An Asaph Psalm
79 1-4 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!