Plea for Help in Time of National Humiliation
A Maskil of Asaph.
1O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?2Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.3Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.
4Your foes have roared within your holy place;
they set up their emblems there.5At the upper entrance they hacked
the wooden trellis with axes.6And then, with hatchets and hammers,
they smashed all its carved work.7They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
bringing it to the ground.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 emblems;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is no one among us who knows how long.10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?11Why do you hold back your hand;
why do you keep your hand in your bosom?
12Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the earth.13You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.14You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.15You cut openings for springs and torrents;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.16Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the luminaries and the sun.17You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
you made summer and winter.
18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and an impious people reviles your name.19Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
do not forget the life of your poor forever.
20Have regard for your covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.21Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.22Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.23Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.