Psalm 73  Ut quid Deus

The sanctuary defiled

The destruction of the temple was one of the saddest phases of Jewish history, and pre-figured both the death of Christ on the Cross, and in these latter days the destruction of our churches by the enemy within.

Picture of the desolation

Ut quid, Deus, repulísti in finem: * irátus est furor tuus super oves páscuæ tuæ?
2  Memor esto congregatiónis tuæ: * quam possedísti ab inítio.
3  Redemísti virgam hereditátis tuæ: * mons Sion, in quo habitásti in eo.
4  Leva manus tuas in supérbias eórum in finem: * quanta malignátus est inimícus in sancto!
5  Et gloriáti sunt qui odérunt te: * in médio solemnitátis tuæ.
6  Posuérunt signa sua, signa: * et non cognovérunt sicut in éxitu super summum.
7  Quasi in silva lignórum secúribus excidérunt jánuas ejus in idípsum: * in secúri et áscia dejecérunt eam.
8  Incendérunt igni sanctuárium tuum: * in terra polluérunt tabernáculum nóminis tui.
9  Dixérunt in corde suo cognátio eórum simul: * Quiéscere faciámus omnes dies festos Dei a terra.
10  Signa nostra non vídimus, jam non est prophéta: * et nos non cognóscet ámplius.

O God, wherefore hast thou cast off unto the end? * why is thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture?
2  O think upon thy congregation, * whom thou hast possessed of old.
3  Thou hast redeemed the sceptre of thine inheritance, * Mount Sion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
4  Lift up thy hands against their pride unto the end : * see what things the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.
5  And they that hate thee have made their boasts, * in the midst of thy solemnity.
6  They have set up their ensigns for signs, * and they knew not both in the going out and on the highest top.
7  As with axes in a forest of trees they have cut down at once the gates thereof  : * with axe and hatchet they have brought it down.
8  They have set fire upon thy holy places, * and have defiled the dwelling-place of thy Name on the earth.
9  Yea, they said in their hearts, the whole kindred of them together : * Let us abolish all the feast days of God from the land.
10  We have not seen our tokens; there is not one prophet more; * and he will know us no more.

O God, make speed to save us; O Lord, make haste to help us

In the midst of the Church's apparent destruction, its humiliation by enemies who pretend to be our shepherds, we cry out in our impatience that God will put a stop to this madness.  But we never lose our trust in God.  These verses remind us not to lose faith―God is our powerful Saviour. 

Trust in God

11  Usquequo, Deus, improperábit inimícus: * irrítat adversárius nomen tuum in finem?
12  Ut quid avértis manum tuam, et déxteram tuam, * de médio sinu tuo in finem?
13  Deus autem Rex noster ante sæcula: * operátus est salútem in médio terræ.
14  Tu confirmásti in virtúte tua mare: * contribulásti cápita dracónum in aquis.
15  Tu confregísti cápita dracónis: * dedísti eum escam pópulis Æthíopum.
16  Tu dirupísti fontes, et torréntes * tu siccásti flúvios Ethan.
17  Tuus est dies, et tua est nox: * tu fabricátus es auróram et solem.
18  Tu fecísti omnes términos terræ: * æstátem et ver tu plasmásti ea.

11  O God, how long shall the enemy reproach? * shall the adversary blaspheme thy Name for ever?
12  Why dost thou turn away thy hand, even thy right hand? * out of the midst of thy bosom for ever?
13  But God is our King from of old; * he hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.
14  Thou hast made the sea firm through thy power; * thou hast broken the heads of the dragons in the waters.
15  Thou hast broken the heads of the dragon, * and hast given him to be meat for the people of the Ethiopians.
16  Thou hast broken up the the fountains and the torrents, * thou hast dried up the waters of Ethan.
17  Thine is the day, and thine is the night; * thou hast fashioned the morning light and the sun.
18  Thou hast made all the borders of the earth; * the summer and the spring were formed by thee.

Plea in suffering

19  Memor esto hujus, inimícus improperávit Dómino: * et pópulus insípiens incitávit nomen tuum.
20  Ne tradas béstiis ánimas confiténtes tibi, * et ánimas páuperum tuórum ne obliviscáris in finem.
21  Réspice in testaméntum tuum: * quia repléti sunt, qui obscuráti sunt terræ dómibus iniquitátum.
22  Ne avertátur húmilis factus confúsus: * pauper et inops laudábunt nomen tuum.
23  Exsúrge, Deus, júdica causam tuam: * memor esto improperiórum tuórum, eórum quæ ab insipiénte sunt tota die.
24  Ne obliviscáris voces inimicórum tuórum: * supérbia eórum, qui te odérunt, ascéndit semper.

19  Remember this, how the enemy hath rebuked the Lord; * and how the foolish people hath blasphemed thy Name.
20  O deliver not up unto the beasts the souls of them that confess to thee; * and forget not the souls of thy poor for ever.
21  Look upon thy covenant; * for they that are the obscure of the earth have been filled with dwellings of iniquity.
22  O let not the humble be turned away with confusion; * the poor and needy shall give praise unto thy Name.
23  Arise, O God, judge thine own cause; * remember thy reproaches with which the foolish man hath blasphemed thee all the day long.
24  Forget not the voice of thine enemies: * the pride of them that hate thee increaseth ever more and more.