Plea for Help in Time of National Humiliation
A Maskil of Asaph.
1O God, why dost thou cast us off for ever?
Why does thy anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
2Remember thy congregation, which thou hast gotten of old,
which thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of thy heritage!
Remember Mount Zion, where thou hast dwelt.
3Direct thy steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!
4Thy foes have roared in the midst of thy holy place;
they set up their own signs for signs.
5At the upper entrance they hacked
the wooden trellis with axes.a
6And then all its carved wood
they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
7They set thy sanctuary on fire;
to the ground they desecrated the dwelling place of thy name.
8They said to themselves, "We will utterly subdue them";
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9We do not see our signs;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is none among us who knows how long.
10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile thy name for ever?
11Why dost thou hold back thy hand,
why dost thou keep thy right hand inb thy bosom?
12Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13Thou didst divide the sea by thy might;
thou didst break the heads of the dragons on the waters.
14Thou didst crush the heads of Leviathan,
thou didst give him as foodc for the creatures of the wilderness.
15Thou didst cleave open springs and brooks;
thou didst dry up ever-flowing streams.
16Thine is the day, thine also the night;
thou hast established the luminaries and the sun.
17Thou hast fixed all the bounds of the earth;
thou hast made summer and winter.
18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and an impious people reviles thy name.
19Do not deliver the soul of thy dove to the wild beasts;
do not forget the life of thy poor for ever.
20Have regard for thyd covenant;
for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21Let not the downtrodden be put to shame;
let the poor and needy praise thy name.
22Arise, O God, plead thy cause;
remember how the impious scoff at thee all the day!
23Do not forget the clamor of thy foes,
the uproar of thy adversaries which goes up continually!