1 O God, why have you rejected us for ever?
Why does your anger smoulder against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed –
Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
3 Turn your steps towards these everlasting ruins,
all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.
4 Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
they set up their standards as signs.
5 They behaved like men wielding axes
to cut through a thicket of trees.
6 They smashed all the carved panelling
with their axes and hatchets.
7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name.
8 They said in their hearts, ‘We will crush them completely!’
They burned every place where God was worshipped in the land.
9 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 for ever?
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 for ever.
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 clamour of your adversaries,
the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.
1 We praise you, God,
we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 You say, ‘I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge with equity.
3 When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.[c]
4 To the arrogant I say, “Boast no more,”
and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horns.[d]
5 Do not lift your horns against heaven;
do not speak so defiantly.”’
6 No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges:
he brings one down, he exalts another.
8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup
full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
drink it down to its very dregs.
9 As for me, I will declare this for ever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob,
10 who says, ‘I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.’
1 God is renowned in Judah;
in Israel his name is great.
2 His tent is in Salem,
his dwelling-place in Zion.
3 There he broke the flashing arrows,
the shields and the swords, the weapons of war.[f]
4 You are radiant with light,
more majestic than mountains rich with game.
5 The valiant lie plundered,
they sleep their last sleep;
not one of the warriors
can lift his hands.
6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob,
both horse and chariot lie still.
7 It is you alone who are to be feared.
Who can stand before you when you are angry?
8 From heaven you pronounced judgment,
and the land feared and was quiet –
9 when you, God, rose up to judge,
to save all the afflicted of the land.
10 Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise,
and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.[g]
11 Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfil them;
let all the neighbouring lands
bring gifts to the One to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of rulers;
he is feared by the kings of the earth.
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’[a] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19 One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”’[b] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory – 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea:
‘I will call them “my people” who are not my people;
and I will call her “my loved one” who is not my loved one,’[c]
‘In the very place where it was said to them,
“You are not my people,”
there they will be called “children of the living God.”’[d]
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:
‘Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
only the remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out
his sentence on earth with speed and finality.’[e]
29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:
‘Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.’[f]
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone.’ 33 As it is written:
‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.’[g]