Psalm 79:1-13

God, help us!

79:1Perhaps an Israelite prisoner wrote this psalm, after enemies had attacked Jerusalem. He asks God to punish Israel's enemies and to make prisoners free. He wants other nations to know that God is powerful.

1 God, foreign nations have attacked your own land.

They have spoiled your holy temple.

79:1When they spoiled the temple, it meant that they had made it unclean. God's people could not use it to worship him.

They have destroyed the buildings in Jerusalem.

2 They have let birds come down

and eat the dead bodies of your people.

Your servants have become food for wild animals to eat.

3 The blood of your servants has poured out

all over the streets of Jerusalem.

There is nobody left there

to bury their bodies.

4 The nations that live near to us

do not respect us.

They laugh at us and they insult us.

5 Lord, how long will this continue?

Will you be angry with us for ever?

Will you always be angry,

like a fire that continues to burn?

6 Please punish those nations

that do not respect you.

Be angry with the kingdoms

that do not pray to you.

7 They have destroyed Jacob's descendants

and the land where they live.

79:7Jacob is another name for Israel.

8 Our ancestors did bad things,

but do not say that we are guilty because of that.

Be kind and send help to us quickly.

We are in a lot of trouble!

9 God, help us! You are the one who can save us.

Rescue us,

so that people will respect your great name.

Forgive our sins,

so that people know you are good.

10 Foreign nations are saying about us,

‘Their God cannot help them!’

That is not right!

People of those nations have murdered your servants,

so punish them for us to see.

11 Listen to the prisoners who are in pain!

They are calling out for help.

Use your great power to make them free,

before their enemies kill them.

12 Lord, those countries near to us

have insulted you.

Punish them as they deserve,

seven times over!

Give them as much trouble as they have given to you.

13 Then we will continue to thank you for ever.

You take care of us,

as the sheep in your field.

We will tell our children and grandchildren to praise you,

as you deserve.