Psalm 76 Voce mea

The ways of God

God seems to have abandoned his people.  Reflections on the past, made glorious by all the wonderful deeds of God, can still fill the psalmist with wonder; but at the same time they can make the terrible contrast with the present day more dismal and more difficult to bear.  He reaches a sad conclusion: God has abandoned his people.  And with this tortured sentiment of near despair the Psalm comes to a close.  For us present-day Christians, it is a prayer for the Calvary hours in the life of the Church, and in our own life.

 Unceasing prayer

Voce mea ad Dóminum clamávi : * voce mea ad Deum, et inténdit mihi.
 In die tribulatiónis meæ Deum exquisívi, mánibus meis nocte contra eum : * et non sum decéptus.
  Rénuit consolári ánima mea, * memor fui Dei, et delectátus sum, et exercitátus sum : et defécit spíritus meus.
  Anticipavérunt vigílias óculi mei : *  turbátus sum, et non sum locútus.

With my voice have I cried unto the Lord : * even unto God with my voice, and he hath heard me.
2  In the time of my trouble I sought the Lord, I stretched forth my hands unto him in the night season : * and I was not deceived.
3  My soul refused comfort, * I was mindful of God, and exercised and took pleasure therein : and my spirit grew faint.
4  Mine eyes remained open before the night watch : * I was thrown into confusion, and spake not.

 The present crisis

5  Cogitávi dies antíquos : * et annos ætérnos in mente hábui.
  Et meditátus sum nocte cum corde meo, * et exercitábar, et scopébam spíritum meum.
  Numquid in ætérnum projíciet Deus : * aut non appónet ut complacítior sit adhuc?
  Aut in finem misericórdiam suam abscíndet, * a generatióne in generatiónem?
  Aut obliviscétur miseréri Deus : * aut continébit in ira sua misericórdias suas?
 Et dixi : Nunc cœpi : * hæc mutátio déxteræ Excélsi.

5  I have considered the days of old, * and I had in my mind the years that are past.
6  And I communed in the night with mine own heart, * I exercised and sought out my spirit.
7  Will the Lord absent himself for ever? * or will he never be more favourable again?
8  Is his mercy clean gone for ever? * for ever and for evermore?
9  Or will God forget to shew mercy? * and will he shut up his loving-kindness in displeasure?
10  And I said, Now have I begun : * this is the change of the right hand of the Most Highest.

 Spectacle of the past

11  Memor fui óperum Dómini : * quia memor ero ab inítio mirabílium tuórum.
  Et meditábor in ómnibus opéribus tuis : * et in adinventiónibus tuis exercébor.

11  I remembered the works of the Lord, * for I will call to mind thy wonders of old time.
12  I will think also of all thy works, * and my talking shall be of thy doings.

God's holiness and power

13  Deus, in sancto via tua : quis Deus magnus sicut Deus noster? * tu es Deus qui facis mirabília.
   Notam fecísti in pópulis virtútem tuam : * Redemísti in bráchio tuo pópulum tuum fílios Jacob et Joseph.

13  Thy way, O God, is holy : who is so great a God as our God? * thou art the God that doest wonders.
14  Thou hast declared thy power among the peoples : * with thine arm hast thou delivered thy people, even the sons of Jacob and Joseph.

Passage through the Red Sea

15  Vidérunt te aquæ,  Deus, vidérunt te aquæ : * et timuérunt et turbátæ sunt abyssi.
  Multitúdo sónitus aquárum : * vocem dedérunt nubes.
17  Etenim sagíttæ tuæ tránseunt : * vox tonítrui tui in rota.
18   Illuxérunt coruscatiónes tuæ orbi terræ : *  commóta est, et contrémuit terra.
  In mari via tua, et sémitæ tuæ in aquis multis : * et vestígia tua non cognoscéntur.
  Deduxísti sicut oves pópulum tuum, *  in manu Móysi et Aaron.

15  The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee, * and they were afraid, and the depths also were troubled.
16  Great was the noise of the waters : * the clouds gave forth their voice.
17  For thine arrows went abroad, * the voice of thy thunder was heard round about.
18  The lightnings shone upon the world ; * the earth was moved, and shook withal.
19  Thy way is in the sea, and thy paths in the great waters, * and thy footsteps shall not be known.
20  Thou leddest thy people like sheep, * by the hand of Moses and Aaron.