To the Director: An instruction[a] of the Sons of Korah.
A Prayer in Times of Defeat
44 God, we heard it with our ears; our ancestors told us about what you did in their day— a long time ago. 2 With your hand you expelled the nations and established our ancestors.[b] You afflicted nations and cast them out. 3 It was not with their sword that they inherited the land, nor did their own arm deliver them. But it was by your power,[c] your strength, and by the light of your face; because you were pleased with them.
4 You are my king, God, command[d] victories[e] for Jacob. 5 Through you we will knock down our oppressors; through your name we will tread down those who rise up against us.
6 For I place no confidence in my bow, nor will my sword deliver me. 7 For you delivered us from our oppressors and put to shame those who hate us. 8 We will praise God all day long; and to your name we will give thanks forever. Interlude
9 However, you cast us off and made us ashamed! You did not even march with our armies! 10 You made us retreat from our oppressors. Our enemies ransacked us. 11 You handed us over to be slaughtered like sheep and you scattered us among the nations. 12 You sold out your people for nothing, and made no profit at that price. 13 You made us a laughing stock to our neighbors, a source of mockery and derision to those around us. 14 You made us an object lesson among the nations; people shake their heads at us.[f]
15 My dishonor tortures[g] me continuously;[h] the shame on my face overwhelms[i] me 16 because of the voice of the one who mocks and reviles, because of the enemy and the avenger.
17 All this came upon us, yet we did not forsake you, and we have not dealt falsely with your covenant; 18 Our hearts have not turned away; our steps have not swerved from your path. 19 Nevertheless, you crushed us in the lair of jackals, and covered us in deep darkness.[j]
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or lifted our hands to a foreign god, 21 wouldn’t God find out since he knows the secrets of the heart? 22 For your sake we are being killed all day long. We are thought of as sheep to be slaughtered.
23 Wake up! Why are you asleep, Lord? Get up! Don’t cast us off forever! 24 Why are you hiding your face? Why are you ignoring our affliction and oppression? 25 For we[k] have collapsed in the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. 26 Arise! Deliver us! Redeem us according to your gracious love!
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