A Song of Praise to God
1At that time people will sing this song in Judah:
We have a strong city.
God protects us with its strong walls and defenses.
2Open the gates,
and the good people will enter,
those who follow God.
3You, Lord, give true peace
to those who depend on you,
because they trust you.
4So, trust the Lord always,
because he is our Rock forever.
5He will destroy the proud city,
and he will punish the people living there.
He will bring that high city down to the ground
and throw it down into the dust.
6Then those who were hurt by the city will walk on its ruins;
those who were made poor by the city will trample it under their feet.
7The path of life is level for those who are right with God;
Lord, you make the way of life smooth for those people.
8But, Lord, we are waiting
for your way of justice.
Our souls want to remember
you and your name.
9My soul wants to be with you at night,
and my spirit wants to be with you at the dawn of every day.
When your way of justice comes to the land,
people of the world will learn the right way of living.
10Evil people will not learn to do good
even if you show them kindness.
They will continue doing evil, even if they live in a good world;
they never see the Lord’s greatness.
11Lord, you are ready to punish those people,
but they do not see that.
Show them your strong love for your people.
Then those who are evil will be ashamed.
Burn them in the fire
you have prepared for your enemies.
12Lord, all our success is because of what you have done,
so give us peace.
13Lord, our God, other masters besides you have ruled us,
but we honor only you.
14Those masters are now dead;
their ghosts will not rise from death.
You punished and destroyed them
and erased any memory of them.
15Lord, you multiplied the number of your people;
you multiplied them and brought honor to yourself.
You made the borders of the land wide.
16Lord, people remember you when they are in trouble;
they say quiet prayers to you when you punish them.
17Lord, when we are with you,
we are like a woman giving birth to a baby;
she cries and has pain from the birth.
18In the same way, we had pain.
We gave birth, but only to wind.
We don’t bring salvation to the land
or make new people for the world.
19Your people have died, but they will live again;
their bodies will rise from death.
You who lie in the ground,
wake up and be happy!
The dew covering you is like the dew of a new day;
the ground will give birth to the dead.
Judgment: Reward or Punishment
20My people, go into your rooms
and shut your doors behind you.
Hide in your rooms for a short time
until God’s anger is finished.
21The Lord will leave his place
to punish the people of the world for their sins.
The earth will show the blood of the people who have been killed;
it will not cover the dead any longer.