Psalm 74

A Prayer for the Nation in Times of Trouble

1 Our God, why have you
        completely rejected us?
    Why are you so angry
        with the ones you care for?
2 Remember the people
        you rescued long ago,
    the tribe you chose
        to be your very own.

    Think of Mount Zion,
        your home;
3 walk over to the temple
    left in ruins forever
        by those who hate us.

4 Your enemies roared like lions
        in your holy temple,
    and they have placed
        their banners there.
5 It looks like a forest
        chopped to pieces.
6 They used axes and hatchets
        to smash the carvings.
7 They burned down your temple
        and badly disgraced it.
8 They said to themselves,
        “We’ll crush them!”
    Then they burned every one
    of your meeting places
        all over the country.
9 There are no more miracles
        and no more prophets.
    Who knows how long
        it will be like this?

10 Our God, how much longer
        will our enemies sneer?
    Won’t they ever stop
        insulting you?
11 Why don’t you punish them?
        Why are you holding back?

12 Our God and King,
     you have ruled
        since ancient times;
    you have won victories
        everywhere on this earth.
13 By your power you made a path
        through the sea,
     and you smashed the heads
        of sea monsters.
14 You crushed the heads
        of the monster Leviathan,
     then fed him to wild creatures
        in the desert.
15 You opened the ground
     for streams and springs
        and dried up mighty rivers.
16 You rule the day and the night,
     and you put the moon
        and the sun in place.
17 You made summer and winter
        and gave them to the earth.

18 Remember your enemies, Lord!
     They foolishly sneer
        and won’t respect you.
19 You treat us like pet doves,
        but they mistreat us.
     Don’t keep forgetting us
     and letting us be fed
        to those wild animals.
20 Remember the agreement
        you made with us.
     Violent enemies are hiding
     in every dark corner
        of the earth.
21 Don’t disappoint those in need
        or make them turn from you,
     but help the poor and homeless
        to shout your praises.
22 Do something, God!
        Defend yourself.
     Remember how those fools
        sneer at you all day long.
23 Don’t forget the loud shouts
        of your enemies.

The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Amos: Hypertext Bible Commentary