there with your hands folded in your lap?
God is my King from the very start;
he works salvation in the womb of the earth.
With one blow you split the sea in two,
you made mincemeat of the dragon Tannin.
You lopped off the heads of Leviathan,
then served them up in a stew for the animals.
With your finger you opened up springs and creeks,
and dried up the wild floodwaters.
You own the day, you own the night;
you put stars and sun in place.
You laid out the four corners of earth,
shaped the seasons of summer and winter.
18-21 Mark and remember, God, all the enemy
taunts, each idiot desecration.
Don’t throw your lambs to the wolves;
after all we’ve been through, don’t forget us.
Remember your promises;
the city is in darkness, the countryside violent.
Don’t leave the victims to rot in the street;
make them a choir that sings your praises.
22-23 On your feet, O God—
stand up for yourself!
Do you hear what they’re saying about you,
all the vile obscenities?
Don’t tune out their malicious filth,
the brawling invective that never lets up.