An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.
A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of Asaph.
74 O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? 2 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. 3 Turn your footsteps [quickly] toward the perpetual ruins; The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary. 4 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]. 5 It seems as if one had lifted up An axe in a forest of trees [to set a record of destruction]. 6 And now all the carved work [of the meeting place] They smash with hatchets and hammers. 7 They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground; They have profaned the dwelling place of Your [a]name. 8 They said in their heart, “Let us completely subdue them.” They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land. 9 We do not see our symbols; There is no longer any prophet [to guide us], Nor does any among us know for how long. 10 O God, how long will the adversary scoff? Is the enemy to revile Your name forever? 11 Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand [from judging the enemy]? Remove Your hand from Your chest, destroy them!
12 Yet God is my King of old, Working salvation in the midst of the earth. 13 You divided the [Red] Sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the [b]sea monsters in the waters. 14 You crushed the heads of [c]Leviathan (Egypt); You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. 15 You broke open fountains and streams; You dried up ever-flowing rivers. 16 The day is Yours, the night also is Yours; You have established and prepared the [heavenly] light and the sun. 17 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.
18 Remember this, O Lord, the enemy has scoffed, And a foolish and impious people has spurned Your name. 19 Oh, do not hand over the soul of your turtledove to the wild beast; Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever. 20 Consider the covenant [You made with Abraham], For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. 21 Let not the oppressed return dishonored; Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.
22 Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man scoffs at You all day long. 23 Do not forget the [clamoring] voices of Your adversaries, The uproar of those who rise against You, which ascends continually [to Your ears].