Psalms  ◦   Chapter 44

1We have heard the stories with our own ears, O God,
for our ancestors have told us
of the amazing feats you performed in their days —
in days long ago:

2how by your therapeutic intervention
you removed the nations that were beyond healing
and established our ancestors as your helpers;
how you cut off the necrotic nations
and nurtured our ancestors.

3Your helpers didn’t take the land by their weapons —
it wasn’t their strong army that gave them victory:
it was your power and your will
and the fires of truth and love shining from you,
for you fulfilled your pleasure through them.

4You are my king and my God;
Provide for the healing of those who prevail in union with you.

5Only by your power of truth and love
can we push back our selfish and hateful enemies;
only by your character of love can we rise above our foes.

6I have no faith in guns,
and knives will not heal me;

7but you heal our hearts from the attacks of the enemy —
those without love who are consumed by shame.

8O God, we always give you the credit
and will praise your character and methods of love forever.

9You have rejected our self-sufficiency and you humbled us;
we marched to war in our own strength, and you let us go.

10We return to you from the enemy —
from the selfish and hateful who seek to exploit us.

11You let us go, but we were like sheep ready to be slaughtered
and have been scattered among the nations.

12We sold ourselves for nothing
and gained nothing from the sale.

13We disgraced ourselves to our neighbors,
and they mock, ridicule and scorn us.

14We have made ourselves a joke to the nations;
people shake their heads in disgust.

15I can’t escape the constant humiliation;
shame is written all over my face.

16All I hear are the taunts and mocking from those who hate me —
those enemies bent on revenge.

17All this happened to us
even though not all of us rejected or betrayed you.

18Not all of us have been disloyal to you;
not all of us have walked away from your plan.

19But you allowed the dragon to crush us
and the shadow of death to wash over us.

20If we had rejected the character and methods of our Creator God
and given our loyalty and devotion to a false god,

21you would know it,
since you know the hidden secrets of the heart.

22It is for the outworking of your healing plan that we face death every day;
we are treated as sheep led to the slaughter.

23Rise up, O Lord! How long will you wait to act?
Take action! Do not leave us to our own way forever!

24Why do you wait?
Why do you leave us in our misery and suffering?

25We can’t do it on our own — we humble ourselves in the dust;
we are worn out, with faces in the dirt.

26Rise up and help us;
heal us because of your unfailing love.