Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9 — Psalm 44

National lament

For the choirmaster, of the sons of Korach, psalm.

God, we have heard with our own ears,
our ancestors have told us
of the deeds You performed in their days,
in days long ago, by Your hand.

To put them in the land You dispossessed the nations,
You harried the peoples to make room for them;
it was not by their swords they won the land,
it was not by their arms they gained the victory:
it was Your right hand, Your arm
and the light of Your face—because You loved them.

You it was, my King, my God,
who won those victories for Jacob;
through You we trampled down our enemies,
through Your name we subdued our aggressors.

My trust was not in my bow,
my sword did not gain me victory:
we conquered our enemies through You,
You, who defeated all who hated us—
our boast was always of God,
we praised Your name without ceasing.

Yet now You abandon and scorn us,
You no longer march with our armies,
You allow the enemy to push us back,
and let those who hate us raid us when it suits them.

You let us go to the slaughterhouse like sheep,
You scatter us among the nations;
You sell Your people for next to nothing,
and make no profit from the bargain.

Thanks to You, our neighbors insult us,
all those around us make us their butt and laughingstock;
You make us a byword to pagans,
a thing to make them toss their heathen heads.

All day long I brood on this disgrace,
my face covered in shame,
under a shower of insult and blasphemy,
a display of hatred and revenge.

All this happened to us though we had not forgotten You,
though we had not been disloyal to Your covenant;
though our hearts had not turned away,
though our steps had not left Your path:
yet You crushed us in the place where jackals live,
and threw the shadow of death over us.

Had we forgotten the name of our own God
and stretched out our hands to a foreign one,
would not God have found this out,
He who knows the secrets of the heart?
No, it is for Your sake we are being massacred daily,
and counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Wake up, Lord! Why are You asleep?
Awake! Do not abandon us for good.
Why do You hide Your face,
and forget that we are wretched and exploited?

For we are bowed in the dust,
our bodies crushed to the ground.
Rise! Come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of Your love.

Next… Psalm 45

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