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(A special psalm by Asaph.)

A Prayer for the Nation in Times of Trouble

74 Our God, why have you
    completely rejected us?
    Why are you so angry
    with the ones you care for?
Remember the people
    you rescued long ago,
    the tribe you chose
    to be your very own.

Think of Mount Zion,
    your home;
walk over to the temple
left in ruins forever
    by those who hate us.

Your enemies roared like lions
    in your holy temple,
    and they have placed
    their banners there.
It looks like a forest
    chopped to pieces.[a]
They used axes and hatchets
    to smash the carvings.
    They burned down your temple
    and badly disgraced it.
They said to themselves,
    “We’ll crush them!”
Then they burned every one
of your meeting places
    all over the country.
There are no more miracles
    and no more prophets.
    Who knows how long
    it will be like this?

10 Our God, how much longer
    will our enemies sneer?
    Won’t they ever stop
    insulting you?
11 Why don’t you punish them?
    Why are you holding back?

12 Our God and King,
you have ruled
    since ancient times;
    you have won victories
    everywhere on this earth.
13 By your power you made a path
    through the sea,
    and you smashed the heads
    of sea monsters.
14 You crushed the heads
    of the monster Leviathan,[b]
    then fed him to wild creatures
    in the desert.
15 You opened the ground
for streams and springs
    and dried up mighty rivers.
16 You rule the day and the night,
    and you put the moon
    and the sun in place.
17 You made summer and winter
    and gave them to the earth.[c]

18 Remember your enemies, Lord!
    They foolishly sneer
    and won’t respect you.
19 You treat us like pet doves,
    but they mistreat us.
Don’t keep forgetting us
    and letting us be fed
    to those wild animals.
20 Remember the agreement
    you made with us.
Violent enemies are hiding
    in every dark corner
    of the earth.
21 Don’t disappoint those in need
    or make them turn from you,
    but help the poor and homeless
    to shout your praises.
22 Do something, God!
    Defend yourself.
Remember how those fools
    sneer at you all day long.
23     Don’t forget the loud shouts
    of your enemies.

(A psalm and a song by Asaph for the music leader. To the tune “Don’t Destroy.”[d])

Praise God for All He Has Done

75 Our God, we thank you
    for being so near to us!
    Everyone celebrates
    your wonderful deeds.

You have set a time
    to judge with fairness.
The earth trembles,
    and its people shake;
    you alone keep
    its foundations firm.
You tell every bragger,
    “Stop bragging!”
And to the wicked you say,
    “Don’t boast of your power!
    Stop bragging! Quit telling me
    how great you are.”

Our Lord and our God,
    victory doesn’t come
    from the east or the west
    or from the desert.
You are the one who judges.
    You can take away power
    and give it to others.
You hold in your hand
a cup filled with wine,[e]
    strong and foaming.
You will pour out some
for every sinful person
    on this earth,
    and they will have to drink
    until it is gone.
But I will always tell about
you, the God of Jacob,
    and I will sing your praise.

10 Our Lord, you will destroy
    the power of evil people,
    but you will give strength
    to those who are good.

(A song and a psalm for the music leader. Use stringed instruments.)

God Always Wins

76 You, our God,
are famous in Judah
    and honored in Israel.
Your home is on Mount Zion
    in the city of peace.
There you destroyed
fiery arrows, shields, swords,
    and all the other weapons.

You are more glorious than
    the eternal mountains.[f]
Brave warriors were robbed
    of what they had taken,
    and now they lie dead,
    unable to lift an arm.
God of Jacob, when you roar,
    enemy chariots and horses
    drop dead in their tracks.

Our God, you are fearsome,
    and no one can oppose you
    when you are angry.
From heaven you announced
    your decisions as judge!
And all who live on this earth
    were terrified and silent
    when you took over as judge,
    ready to rescue
    everyone in need.
10 Even the most angry people
will praise you
    when you are furious.[g]

11 Everyone, make your promises
to the Lord your God
    and do what you promise.
The Lord is fearsome,
    and all of his servants
    should bring him gifts.
12 God destroys the courage
of rulers and kings
    and makes cowards of them.

(A psalm by Asaph for Jeduthun, the music leader.)

In Times of Trouble God Is with His People

77 I pray to you, Lord God,
    and I beg you to listen.
    In days filled with trouble,
    I search for you.
And at night I tirelessly
lift my hands in prayer,
    refusing comfort.
When I think of you,
    I feel restless and weak.

Because of you, Lord God,
    I can’t sleep.
I am restless
    and can’t even talk.
    I think of times gone by,
    of those years long ago.
Each night my mind
    is flooded with questions:[h]
“Have you rejected me forever?
    Won’t you be kind again?
Is this the end of your love
    and your promises?
Have you forgotten
    how to have pity?
    Do you refuse to show mercy
    because of your anger?”
10 Then I said, “God Most High,
    what hurts me most
    is that you no longer help us
    with your mighty arm.”

11 Our Lord, I will remember
the things you have done,
    your miracles of long ago.
12 I will think about each one
    of your mighty deeds.
13 Everything you do is right,
    and no other god
    compares with you.
14 You alone work miracles,
    and you have let nations
    see your mighty power.
15 With your own arm you rescued
your people,
    the descendants
    of Jacob and Joseph.

16 The ocean looked at you, God,
    and it trembled deep down
    with fear.
17 Water flowed from the clouds.
    Thunder was heard above
    as your arrows of lightning
    flashed about.
18 Your thunder roared
    like chariot wheels.
The world was made bright
by lightning,
    and all the earth trembled.

19 You walked through the water
    of the mighty sea,
    but your footprints
    were never seen.
20 You guided your people
    like a flock of sheep,
    and you chose Moses and Aaron
    to be their leaders.

Footnotes

  1. 74.5 pieces: One meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 5.
  2. 74.14 Leviathan: God’s victory over this monster sometimes stands for his power over all creation and sometimes for his defeat of Egypt.
  3. 74.17 gave. . . earth: Or “made boundaries for the earth.”
  4. Psalm 75 Don’t Destroy: See the note at Psalm 57.
  5. 75.8 a cup. . . wine: In the Old Testament “a cup filled with wine” sometimes stands for God’s anger.
  6. 76.4 the eternal mountains: One ancient translation; Hebrew “the mountains of victims (of wild animals).”
  7. 76.10 furious: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  8. 77.6 my mind. . . questions: One ancient translation; Hebrew “I remember my music.”

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