Psalm 76 to Psalm 80
Often we hear the Psalms one by one, but today we offer you the chance to hear a group of Psalms read as a collection!
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song.
1 God is renowned in Judah; in Israel his name is great.
2 His tent is in Salem, his dwelling-place in Zion.
3 There he broke the flashing arrows,
the shields and the swords, the weapons of war.
4 You are radiant with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game.
5 The valiant lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep;
not one of the warriors can lift his hands.
6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still.
7 It is you alone who are to be feared.
Who can stand before you when you are angry?
8 From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet –
9 when you, God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land.
10 Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise,
and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfil them;
let all the neighbouring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth.
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.
1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 ‘Will the Lord reject for ever?
Will he never show his favour again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished for ever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?’
10 Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.’
13 Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
A maskil of Asaph.
1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old –
3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
6 so that the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
8 They would not be like their ancestors – a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.
9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle;
10 they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand up like a wall.
14 He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
16 he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.
17 But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
18 They wilfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God;
they said, ‘Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?
20 True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?’
21 When the LORD heard them, he was furious;
his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.
23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above
and opened the doors of the heavens;
24 he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
26 He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow.
27 He rained meat down on them like dust, birds like sand on the seashore.
28 He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents.
29 They ate till they were gorged – he had given them what they craved.
30 But before they turned from what they craved, even while the food was still in their mouths,
31 God’s anger rose against them;
he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
33 So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror.
34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him;
they eagerly turned to him again.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock,
that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the wasteland!
41 Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power – the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,
43 the day he displayed his signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan.
44 He turned their river into blood; they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He unleashed against them his hot anger,
his wrath, indignation and hostility – a band of destroying angels.
50 He prepared a path for his anger;
he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague.
51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.
52 But he brought his people out like a flock;
he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
but the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 And so he brought them to the border of his holy land,
to the hill country his right hand had taken.
55 He drove out nations before them and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance;
he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes.
56 But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High;
they did not keep his statutes.
57 Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless,
as unreliable as a faulty bow.
58 They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
59 When God heard them, he was furious; he rejected Israel completely.
60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,
the tent he had set up among humans.
61 He sent the ark of his might into captivity, his splendour into the hands of the enemy.
62 He gave his people over to the sword; he was furious with his inheritance.
63 Fire consumed their young men, and their young women had no wedding songs;
64 their priests were put to the sword, and their widows could not weep.
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine.
66 He beat back his enemies; he put them to everlasting shame.
67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that he established for ever.
70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilful hands he led them.
A psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
2 They have left the dead bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
3 They have poured out blood like water all around Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury the dead.
4 We are objects of contempt to our neighbours,
of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 How long, LORD? Will you be angry for ever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms that do not call on your name;
7 for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his homeland.
8 Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
9 Help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.
11 May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.
12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbours seven times
the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you for ever;
from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.
For the director of music. To the tune of ‘The Lilies of the Covenant’. Of Asaph. A psalm.
1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might; come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
4 How long, LORD God Almighty,
will your anger smoulder against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbours,
and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, God Almighty;
make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
8 You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea, its shoots as far as the River.
12 Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it, and insects from the fields feed on it.
14 Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
15 the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself.
16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.