Psalms 74
(A special psalm by Asaph.)
A prayer for the nation in times of trouble
1Our God, why have you
completely rejected us?
Why are you so angry
with the ones you care for?
2Remember the people
you rescued long ago,
the tribe you chose
to be your very own.
Think of Mount Zion,
your home;
3walk over to the temple
left in ruins for ever
by those who hate us.
4Your enemies roared like lions
in your holy temple,
and they have placed
their banners there.
5It looks like a forest
chopped to pieces.#74.5 pieces: One meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 5.
6They used axes and hatchets
to smash the carvings.
7They burnt down your temple
and badly disgraced it.
8They said to themselves,
“We'll crush them!”
Then they burnt every one
of your meeting places
all over the country.
9There are no more miracles
and no more prophets.
Who knows how long
it will be like this?
10Our God, how much longer
will our enemies sneer?
Won't they ever stop
insulting you?
11Why don't you punish them?
Why are you holding back?
12Our God and King,
you have ruled
since ancient times;
you have won victories
everywhere on this earth.
13By your power you made a path#Ex 14.21.
through the sea,
and you smashed the heads
of sea monsters.
14You crushed the heads#Job 41.1; Ps 104.26; Is 27.1.
of the monster Leviathan,#74.14 Leviathan: God's victory over this monster sometimes stands for his power over all creation and sometimes for his defeat of Egypt.
then fed him to wild creatures
in the desert.
15You opened the ground
for streams and springs
and dried up mighty rivers.
16You rule the day and the night,
and you put the moon
and the sun in place.
17You made summer and winter
and gave them to the earth.#74.17 gave…earth: Or “made boundaries for the earth”.
18Remember your enemies, LORD!
They foolishly sneer
and won't respect you.
19You treat us like pet doves,
but they ill-treat us.
Don't keep forgetting us
and letting us be fed
to those wild animals.
20Remember the agreement
you made with us.
Violent enemies are hiding
in every dark corner
of the earth.
21Don't disappoint those in need
or make them turn from you,
but help the poor and homeless
to shout your praises.
22Do something, God!
Defend yourself.
Remember how those fools
sneer at you all day long.
23Don't forget the loud shouts
of your enemies.