A psalm of Asaph.
1O GOD, the nations have invaded YOUR Inheritance;
they have defiled YOUR Holy Temple,
they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
2They have left the dead bodies of YOUR servants
as food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of YOUR Own people for the animals of the wild.
3They have poured out blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury the dead.
4We are objects of contempt to our neighbors,
of scorn and derision to those around us.
5How Long, Lord? Will YOU Be Angry Forever?
How Long Will YOUR Jealousy Burn like fire?
6Pour Out YOUR Wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge YOU,
on the kingdoms
that do not call on YOUR Name;
7for they have devoured Jacob
and devastated his homeland.
8Do Not Hold Against us the sins of past generations;
May YOUR Mercy Come Quickly To Meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
9Help us, GOD our SAVIOR,
for The Glory of YOUR Name;
Deliver us and Forgive our sins
for YOUR Name’s Sake.
10Why should the nations say,
“Where Is their GOD?”
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that YOU Avenge the outpoured blood of YOUR servants.
11May the groans of the prisoners come Before YOU;
With YOUR Strong Arm Preserve those condemned to die.
12Pay Back into the laps of our neighbors seven times
the contempt they have hurled at YOU, Lord.
13Then we YOUR people, the sheep of YOUR Pasture,
will praise YOU forever;
from generation to generation
we will proclaim YOUR Praise.
This Psalm, if penned with any particular event in view, is with most probability made to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the woeful havoc made of the Jewish nation by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar. It is set to the same tune, with the Lamentations of Jeremiah, and that weeping prophet borrows two verses out of it (v. 6, 7) and makes use of them in his prayer, Jeremiah 10:25.
Whatever the particular occasion was, we have here,
I. A representation of the very deplorable condition that the people of GOD were in at this time (v. 1-5).
II. A petition to GOD for relief, that their enemies might be reckoned with (v. 6, 7, 10, 12), that their sins might be pardoned (v. 8, 9), and that they might be delivered (v. 11).
III. A plea taken from the readiness of His people to praise Him (v. 13).
In times of the church's peace and prosperity this psalm may, in the singing of it, give us occasion to bless GOD that we are not thus trampled on and insulted. But it is especially seasonable in a day of treading down and perplexity, for the directing of our hearts towards GOD and the encouragement of our faith in Him as the church's Protector.