A Psalm of Asaph.

This psalm relates to the havoc made of the Jewish capital and nation, by the Chaldeans and Syro-Grecians, as typical of the afflictions of the gospel church. Observe, (1.) How deplorable the condition of these people of God was, when their enemies raged against their dwellings, persons, and characters; and their God himself long continued the tokens of his just displeasure, ver. 1-5. (2.) Their humble, but fervent supplications, for the just punishment of their heathen enemies; and for divine pity, pardon, and help to themselves, ver. 6-12. (3.) The pleas wherewith they enforce their requests, viz. God’s relation to them, as their God and shepherd; and the tendency of what they asked to promote the declarative glory of his name, ver. 1, 6, 9-10, 13.

While I sing, let my soul have a deep sympathy with the afflicted members of Christ. Let me bless his holy name, that I am not in similar circumstances. Let me lay before the Lord the spiritual injuries which Satan and my lusts have done to my soul, and to the church of God; and let me cry earnestly for his merciful rising up to destroy them, and to show me his salvation.

1 O God, the heathen entered have
thine heritage; by them
Defiled is thy house: on heaps
they laid Jerusalem.

2 The bodies of thy servants they
have cast forth to be meat
To rav’nous fowls; thy dear saints’ flesh
they gave to beasts to eat.

3 Their blood about Jerusalem
like water they have shed;
And there was none to bury them
when they were slain and dead.

4 Unto our neighbors a reproach
most base become are we;
A scorn and laughingstock to them
that round about us be.

5 How long, Lord, shall thine anger last?
wilt thou still keep the same?
And shall thy fervent jealousy
burn like unto a flame?

6 On heathen pour thy fury forth,
that have thee never known,
And on those kingdoms which thy name
have never called upon.

7 For these are they who Jacob have
devoured cruelly;
And they his habitation
have caused waste to lie.

8 Against us mind not former sins;
thy tender mercies show;
Let them prevent us speedily,
for we’re brought very low.

9 For thy name’s glory help us, Lord,
who hast our Savior been:
Deliver us; for thy name’s sake,
O purge away our sin.

10 Why say the heathen, where’s their God?
let him to them be known;
When those who shed thy servants’ blood
are in our sight o’erthrown.

11 O let the pris’ner’s sighs ascend
before thy sight on high;
Preserve those in thy mighty pow’r
that are designed to die.

12 And to our neighbors’ bosom cause
it sev’n-fold rendered be,
Ev’n the reproach wherewith they have,
O Lord, reproached thee.

13 So we thy folk, and pasture-sheep,
shall give thee thanks always;
And unto generations all
we will show forth thy praise.