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A Prayer for Help

For the director of music. A ·maskil [skillful psalm; meditation] of the sons of Korah [C descendants of Kohath, son of Levi, who served as Temple musicians; 1 Chr. 6:22].

44 God, we have heard ·about you [L with our ears; 78:3].
    Our ·ancestors [fathers] ·told [recited to] us
what you did in their days,
    in days long ago.
With your ·power [L hand] you ·forced [dispossessed] the nations out of the land
    and ·placed [L planted] our ancestors here.
You ·destroyed [troubled] ·those other nations [L the peoples],
    but you ·made our ancestors grow strong [set them free].
It wasn’t their swords that ·took [possessed] the land.
    It wasn’t their ·power [L arm] that gave them victory.
But it was your ·great power [L arm] and ·strength [L right hand].
    ·You were with them [L …and the light of your face] because you ·loved [delighted in] them.

My God, you are my King.
    ·Your commands led Jacob’s people to victory [or You command victory for Jacob; C Jacob is another name for Israel].
With your help we pushed ·back [down] our enemies.
    In your name we trampled those who ·came [rose up] against us.
I don’t trust my bow to help me,
    and my sword can’t ·save me [give me victory].
You ·saved us from [gave us victory over] our foes,
    and you made ·our enemies [L those who hate us] ashamed.
We will praise God every day;
    we will ·praise [give thanks to] your name forever. ·Selah [Interlude]

But you have rejected us and ·shamed [humiliated] us.
    You don’t ·march [L go out] with our armies anymore [Ex. 15:3; 2 Chr. 20:20–21].
10 You let our enemies push us back,
    and those who hate us have ·taken our wealth [plundered us].
11 You ·gave us away [made us] like sheep ·to be eaten [for slaughter]
    and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your people for nothing
    and made no profit on the sale.

13 You made us a ·joke [reproach] to our neighbors;
    those around us ·laugh [ridicule] and make fun of us.
14 You made us a ·joke [byword; proverb] to the other nations;
    people shake their heads.
15 I am always in disgrace,
    and ·I am [L my face is] covered with shame.
16 My enemy is getting ·even [revenge]
    with ·insults [taunts] and curses.

17 All these things have happened to us,
    but we have not forgotten you
    or ·failed to keep [been false to; betrayed] our ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with you [C perhaps a reference to the covenant with Moses; Ex. 19–24].
18 Our hearts haven’t turned ·away [back] from you,
    and ·we haven’t stopped following you [L our steps have not departed from your way].
19 But you crushed us in this place where ·wild dogs [jackals] live [C desolate areas],
    and you covered us with ·deep darkness [or the shadow of death; Nah. 1:8].

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or ·lifted [L spread] our hands in prayer to ·foreign [L strange] gods,
21 ·God would have known [L Would not God discover this…?],
    because he knows ·what is in [L the secrets of] our hearts.
22 But for you we are ·in danger of death [L killed] all the time.
    People think we are worth no more than sheep to be ·killed [slaughtered; Is. 53:7].

23 Wake up, Lord! Why are you sleeping?
    Get up! Don’t reject us forever [Lam. 5:22].
24 Why do you hide your face from us?
    Have you forgotten our ·pain [affliction] and ·troubles [oppression]?

25 We have ·been pushed down [sunk down] into the ·dirt [dust];
    ·we are flat on the ground [L our stomachs cleave to the earth].
26 ·Get [Rise] up and help us.
    Because of your ·love [loyalty], ·save [redeem; ransom] us.

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