SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
79:1 A psalm of Asaph.
O God, foreigners have invaded your chosen land;
they have polluted your holy temple
and turned Jerusalem into a heap of ruins.
2 They have given the corpses of your servants
to the birds of the sky,
the flesh of your loyal followers
to the beasts of the earth.
3 They have made their blood flow like water
all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury them.
4 We have become an object of disdain to our neighbors;
those who live on our borders taunt and insult us.
5 How long will this go on, O Lord?
Will you stay angry forever?
How long will your rage burn like fire?
6 Pour out your anger on the nations that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms that do not pray to you.
7 For they have devoured Jacob
and destroyed his home.
8 Do not hold us accountable for the sins of earlier generations.
Quickly send your compassion our way,
for we are in serious trouble.
9 Help us, O God, our deliverer!
For the sake of your glorious reputation, rescue us.
Forgive our sins for the sake of your reputation.
10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Before our very eyes may the shed blood of your servants
be avenged among the nations.
11 Listen to the painful cries of the prisoners.
Use your great strength to set free those condemned to die.
12 Pay back our neighbors in full.
May they be insulted the same way they insulted you, O Lord.
13 Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will continually thank you.
We will tell coming generations of your praiseworthy acts.
80:1 For the music director, according to the shushan-eduth style; a psalm of Asaph.
O Shepherd of Israel, pay attention,
you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep.
You who sit enthroned above the cherubim, reveal your splendor.
2 In the sight of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh reveal your power.
Come and deliver us.
3 O God, restore us.
Smile on us. Then we will be delivered.
4 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
how long will you remain angry at your people while they pray to you?
5 You have given them tears as food;
you have made them drink tears by the measure.
6 You have made our neighbors dislike us
and our enemies insult us.
7 O God of Heaven’s Armies, restore us.
Smile on us. Then we will be delivered.
8 You uprooted a vine from Egypt;
you drove out nations and transplanted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it;
it took root
and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered by its shadow,
the highest cedars by its branches.
11 Its branches reached the Mediterranean Sea,
and its shoots the Euphrates River.
12 Why did you break down its walls,
so that all who pass by pluck its fruit?
13 The wild boars of the forest ruin it;
the insects of the field feed on it.
14 O God of Heaven’s Armies, come back.
Look down from heaven and take notice.
Take care of this vine,
15 the root your right hand planted,
the shoot you made to grow.
16 It is burned and cut down.
May those who did this die because you are displeased with them.
17 May you give support to the one you have chosen,
to the one whom you raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you.
Revive us and we will pray to you.
19 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, restore us.
Smile on us. Then we will be delivered.
81:1 For the music director, according to the gittith style; by Asaph.
Shout for joy to God, our source of strength!
Shout out to the God of Jacob!
2 Sing a song and play the tambourine,
the pleasant-sounding harp, and the ten-stringed instrument.
3 Sound the ram’s horn on the day of the new moon
and on the day of the full moon when our festival begins.
4 For observing the festival is a requirement for Israel;
it is an ordinance given by the God of Jacob.
5 He decreed it as a regulation in Joseph,
when he attacked the land of Egypt.
I heard a voice I did not recognize.
6 It said: “I removed the burden from his shoulder;
his hands were released from holding the basket.
7 In your distress you called out and I rescued you.
I answered you from a dark thundercloud.
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. (Selah)
8 I said, ‘Listen, my people!
I will warn you.
O Israel, if only you would obey me!
9 There must be no other god among you.
You must not worship a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord, your God,
the one who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.’
11 But my people did not obey me;
Israel did not submit to me.
12 I gave them over to their stubborn desires;
they did what seemed right to them.
13 If only my people would obey me!
If only Israel would keep my commands!
14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
and attack their adversaries.”
15 (May those who hate the Lord cower in fear before him.
May they be permanently humiliated.)
16 “I would feed Israel the best wheat,
and would satisfy your appetite with honey from the rocky cliffs.”
82:1 A psalm of Asaph.
God stands in the assembly of El;
in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.
2 He says, “How long will you make unjust legal decisions
and show favoritism to the wicked? (Selah)
3 Defend the cause of the poor and the fatherless.
Vindicate the oppressed and suffering.
4 Rescue the poor and needy.
Deliver them from the power of the wicked.
5 They neither know nor understand.
They stumble around in the dark,
while all the foundations of the earth crumble.
6 I thought, ‘You are gods;
all of you are sons of the Most High.’
7 Yet you will die like mortals;
you will fall like all the other rulers.”
8 Rise up, O God, and execute judgment on the earth!
For you own all the nations.
83:1 A song, a psalm of Asaph.
O God, do not be silent.
Do not ignore us. Do not be inactive, O God.
2 For look, your enemies are making a commotion;
those who hate you are hostile.
3 They carefully plot against your people,
and make plans to harm the ones you cherish.
4 They say, “Come on, let’s annihilate them so they are no longer a nation.
Then the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”
5 Yes, they devise a unified strategy;
they form an alliance against you.
6 It includes the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek,
Philistia, and the inhabitants of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has allied with them,
lending its strength to the descendants of Lot. (Selah)
9 Do to them as you did to Midian—
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River.
10 They were destroyed at Endor;
their corpses were like manure on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
and all their rulers like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let’s take over the pastures of God.”
13 O my God, make them like dead thistles,
like dead weeds blown away by the wind.
14 Like the fire that burns down the forest,
or the flames that consume the mountainsides,
15 chase them with your gale winds
and terrify them with your windstorm.
16 Cover their faces with shame,
so they might seek you, O Lord.
17 May they be humiliated and continually terrified.
May they die in shame.
18 Then they will know that you alone are the Lord,
the Most High over all the earth.
84:1 For the music director, according to the gittith style; written by the Korahites, a psalm.
How lovely is the place where you live,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
2 I desperately want to be
in the courts of the Lord’s temple.
My heart and my entire being shout for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the birds find a home there,
and the swallow builds a nest
where she can protect her young
near your altars, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
my King and my God.
4 How blessed are those who live in your temple
and praise you continually. (Selah)
5 How blessed are those who find their strength in you
and long to travel the roads that lead to your temple.
6 As they pass through the Baca Valley,
he provides a spring for them.
The rain even covers it with pools of water.
7 They are sustained as they travel along;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
hear my prayer.
Listen, O God of Jacob. (Selah)
9 O God, take notice of our shield.
Show concern for your chosen king.
10 Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better
than spending a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather stand at the entrance to the temple of my God
than live in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is our sovereign protector.
The Lord bestows favor and honor;
he withholds no good thing from those who have integrity.
12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
how blessed are those who trust in you.