A maskil# of Asaph.
1O God, why have you rejected us for ever?
Why does your anger smoulder against the sheep of your pasture?
2Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed –
Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
3Turn your steps towards these everlasting ruins,
all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.
4Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
they set up their standards as signs.
5They behaved like men wielding axes
to cut through a thicket of trees.
6They smashed all the carved panelling
with their axes and hatchets.
7They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name.
8They said in their hearts, ‘We will crush them completely!’
They burned every place where God was worshipped in the land.
9We are given no signs from God;
no prophets are left,
and none of us knows how long this will be.
10How long will the enemy mock you, God?
Will the foe revile your name for ever?
11Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!
12But God is my King from long ago;
he brings salvation on the earth.
13It was you who split open the sea by your power;
you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15It was you who opened up springs and streams;
you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16The day is yours, and yours also the night;
you established the sun and moon.
17It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
you made both summer and winter.
18Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
how foolish people have reviled your name.
19Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
do not forget the lives of your afflicted people for ever.
20Have regard for your covenant,
because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
may the poor and needy praise your name.
22Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;
remember how fools mock you all day long.
23Do not ignore the clamour of your adversaries,
the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.