An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.
A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of Asaph.
1O God, why have You rejected us forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance;
Remember Mount Zion, where You have dwelt.
Turn your footsteps [quickly] toward the perpetual ruins;
The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary.
In the midst of Your meeting place Your enemies have roared [with their battle cry];
They have set up their own emblems for signs [of victory].
It seems as if one had lifted up
An axe in a forest of trees [to set a record of destruction].
And now all the carved work [of the meeting place]
They smash with hatchets and hammers.
They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground;
They have profaned the dwelling place of Your [a]name.
They said in their heart, “Let us completely subdue them.”
They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
We do not see our symbols;
There is no longer any prophet [to guide us],
Nor does any among us know for how long.
O God, how long will the adversary scoff?
Is the enemy to revile Your name forever?
Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand [from judging the enemy]?
Remove Your hand from Your chest, destroy them!
Yet God is my King of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the earth.
You divided the [Red] Sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the [b]sea monsters in the waters.
You crushed the heads of [c]Leviathan (Egypt);
You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You broke open fountains and streams;
You dried up ever-flowing rivers.
The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have established and prepared the [heavenly] light and the sun.
You have defined and established all the borders of the earth [the divisions of land and sea and of the nations];
You have made summer and winter.
Remember this, O Lord, the enemy has scoffed,
And a foolish and impious people has spurned Your name.
Oh, do not hand over the soul of your turtledove to the wild beast;
Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever.
Consider the covenant [You made with Abraham],
For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
Let not the oppressed return dishonored;
Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.
Arise, O God, plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man scoffs at You all day long.
Do not forget the [clamoring] voices of Your adversaries,
The uproar of those who rise against You, which ascends continually [to Your ears].