New International Version

Psalm 79

Psalm 79

A psalm of Asaph.

O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
    they have defiled your holy temple,
    they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
They have left the dead bodies of your servants
    as food for the birds of the sky,
    the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
They have poured out blood like water
    all around Jerusalem,
    and there is no one to bury the dead.
We are objects of contempt to our neighbors,
    of scorn and derision to those around us.

How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever?
    How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations
    that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
    that do not call on your name;
for they have devoured Jacob
    and devastated his homeland.

Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
    may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
    for we are in desperate need.
Help us, God our Savior,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
    for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”

Before our eyes, make known among the nations
    that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.
11 May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
    with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.
12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times
    the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
    will praise you forever;
from generation to generation
    we will proclaim your praise.

The Message

Psalm 79

An Asaph Psalm

11-4 God! Barbarians have broken into your home,
    violated your holy temple,
    left Jerusalem a pile of rubble!
They’ve served up the corpses of your servants
    as carrion food for birds of prey,
Threw the bones of your holy people
    out to the wild animals to gnaw on.
They dumped out their blood
    like buckets of water.
All around Jerusalem, their bodies
    were left to rot, unburied.
We’re nothing but a joke to our neighbors,
    graffiti scrawled on the city walls.

5-7 How long do we have to put up with this, God?
    Do you have it in for us for good?
    Will your smoldering rage never cool down?
If you’re going to be angry, be angry
    with the pagans who care nothing about you,
    or your rival kingdoms who ignore you.
They’re the ones who ruined Jacob,
    who wrecked and looted the place where he lived.

8-10 Don’t blame us for the sins of our parents.
    Hurry up and help us; we’re at the end of our rope.
You’re famous for helping; God, give us a break.
    Your reputation is on the line.
Pull us out of this mess, forgive us our sins—
    do what you’re famous for doing!
Don’t let the heathen get by with their sneers:
    “Where’s your God? Is he out to lunch?”
Go public and show the godless world
    that they can’t kill your servants and get by with it.

11-13 Give groaning prisoners a hearing;
    pardon those on death row from their doom—you can do it!
Give our jeering neighbors what they’ve got coming to them;
    let their God-taunts boomerang and knock them flat.
Then we, your people, the ones you love and care for,
    will thank you over and over and over.
We’ll tell everyone we meet
    how wonderful you are, how praiseworthy you are!