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A Song of Praise to God

26 At that time people will sing this song in Judah:

We have a strong city.
    God protects us with its strong walls and defenses.
Open the gates,
    and the good people will enter,
    those who follow God.
You, Lord, give true peace
    to those who depend on you,
    because they trust you.
So, trust the Lord always,
    because he is our Rock forever.
He will destroy the proud city,
    and he will punish the people living there.
He will bring that high city down to the ground
    and throw it down into the dust.
Then those who were hurt by the city will walk on its ruins;
    those who were made poor by the city will trample it under their feet.

The path of life is level for those who are right with God;
    Lord, you make the way of life smooth for those people.
But, Lord, we are waiting
    for your way of justice.
Our souls want to remember
    you and your name.
My soul wants to be with you at night,
    and my spirit wants to be with you at the dawn of every day.
When your way of justice comes to the land,
    people of the world will learn the right way of living.
10 Evil people will not learn to do good
    even if you show them kindness.
They will continue doing evil, even if they live in a good world;
    they never see the Lord’s greatness.
11 Lord, you are ready to punish those people,
    but they do not see that.
Show them your strong love for your people.
    Then those who are evil will be ashamed.
Burn them in the fire
    you have prepared for your enemies.
12 Lord, all our success is because of what you have done,
    so give us peace.
13 Lord, our God, other masters besides you have ruled us,
    but we honor only you.
14 Those masters are now dead;
    their ghosts will not rise from death.
You punished and destroyed them
    and erased any memory of them.
15 Lord, you multiplied the number of your people;
    you multiplied them and brought honor to yourself.
You made the borders of the land wide.
16 Lord, people remember you when they are in trouble;
    they say quiet prayers to you when you punish them.
17 Lord, when we are with you,
    we are like a woman giving birth to a baby;
    she cries and has pain from the birth.
18 In the same way, we had pain.
    We gave birth, but only to wind.
We don’t bring salvation to the land
    or make new people for the world.
19 Your people have died, but they will live again;
    their bodies will rise from death.
You who lie in the ground,
    wake up and be happy!
The dew covering you is like the dew of a new day;
    the ground will give birth to the dead.

Judgment: Reward or Punishment

20 My people, go into your rooms
    and shut your doors behind you.
Hide in your rooms for a short time
    until God’s anger is finished.
21 The Lord will leave his place
    to punish the people of the world for their sins.
The earth will show the blood of the people who have been killed;
    it will not cover the dead any longer.

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