1 O God, pagan nations have conquered your land, your special possession. They have defiled your holy Temple and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins. 2 They have left the bodies of your servants as food for the birds of heaven. The flesh of your godly ones has become food for the wild animals. 3 Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem; no one is left to bury the dead. 4 We are mocked by our neighbors, an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you— on kingdoms that do not call upon your name. 7 For they have devoured your people Israel,[a] making the land a desolate wilderness. 8 Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors! Let your compassion quickly meet our needs, for we are on the brink of despair.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name. 10 Why should pagan nations be allowed to scoff, asking, “Where is their God?” Show us your vengeance against the nations, for they have spilled the blood of your servants. 11 Listen to the moaning of the prisoners. Demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.
12 O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times for the scorn they have hurled at you. 13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation.
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”
1 Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory 2 to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Show us your mighty power. Come to rescue us!
3 Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. 4 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, how long will you be angry with our prayers? 5 You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful. 6 You have made us the scorn[b] of neighboring nations. Our enemies treat us as a joke.
7 Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. 8 You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine; you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land. 9 You cleared the ground for us, and we took root and filled the land. 10 Our shade covered the mountains; our branches covered the mighty cedars. 11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea; our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.[c] 12 But now, why have you broken down our walls so that all who pass by may steal our fruit? 13 The wild boar from the forest devours it, and the wild animals feed on it.
14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Look down from heaven and see our plight. Take care of this grapevine 15 that you yourself have planted, this son you have raised for yourself. 16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies. May they perish at the sight of your frown. 17 Strengthen the man you love, the son of your choice. 18 Then we will never abandon you again. Revive us so we can call on your name once more.
19 Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.[d]
1 Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob. 2 Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. 3 Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival! 4 For this is required by the decrees of Israel; it is a regulation of the God of Jacob. 5 He made it a law for Israel[e] when he attacked Egypt to set us free.
I heard an unknown voice say, 6 “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. 7 You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude
8 “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me! 9 You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god. 10 For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
11 “But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. 12 So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. 13 Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! 14 How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! 15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him; they would be doomed forever. 16 But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”
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