1 The Lord, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from where the sun rises to where it sets. 2 From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance. 3 Our God approaches, and he is not silent. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him. 4 He calls on the heavens above and earth below to witness the judgment of his people. 5 “Bring my faithful people to me— those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.” 6 Then let the heavens proclaim his justice, for God himself will be the judge. Interlude
7 “O my people, listen as I speak. Here are my charges against you, O Israel: I am God, your God! 8 I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly offer. 9 But I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens. 10 For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it. 13 Do I eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats? 14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. 15 Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
16 But God says to the wicked: “Why bother reciting my decrees and pretending to obey my covenant? 17 For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash. 18 When you see thieves, you approve of them, and you spend your time with adulterers. 19 Your mouth is filled with wickedness, and your tongue is full of lies. 20 You sit around and slander your brother— your own mother’s son. 21 While you did all this, I remained silent, and you thought I didn’t care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all my charges against you. 22 Repent, all of you who forget me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you. 23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. 2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. 6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. 7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. 10 And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. 11 “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” 12 Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? 14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.
15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. 20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
1 O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture? 2 Remember that we are the people you chose long ago, the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession! And remember Jerusalem,[b] your home here on earth. 3 Walk through the awful ruins of the city; see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.
4 There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries; there they set up their battle standards. 5 They swung their axes like woodcutters in a forest. 6 With axes and picks, they smashed the carved paneling. 7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground. They defiled the place that bears your name. 8 Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!” So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.
9 We no longer see your miraculous signs. All the prophets are gone, and no one can tell us when it will end. 10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you? Will you let them dishonor your name forever? 11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand? Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.
12 You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. 13 You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan[c] and let the desert animals eat him. 15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. 16 Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight[d] and the sun. 17 You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.
18 See how these enemies insult you, Lord. A foolish nation has dishonored your name. 19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves. Don’t forget your suffering people forever.
20 Remember your covenant promises, for the land is full of darkness and violence! 21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again. Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause. Remember how these fools insult you all day long. 23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said or their growing uproar.
74:TitleHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
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