An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.
A Maskil of Asaph.
O God, why have You rejected us
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance; And
this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt.
Turn Your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins;
The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary.
Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place;
They have set up their own standards for signs.
It seems as if one had lifted up His
axe in a forest of trees.
And now all its carved work
They smash with hatchet and hammers.
They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground;
They have defiled the dwelling place of Your name.
They said in their heart, Let us completely subdue them.
They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
We do not see our signs;
There is no longer any prophet,
Nor is there any among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, will the adversary revile, And
the enemy spurn Your name forever?
Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?
From within Your bosom, destroy them!
Yet God is my king from of old,
Who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth.
You divided the sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You broke open springs and torrents;
You dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, Yours also is the night;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
You have established all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
Remember this, O LORD
, that the enemy has reviled,
And a foolish people has spurned Your name.
Do not deliver the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast;
Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever.
Consider the covenant;
For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
Let not the oppressed return dishonored;
Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.
Arise, O God, and
plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long.
Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries,
The uproar of those who rise against You which ascends continually.