For the Pure and Shining One by the prophetic singers of Korah’s clan
A contemplative poem for instruction
44 1–2 God, we’ve heard about all the glorious miracles you’ve done for our ancestors in days gone by. They told us about the ancient times, how by your power you drove out the ungodly nations from this land, crushing all their strongholds and giving the land to us. Now the people of Israel cover the land from one end to the other, all because of your grace and power! 3 Our forefathers didn’t take the land by their own strength or their own skill or strategy. But it was through the shining forth of your radiant presence and the display of your mighty power. You loved to give them victory, for you took great delight in them. 4 You are my God, my King! It’s now time to decree majesties for Jacob! 5 Through your glorious name and your awesome power, we can push through to any victory and defeat every enemy. 6 For I will not trust in the weapons of the world;[a] I know they will never save me. 7 Only you will be our Savior from all our enemies. All those who hate us you have brought to shame. 8 So now I constantly boast in you. I can never thank you enough! Pause in his presence
9 But you have turned your back on us; you walked off and left us! You’ve rejected us, tossing us aside in humiliating shame. You don’t go before us anymore in our battles. 10 We retreat before our enemies in defeat, for you are no longer helping us. Those who hate us have invaded our land and plundered our people. 11 You have treated us like sheep in the slaughter pen, ready to be butchered. You’ve scattered us to the four winds. 12 You have sold us as slaves for nothing! You have counted us, your precious ones, as worthless. 13 You have caused our neighbors to despise and scorn us. All those around us mock and curse us. 14 You have made us the butt of their jokes. Disliked by all, we are the laughingstock of the people. 15–16 There’s no escape from this constant curse, this humiliation! We are despised, jeered, overwhelmed by shame, and overcome at every turn by our hateful and heartless enemies. 17 Despite all of this, we have not forgotten you; we have not broken covenant with you. 18 We have not betrayed you; our hearts are still yours. Our steps have not strayed from your path. 19 Yet you have crushed us, leaving us in this wilderness place of misery and desperation.[b] With nowhere else to turn, death’s dark door seems to be the only way out. 20–21 If we had forsaken your holy name, wouldn’t you know it? You’d be right in leaving us. If we had worshiped before other gods, no one would blame you for punishing us. God, you know our every heart-secret. You know we still want you! 22 Because of you we face death threats every day. Like martyrs we are dying daily. We are seen as lambs lined up to be slaughtered as sacrifices.
23 So wake up, Lord God! Why would you sleep when we’re in trouble? Are you forsaking us forever? 24 You can’t hide your face any longer from us! How could you forget our agonizing sorrow? 25 Now we lay facedown, sinking into the dust of death, the quicksand of the grave. 26 Arise, awake, and come to help us, O Lord. Let your unfailing love save us from this sorrow!
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