Sunday, November 11, 2012

"How long, O Lord . . . ?"

For Robert Geiss' weekly PsalmChallenge, here is Psalm 79.
The intense feeling of this psalmist most likely comes in reaction to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE.
He speaks of violence and calls for vengeance. 

Today is Armistice Day / Veterans Day in the world.
Since biblical days and before,  the need for soldiers and armistices continues.
Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours terrorists in Gaza have fired over 100 rockets, mortars, and missiles into Israel.
Will it ever end?

O God! Nations have come into Your estate, defiled Your holy Temple, reduced Jerusalem to rubble!
2. They have given Your servants’ corpses to the fowl of the heavens for consumption and the flesh of Your faithful to the wild beasts of earth.
3. They have spilled out their blood like water around Jerusalem. No one was buried.
4. We have become a disgrace to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those around us.

5. How long, O LORD will You be angry, forever will Your zeal blaze like fire? 
6. Spill forth Your rage on the nations that do not know You, on the kingdoms that do not call upon Your name,
7. for they have consumed Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
8. Do not recall to us our former  iniquities; speedily may Your compassion come toward us, for we are very low.
9. Help us, O God of our salvation, because of the glory of Your name; save us and grant forgiveness for our sins, for the sake of Your name.
10. Why should nations say, “Where is their god?” Before our eyes  let the vengeance for the spilt blood of Your servants be known among the nations.

11. May the prisoner’s groan come before You; as befits the might of Your arm, reprieve those about to be put to death. 
12. Return sevenfold to the bosom of our neighbors the disgrace which they heaped on You, O Lord.

13. For we, Your people, are the flock You shepherd. 
We shall glorify You forever; from generation to generation we shall tell Your praise. 
Translation by Rabbi Benjamin J. Segal.  See also his notes on Psalm 79.
1. Sculpture by Kobi Knaan, at Bible Stories exhibition, Mamilla mall
2. An outdoor people warmer,  Mamilla mall
3. British solitary confinement cell, Museum of Prisoners of [pre-State]  Underground Movements Prisoners, Jerusalem 
4. My neighbor's goat flock and their shepherd


Sara said...

Perfect photos again, Dina! It seems easy to become discouraged these days, but I pray the rain of rockets will cease. How long, O Lord, how long? Who knows but that all our prayers around the world are making a difference nonetheless, in all the places of turmoil. We can certainly understand the cry of the psalmist.

'Tsuki said...

I think that when God has been betrayed by the too weak faith of his people, it makes no good to lament oneself, asking for th Lord's pity. It is only time to repair.

I just love what you did for psalm 79 : great choice of picture again.

Here's mine :

Spiderdama said...

Great pictures to this psalm Dina.

That was a lot of rockets..sad
I say like Sara, we do pray for Israel every day.

Hugs from north

Anonymous said...

How moving to read this contemporary relation.

Thank you very much for your effort and kind participation. Must be wonderful to have a goat flock as neighbour. Please have a good start into the new week.

crystal said...

I hope you stay safe.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Your sheep look so different from the green pastures in Saras entry.

Dina said...

Friends, shalom. Thanks for your concern. The shelling from Gaza continues.

Joan, yes, here the vegetation is brown for half the year. The green only starts when the rain returns in the winter.
BTW, the flock in my picture is of goats. Way to tell: sheep--tail down, goat--tail up.
In Hebrew the word tson means flock. I think in the old days they usually kept mixed flocks of goats and sheep. But that is why you find different translations for it in the English Bible.

VP said...

A beautiful and very sad post, perfect for this time of global uncertainty...