A maskila of Asaph.
1O GOD, Why Have YOU Rejected us forever?
Why Does YOUR Anger Smolder Against the sheep of YOUR Pasture?
2Remember the nation YOU Purchased long ago,
the people of YOUR Inheritance, whom YOU Redeemed—
Mount Zion, Where YOU Dwelt.
3Turn YOUR Steps toward these everlasting ruins,
all this destruction the enemy has brought on the Sanctuary.
4YOUR foes roared in the place Where YOU Met With us;
they set up their standards as signs.
5They behaved like men wielding axes
to cut through a thicket of trees.
6They smashed all the carved paneling
with their axes and hatchets.
7They burned YOUR Sanctuary to the ground;
they defiled the Dwelling Place of YOUR Name.
8They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!”
They burned every place Where GOD Was worshiped in the land.
9We are given no signs from GOD;
no prophets are left,
and none of us knows how long this will be.
10How long will the enemy mock YOU, GOD?
Will the foe revile YOUR Name forever?
11Why Do YOU Hold Back YOUR Hand, YOUR Right Hand?
Take It from the Folds of YOUR Garment and Destroy them!
12But GOD Is my KING from long ago;
HE Brings Salvation on the earth.
13It Was YOU WHO Split Open the sea by YOUR Power;
YOU Broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14It Was YOU WHO Crushed the heads of Leviathan
and Gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15It Was YOU WHO Opened Up springs and streams;
YOU Dried Up the ever-flowing rivers.
16The day Is YOURS, and YOURS also the night;
YOU Established the sun and moon.
17It Was YOU WHO Set all the boundaries of the earth;
YOU Made both summer and winter.
18Remember how the enemy has mocked YOU, LORD,
how foolish people have reviled YOUR Name.
19Do Not Hand Over the life of YOUR dove to wild beasts;
Do Not Forget the lives of YOUR afflicted people forever.
20Have Regard for YOUR Covenant,
because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21Do Not Let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
May the poor and needy praise YOUR Name.
22Rise Up, O GOD, and defend YOUR Cause;
remember how fools mock YOU all day long.
23Do Not Ignore the clamor of YOUR adversaries,
the uproar of YOUR enemies, which rises continually.
This Psalm does so particularly describe the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, by Nebuchadnezzar and the army of the Chaldeans, that interpreters incline to think that either it was penned by David, or Asaph in David's time, with a prophetical reference to that sad event or that it was penned by another Asaph, who lived at the time of the captivity, or by Jeremiah (for it is of a piece with his Lamentations,) or some other prophet.
After the return out of captivity, it was delivered to the sons of Asaph, who were called by his name, for the public service of the synagogues. That was the most eminent family of the singers in Ezra's time. See Ezra 2:41; 3:10; Nehemiah 11:17, 22; 12:35, 46. The deplorable case of the people of GOD at that time is here spread before The LORD.
I. Puts in complaining pleas of the miseries they suffered, for the quickening of their desires in prayer (v. 1-11).
II. He puts in comfortable pleas for the encouraging of their faith in prayer (v. 12-17).
III. He concludes with many petitions To GOD for deliverance (v. 18-23).
In singing it we must be affected with the former desolation of the church, for we are members of the same body, and may apply it to any present distresses or desolation of any part of the Christian church in this world.