Psalm 74

1    O God, why have you utterly disowned us?  

Why does your anger burn

    against the sheep of your pasture?

2    Remember your congregation that you purchased of old,  

the tribe you redeemed for your own possession,

    and Mount Zion where you dwelt.

3    Hasten your steps towards the endless ruins,  

where the enemy has laid waste all your sanctuary.

4    Your adversaries roared in the place of your worship;  

they set up their banners as tokens of victory.

5    Like men brandishing axes on high in a thicket of trees,  

all her carved work they smashed down with hatchet and hammer.

6    They set fire to your holy place;  

they defiled the dwelling place of your name

    and razed it to the ground.

7    They said in their heart, ‘Let us make havoc of them altogether,’  

and they burned down all the sanctuaries of God in the land.

8    There are no signs to see, not one prophet left,  

not one among us who knows how long.

9    How long, O God, will the adversary scoff?  

Shall the enemy blaspheme your name for ever?

10  Why have you withheld your hand  

and hidden your right hand in your bosom?

11  Yet God is my king from of old,  

who did deeds of salvation in the midst of the earth.

12  It was you that divided the sea by your might  

and shattered the heads of the dragons on the waters;

13  You alone crushed the heads of Leviathan  

and gave him to the beasts of the desert for food.

14  You cleft the rock for fountain and flood;  

you dried up ever-flowing rivers.

15  Yours is the day, yours also the night;  

you established the moon and the sun.

16  You set all the bounds of the earth;  

you fashioned both summer and winter.

17  Remember now, Lord, how the enemy scoffed,  

how a foolish people despised your name.

18  Do not give to wild beasts the soul of your turtle dove;  

forget not the lives of your poor for ever.

19  Look upon your creation,

    for the earth is full of darkness,  

full of the haunts of violence.

20  Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed,  

but let the poor and needy praise your name.

21  Arise, O God, maintain your own cause;  

remember how fools revile you all the day long.

22  Forget not the clamour of your adversaries,  

the tumult of your enemies that ascends continually.


Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.

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