1 O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture? 2 Remember that we are the people you chose long ago, the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession! And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth. 3 Walk through the awful ruins of the city; see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary. 4 There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries; there they set up their battle standards. 5 They swung their axes like woodcutters in a forest. 6 With axes and picks, they smashed the carved paneling. 7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground. They defiled the place that bears your name. 8 Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!” So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped. 9 We no longer see your miraculous signs. All the prophets are gone, and no one can tell us when it will end. 10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you? Will you let them dishonor your name forever? 11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand? Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them. 12 You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. 13 You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan and let the desert animals eat him. 15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. 16 Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. 17 You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter. 18 See how these enemies insult you, LORD . A foolish nation has dishonored your name. 19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves. Don’t forget your suffering people forever. 20 Remember your covenant promises, for the land is full of darkness and violence! 21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again. Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name. 22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause. Remember how these fools insult you all day long. 23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said or their growing uproar.
1 We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds. 2 God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked. 3 When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude 4 “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists! 5 Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’” 6 For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness— should raise a defiant fist. 7 It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall. 8 For the LORD holds a cup in his hand that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours out the wine in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs. 9 But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”
1 God is honored in Judah; his name is great in Israel. 2 Jerusalem is where he lives; Mount Zion is his home. 3 There he has broken the fiery arrows of the enemy, the shields and swords and weapons of war. Interlude 4 You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains. 5 Our boldest enemies have been plundered. They lie before us in the sleep of death. No warrior could lift a hand against us. 6 At the blast of your breath, O God of Jacob, their horses and chariots lay still. 7 No wonder you are greatly feared! Who can stand before you when your anger explodes? 8 From heaven you sentenced your enemies; the earth trembled and stood silent before you. 9 You stand up to judge those who do evil, O God, and to rescue the oppressed of the earth. Interlude 10 Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon. 11 Make vows to the LORD your God, and keep them. Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One. 12 For he breaks the pride of princes, and the kings of the earth fear him.
16 So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. 17 For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” 18 So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. 19 Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” 20 No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? 22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. 24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles. 25 Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.” 26 And, “Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” 27 And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out, “Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant will be saved. 28 For the LORD will carry out his sentence upon the earth quickly and with finality.” 29 And Isaiah said the same thing in another place: “If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of our children, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.” 30 What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. 31 But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. 33 God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”