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