1 A well-written song by Asaph. Why, O God, have you permanently rejected us? Why does your anger burn against the sheep of your pasture? 2 Remember your people whom you acquired in ancient times, whom you rescued so they could be your very own nation, as well as Mount Zion, where you dwell! 3 Hurry and look at the permanent ruins, and all the damage the enemy has done to the temple! 4 Your enemies roar in the middle of your sanctuary; they set up their battle flags. 5 They invade like lumberjacks swinging their axes in a thick forest. 6 And now they are tearing down all its engravings with axes and crowbars. 7 They set your sanctuary on fire; they desecrate your dwelling place by knocking it to the ground. 8 They say to themselves, "We will oppress all of them." They burn down all the places where people worship God in the land. 9 We do not see any signs of God's presence; there are no longer any prophets and we have no one to tell us how long this will last. 10 How long, O God, will the adversary hurl insults? Will the enemy blaspheme your name forever? 11 Why do you remain inactive? Intervene and destroy him!
12 But God has been my king from ancient times, performing acts of deliverance on the earth. 13 You destroyed the sea by your strength; you shattered the heads of the sea monster in the water. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you fed him to the people who live along the coast. 15 You broke open the spring and the stream; you dried up perpetually flowing rivers. 16 You established the cycle of day and night; you put the moon and sun in place. 17 You set up all the boundaries of the earth; you created the cycle of summer and winter.
18 Remember how the enemy hurls insults, O Lord, and how a foolish nation blasphemes your name! 19 Do not hand the life of your dove over to a wild animal! Do not continue to disregard the lives of your oppressed people! 20 Remember your covenant promises, for the dark regions of the earth are full of places where violence rules. 21 Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame! Let the oppressed and poor praise your name! 22 Rise up, O God! Defend your honor! Remember how fools insult you all day long! 23 Do not disregard what your enemies say, or the unceasing shouts of those who defy you.