1 The God of gods - it's God! - speaks out, shouts, "Earth!" welcomes the sun in the east, farewells the disappearing sun in the west. 2 From the dazzle of Zion, God blazes into view. 3 Our God makes his entrance, he's not shy in his coming. Starbursts of fireworks precede him. 4 He summons heaven and earth as a jury, he's taking his people to court: 5 "Round up my saints who swore on the Bible their loyalty to me." 6 The whole cosmos attests to the fairness of this court, that here God is judge. 7 "Are you listening, dear people? I'm getting ready to speak; Israel, I'm about ready to bring you to trial. This is God, your God, speaking to you. 8 I don't find fault with your acts of worship, the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer. 9 But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull, or more and more goats from your herds? 10 Every creature in the forest is mine, the wild animals on all the mountains. 11 I know every mountain bird by name; the scampering field mice are my friends. 12 If I get hungry, do you think I'd tell you? All creation and its bounty are mine. 13 Do you think I feast on venison? or drink draughts of goats' blood? 14 Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, 15 And call for help when you're in trouble - I'll help you, and you'll honor me." 16 Next, God calls up the wicked: "What are you up to, quoting my laws, talking like we are good friends? 17 You never answer the door when I call; you treat my words like garbage. 18 If you find a thief, you make him your buddy; adulterers are your friends of choice. 19 Your mouth drools filth; lying is a serious art form with you. 20 You stab your own brother in the back, rip off your little sister. 21 I kept a quiet patience while you did these things; you thought I went along with your game. I'm calling you on the carpet, now, laying your wickedness out in plain sight. 22 "Time's up for playing fast and loose with me. I'm ready to pass sentence, and there's no help in sight! 23 It's the praising life that honors me. As soon as you set your foot on the Way, I'll show you my salvation."
1 Bilious and bloated, they gas, "God is gone." It's poison gas - they foul themselves, they poison Rivers and skies; thistles are their cash crop. 2 God sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He's looking for someone not stupid - one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman. 3 He comes up empty. A string of zeros. Useless, unshepherded Sheep, taking turns pretending to be Shepherd. The ninety and nine follow the one. 4 Don't they know anything, all these impostors? Don't they know they can't get away with this, Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they're too busy to pray? 5 Night is coming for them, and nightmare - a nightmare they'll never wake up from. God will make hash of these squatters, send them packing for good. 6 Is there anyone around to save Israel? God turns life around. Turned-around Jacob skips rope, turned-around Israel sings laughter.
1 God! you walked off and left us, kicked our defenses to bits And stalked off angry. Come back. Oh please, come back! 2 You shook earth to the foundations, ripped open huge crevasses. Heal the breaks! Everything's coming apart at the seams. 3 You made your people look doom in the face, then gave us cheap wine to drown our troubles. 4 Then you planted a flag to rally your people, an unfurled flag to look to for courage. 5 Now do something quickly, answer right now, so the one you love best is saved. 6 That's when God spoke in holy splendor, "Bursting with joy, I make a present of Shechem, I hand out Succoth Valley as a gift. 7 Gilead's in my pocket, to say nothing of Manasseh. Ephraim's my hard hat, Judah my hammer; 8 Moab's a scrub bucket, I mop the floor with Moab, Spit on Edom, rain fireworks all over Philistia." 9 Who will take me to the thick of the fight? Who'll show me the road to Edom? 10 You aren't giving up on us, are you, God? refusing to go out with our troops? 11 Give us help for the hard task; human help is worthless. 12 In God we'll do our very best; he'll flatten the opposition for good.
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.