To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.
We've heard the old stories, O God, with our ears —
traditions our ancestors told;
the wonderful deeds you've performed through the years,
in days of our fathers of old.
You drove out the nations that pagans once held,
and planted our fathers therein;
uprooting the people from lands where they dwelled,
allowing our growth to begin.
It wasn't with sword that they vanquished the land,
nor by their own might was it done;
but rather by strength of your arm and right hand,
and light of your face was it won.
For you are forever my God and my King,
from whence Jacob's victories came.
Through you we repel what our enemies bring,
and trample our foes in your name.
I do not put trust in the strength of my bow,
nor sword to decide in my fate.
But you give us victory over our foe;
disgracing those showing us hate.
In God we give glory and boast all day long;
forever we'll thank you in praise and in song.
You've tossed us aside and you've made us disgraced;
you no longer lead us to war.
You've made us retreat from the foes that we faced,
who robbed us like never before.
You've given us up to be butchered like sheep;
we're scattered throughout foreign lands.
You've sold us for nothing for others to keep;
no profit enriching your hands.
You've made us the taunt of the neighborhood folk;
their scorn and derision have spread.
You've made us a byword — a national joke!
They're laughing and shaking their head.
Disgrace and dishonor are constantly here,
I can't show my face for my shame;
because of the sound of their scorn in my ear,
because of the sight of the same.
Though all of this happened, you've not been forgot;
your covenant's not been betrayed.
Our hearts have not turned from you, whom we have sought;
our feet, from your path, have not strayed.
And yet you'd have crushed us in wastelands abroad,
with jackals in darkness and haze.
If we have forgotten the name of our God
or prayed to false gods with hands raised,
would God not have surely discovered this wrong,
since he knows the secrets we keep?
And yet for your sake we are killed all day long;
we're doomed to be slaughtered like sheep.
Oh, why do you sleep, LORD? Wake up and arise!
Will you be forever obtuse?
And why are you hiding your face from our eyes?
Ignoring our pain and abuse?
Collapsing, our soul is brought down to the dirt;
we cleave to the ground on our face.
Rise up! Come, and help us! Redeem us, we hurt,
because of your love and your grace.