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Psalm 74 The Voice (VOICE)

Psalm 74

A contemplative song[a] of Asaph.

This lament was written shortly after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586 b.c. Now in exile and separated from God, His city, and His land, the people of God experience pain that is palpable.

O True God, why have You turned Your back on us and abandoned us forever?
    Why is Your anger seething and Your wrath smoldering against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember the congregation of people You acquired long ago,
    the tribe which You redeemed to be Your very own.
    Remember Mount Zion, where You have chosen to live!
Come, direct Your attention to Your sanctuary;
    our enemy has demolished everything and left it in complete ruin.

Your enemies roared like lions in Your sacred chamber;
    they have claimed it with their own standards as signs.
They acted like lumberjacks swinging their axes
    to cut down a stand of trees.
They hacked up all the beautifully carved items,
    smashed them to splinters with their axes and hammers.
They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground;
    they have desecrated the place where Your holy name lived in honor;
They have plotted in their hearts, “We will crush them and bring them to their knees!”
    Then they scorched all of the places in the land where the True God met His people.

We no longer receive signs,
    there are no more prophets who remain,
    and not one of us knows how long this situation will last.
10 O True God, how much longer will the enemy mock us?
    Will this insult continue against You forever?
11 Why do You stand by and do nothing?
    Unleash Your power and finish them off!

12 Even so, the True God is my King from long ago,
    bringing salvation to His people throughout the land.
13 You have divided the sea with Your power;
    You shattered the skulls of the creatures of the sea;
14 You smashed the heads of Leviathan
    and fed his remains to the people of the desert.
15 You broke open the earth and springs burst forth and streams filled the crevices;
    You dried up the great rivers.
16 The day and the night are both Yours—
    You fashioned the sun, moon, and all the lights that pierce the darkness.
17 You have arranged the earth, set all its boundaries;
    You are the Architect of the seasons: summer and winter.

18 Eternal One, do not forget that the enemy has taunted You
    and a company of fools has rejected Your name.
19 We are Your precious turtledoves;
    don’t surrender our souls to the wild beasts.
    Do not forget the lives of Your poor, afflicted, and brokenhearted ones forever.

20 Be mindful of Your covenant with us,
    for the dark corners of the land are filled with pockets of violence.
21 Do not allow the persecuted to return without honor;
    may the poor, wounded, and needy sing praises to You;
    may they bring glory to Your name!
22 O True God, rise up and defend Your cause;
    remember how the foolish man insults You every hour of the day.
23 Do not forget the voices of Your enemies,
    the commotion and chaos of Your foes, which continually grow.

Footnotes:

  1. 74:title Hebrew, maskil
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 74 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 74

A maskil[a] of Asaph.

O God, why have you rejected us forever?
    Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
    the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed
    Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
    all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
    they set up their standards as signs.
They behaved like men wielding axes
    to cut through a thicket of trees.
They smashed all the carved paneling
    with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
    they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!”
    They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.

We are given no signs from God;
    no prophets are left,
    and none of us knows how long this will be.
10 How long will the enemy mock you, God?
    Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the sea by your power;
    you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
    how foolish people have reviled your name.
19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
    do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
    may the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;
    remember how fools mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries,
    the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 74:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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