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Psalms 74

We Need You Now
Asaph’s poem of instruction
1Are you really going to leave us, God?
Would you turn your back on us, rejecting your people?
We are yours, your very own. # 74:1 Or “the sheep of your pasture.”
Will your anger smolder against us forever?
2Don’t forget that we are your beloved ones.
Wrap us back into your heart again, for you chose us.
You brought us out of our slavery and bondage
and made us your favored ones, your Zion-people,
your home on earth.
3Turn your steps toward this devastation.
Come running to bring your restoring grace to these ruins, # 74:3 This verse reads differently in the Aramaic: “Lift up your servants with your might above those who take them captive, for those who oppress us are enemies to your holiness.”
to what the enemy has done to devastate your Holy Place.
4They have come into the very midst of your dwelling place,
roaring like beasts, setting up their banners to flaunt their conquest.
5Now everything is in shambles! They’ve totally destroyed it.
Like a forest chopped down to the ground,
there’s nothing left.
6All of the beauty of the craftsmanship
of the inner place has been ruined,
smashed, broken, and shattered. # 74:6 This psalm describes physical destruction as well as what the enemy of our souls has done spiritually to mar the image of God in the “inner place” of man’s spirit. God will fully restore all things, including his image within us, as our hearts become his Holy Place on the earth.
7They’ve burned it all to the ground.
They’ve violated your sanctuary,
the very dwelling place of your glory and your name.
8They boasted, “Let’s completely crush them!
Let’s wipe out every trace of this God.
Let’s burn up every sacred place where they worship this God.”
9We don’t see any miraculous signs anymore.
There’s no longer a prophet among us
who can tell us how long this devastation will continue.
10God, how much longer will you let this go on
and allow these barbarians to blaspheme your name?
Will you stand back and watch them get away with this forever?
11Why don’t you do something?
You have the power to break in,
so why would you hide your great power from us?
Don’t hold back! Unleash your might and give them a final blow.
12You have always been, and always will be, my King.
You are the mighty conqueror, working wonders all over the world.
13It was you who split the sea in two by your glorious strength.
You smashed the power of Tannin, the sea monster.
14You crushed the might of Leviathan, # 74:14 Leviathan is mentioned six times in Job 41. Leviathan means “twisted” or “coiled” and is considered to be a sea monster. See Gen. 1:21. the great dragon,
then you took the crumbs and fed them to the sharks.
15With your glory you opened up springs and fountains,
then you spoke, and the ever-flowing springs of Jordan
dried up so we could cross over.
16You own the day and the night.
Sunlight and starlight call you Creator.
17The four corners of the earth were formed by your hands,
and every changing season owes its beauty to you.
18O Yahweh, don’t ever forget how these arrogant enemies,
like fools, have mocked your name.
19Lord, aren’t we your beloved dove that praises you? # 74:19 As translated from the Septuagint, Syriac, and one Hebrew manuscript.
Protect us from these wild beasts who want to harm us.
Don’t leave us as lambs among wolves!
You can’t abandon us after all we’ve been through!
20Remember your promises to us,
for darkness covers the land,
giving the violent ones a hiding place.
21Don’t let these insults continue.
Can’t you see that we are your downtrodden
and oppressed people?
Make the poor and needy into a choir of praise to you!
22Don’t ignore these ignorant words, this continual mocking.
Rise up, God; it’s time to defend yourself from all this.
23Never forget what your adversaries are saying.
For their rage and uproar rise continually against you.
It’s time to stand up to them!
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