Psalms  ◦   Chapter 74

1What happened, O God, that you left us to our own devices?
It seems like you have been gone forever!
Are you angry with your chosen helpers?

2Remember the people you chose long ago —
whom you freed from slavery to be the conduit of your remedy —
and Mount Zion, where you once dwelt.

3Run and see the totality of the destruction,
all the damage the enemy has done to your sanctuary.

4In the heart of your temple, your foes roared their defiance of your ways;
they set up their standards where yours should be kept.

5They wielded their axes like lumberjacks,
as if they were cutting down a forest of trees.

6All the wood paneling they demolished
with their axes and crowbars.

7They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrated your tabernacle, tearing it down to the ground.

8They said to themselves, "We will beat them into total submission!"
They burned down every place where God was worshipped.

9We saw no sign from heaven;
none of your spokespersons are left,
and no one knows how long this will last.

10How long, O God, will the enemy ridicule and mock you?
Will the adversary despise your character of love forever?

11Why do you tie your hands; why do you hold back your power?
Let loose your power, and the enemy will be destroyed!

12But you, O Creator God, are my eternal king;
by overthrowing death, you bring life to the earth.

13You parted the sea by your mighty power;
in the midst of turmoil that raged like angry seas, you smashed the dragon’s head.

14It was you who crushed the head of the great serpent,
leaving the meat of his lies, fear and selfishness
for those who chose death in the desert.

15You broke open the streams of life-giving water;
you made the river a dry road to a new land.

16You created both the day and the night;
you put the sun and moon in their place.

17You designed and built earth, establishing all the parameters for life;
you created time with its changing seasons.

18Remember, O Creator God, how the enemy demeans you,
how the foolish revile your character of love and your design law for life.

19Do not leave your helpless children, like doves, to the beastly;
do not let your suffering helpers forget you forever.

20Focus on your promised remedy,
because the earth is sick: every corner is filled with darkness and violence.

21Don’t bring the afflicted home in disgrace;
may the humble who know their need
come home radiating your glorious character of love.

22Rise up, O God, and advance your remedy of truth and love;
remember how the foolish ridicule you all day long.

23Do not let the lies of your enemies go unanswered —
the constant roar of their false allegations which arise continually.