Psalm 74-77 The Message Bible

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An Appeal to God against the Enemy

74 1  You walked off and left us, and never looked back. God, how could you do that? We're your very own sheep; how can you stomp off in anger? 2  Refresh your memory of us - you bought us a long time ago. Your most precious tribe - you paid a good price for us! Your very own Mount Zion - you actually lived here once! 3  Come and visit the site of disaster, see how they've wrecked the sanctuary. 4  While your people were at worship, your enemies barged in, brawling and scrawling graffiti. 5  They set fire to the porch; axes swinging, they chopped up the woodwork, 6  Beat down the doors with sledgehammers, then split them into kindling. 7  They burned your holy place to the ground, violated the place of worship. 8  They said to themselves, "We'll wipe them all out," and burned down all the places of worship. 9  There's not a sign or symbol of God in sight, nor anyone to speak in his name, no one who knows what's going on. 10  How long, God, will barbarians blaspheme, enemies curse and get by with it? 11  Why don't you do something? How long are you going to sit there with your hands folded in your lap?

12  God is my King from the very start; he works salvation in the womb of the earth. 13  With one blow you split the sea in two, you made mincemeat of the dragon Tannin. 14  You lopped off the heads of Leviathan, then served them up in a stew for the animals. 15  With your finger you opened up springs and creeks, and dried up the wild floodwaters. 16  You own the day, you own the night; you put stars and sun in place. 17  You laid out the four corners of earth, shaped the seasons of summer and winter.

18  Mark and remember, God, all the enemy taunts, each idiot desecration. 19  Don't throw your lambs to the wolves; after all we've been through, don't forget us. 20  Remember your promises; the city is in darkness, the countryside violent. 21  Don't leave the victims to rot in the street; make them a choir that sings your praises. 22  On your feet, O God - stand up for yourself! Do you hear what they're saying about you, all the vile obscenities? 23  Don't tune out their malicious filth, the brawling invective that never lets up.

God Abases the Wicked and Exalts the Righteous

75 1  We thank you, God, we thank you - your Name is our favorite word; your mighty works are all we talk about. 2  You say, "I'm calling this meeting to order, I'm ready to set things right. 3  When the earth goes topsy-turvy And nobody knows which end is up, I nail it all down, I put everything in place again. 4  I say to the smart alecks, 'That's enough,' to the bullies, 'Not so fast.'" 5  Don't raise your fist against High God. Don't raise your voice against Rock of Ages.

6  He's the One from east to west; from desert to mountains, he's the One. 7  God rules: he brings this one down to his knees, pulls that one up on her feet. 8  God has a cup in his hand, a bowl of wine, full to the brim. He draws from it and pours; it's drained to the dregs. Earth's wicked ones drink it all, drink it down to the last bitter drop! 9  And I'm telling the story of God Eternal, singing the praises of Jacob's God. 10  The fists of the wicked are bloody stumps, The arms of the righteous are lofty green branches.

The God of Victory and Judgment

76 1  God is well-known in Judah; in Israel, he's a household name. 2  He keeps a house in Salem, his own suite of rooms in Zion. 3  That's where, using arrows for kindling, he made a bonfire of weapons of war. 4  Oh, how bright you shine! Outshining their huge piles of loot! 5  The warriors were plundered and left there impotent. And now there's nothing to them, nothing to show for their swagger and threats. 6  Your sudden roar, God of Jacob, knocked the wind out of horse and rider.

7  Fierce you are, and fearsome! Who can stand up to your rising anger? 8  From heaven you thunder judgment; earth falls to her knees and holds her breath. 9  God stands tall and makes things right, he saves all the wretched on earth. 10  Instead of smoldering rage - God-praise! All that sputtering rage - now a garland for God! 11  Do for God what you said you'd do - he is, after all, your God. Let everyone in town bring offerings to the One Who Watches our every move. 12  Nobody gets by with anything, no one plays fast and loose with him.

Comfort from Recalling God's Mighty Deeds

77 1  I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens. 2  I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn't heal. When friends said, "Everything will turn out all right," I didn't believe a word they said. 3  I remember God - and shake my head. I bow my head - then wring my hands. 4  I'm awake all night - not a wink of sleep; I can't even say what's bothering me. 5  I go over the days one by one, I ponder the years gone by. 6  I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together. 7  Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? 8  Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? 9  Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us? 10  "Just my luck," I said. "The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him."

11  Once again I'll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; 12  I'll ponder all the things you've accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts. 13  O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God! 14  You're the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do - 15  You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph. 16  Ocean saw you in action, God, saw you and trembled with fear; Deep Ocean was scared to death. 17  Clouds belched buckets of rain, Sky exploded with thunder, your arrows flashing this way and that. 18  From Whirlwind came your thundering voice, Lightning exposed the world, Earth reeled and rocked. 19  You strode right through Ocean, walked straight through roaring Ocean, but nobody saw you come or go. 20  Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron, You led your people like a flock of sheep.

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