In the Lord God I take shelter.
How can you say to me,
'Bird, fly back to your mountain:
'see how the wicked are bending their bows
and fitting their arrows to the string,
ready to shoot the upright from the shadows.
When foundations fall to ruin, what can the virtuous do?'
The Lord God is in his holy Temple,
The Lord God, whose throne is in heaven;
his eyes look down at the world,
his searching gaze scans all mankind.
The virtuous and the wicked are under the Lord's scrutiny,
and his soul hates anyone who loves brutality.
He rains coals of fire and brimstone on the wicked,
he serves them a scorching wind to swallow down.
The Lord God is righteous, he loves virtue,
upright men will contemplate his face.
God, have you finally rejected us,
raging at the flock you used to pasture?
Remember the people you long since made your own,
your hereditary tribe whom you redeemed,
and this Mount Zion where you came to live.
Pick your steps over these endless ruins:
the enemy have sacked everything in the sanctuary.
They roared where your Assemblies used to take place,
they stuck their enemy emblems over the entrance,
emblems we had never seen before.
Axes deep in the wood, hacking at the panels,
they battered them down with mallet and hatchet;
then, God, setting fire to your sanctuary,
they profanely razed the house of your name to the ground.
Determined to destroy us once and for all,
they burned down every shrine of God in the country.
Deprived of signs, with no prophets left,
who can say how long this will last?
How much longer, God, is the oppressor to blaspheme,
is the enemy to insult your name forever?
Why hold back your hand,
why keep your right hand hidden?
Yet, God, my king from the first,
author of saving acts throughout the earth,
by your power you split the sea in two,
and smashed the heads of monsters on the waters.
You crushed Leviathan's heads,
leaving him for wild animals to eat,
you opened the spring, the torrent,
you dried up inexhaustible rivers.
You are master of day and night,
you instituted light and sun,
you fixed the boundaries of the world,
you created summer and winter.
Now, Lord God, remember the enemy's blasphemy,
how frenzied people dare to insult your name.
Do not betray your turtledove to the beast,
do not forget your wretched people for good.
Respect the covenant! We can bear no more --
every cave in the country is the scene of violence!
Do not let the hard-pressed retreat in confusion,
give the poor and needy cause to praise your name.
Rise, God, say something on your own behalf,
do not forget the madman's day-long blaspheming,
remember the shouting of your enemies,
this ever-rising clamour of your adversaries.
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