A contemplation by Asaph.
1God, why have you rejected us forever?
Why does your anger smoulder against the sheep of your pasture?
2Remember your congregation, which you purchased of old,
which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your inheritance:
Mount Zion, in which you have lived.
3Lift up your feet to the perpetual ruins,
all the evil that the enemy has done in the sanctuary.
4Your adversaries have roared in the middle of your assembly.
They have set up their standards as signs.
5They behaved like men wielding axes,
cutting through a thicket of trees.
6Now they break all its carved work down with hatchet and hammers.
7They have burnt your sanctuary to the ground.
They have profaned the dwelling place of your Name.
8They said in their heart, “We will crush them completely.”
They have burnt up all the places in the land where God was worshipped.
9We see no miraculous signs.
There is no longer any prophet,
neither is there amongst us anyone who knows how long.
10How long, God, shall the adversary reproach?
Shall the enemy blaspheme your name forever?
11Why do you draw back your hand, even your right hand?
Take it from your chest and consume them!
12Yet God is my King of old,
working salvation throughout the earth.
13You divided the sea by your strength.
You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.
14You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces.
You gave him as food to people and desert creatures.
15You opened up spring and stream.
You dried up mighty rivers.
16The day is yours, the night is also yours.
You have prepared the light and the sun.
17You have set all the boundaries of the earth.
You have made summer and winter.
18Remember this, that the enemy has mocked you, Lord.
Foolish people have blasphemed your name.
19Don’t deliver the soul of your dove to wild beasts.
Don’t forget the life of your poor forever.
20Honour your covenant,
for haunts of violence fill the dark places of the earth.
21Don’t let the oppressed return ashamed.
Let the poor and needy praise your name.
22Arise, God! Plead your own cause.
Remember how the foolish man mocks you all day.
23Don’t forget the voice of your adversaries.
The tumult of those who rise up against you ascends continually.