Thursday, May 18, 2006

In light of the latest UK Telegraph article: Psalm 74 from May 18 Evening Prayer

Ut quid, Deus?

1 O God, why have you utterly cast us off?
*why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago,
*the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3 Turn your steps toward the endless ruins;
*the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries roared in your holy place;
*they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5 They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees;
*they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
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 to themselves, "Let us destroy them altogether."
*They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8 There are no signs for us to see; there is no prophet left;
*there is not one among us who knows how long.
9 How long, O God, will the adversary scoff?
*will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10 Why do you draw back your hand?
*why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11 Yet God is my King from ancient times,
*victorious in the midst of the earth.
12 You divided the sea by your might
*and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13 You crushed the heads of Leviathan
*and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
14 You split open spring and torrent;
*you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15 Yours is the day, yours also the night;
*you established the moon and the sun.
16 You fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
*you made both summer and winter.
17 Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed,
*how a foolish people despised your Name.
18 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
*never forget the lives of your poor.
19 Look upon your covenant;
*the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20 Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed;
*let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21 Arise, O God, maintain your cause;
*remember how fools revile you all day long.
22 Forget not the clamor of your adversaries,
*the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.