A Song of Praise to the Lord
1In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song:
Our city is strong!
We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation.
2Open the gates to all who are righteous;
allow the faithful to enter.
3You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
4Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
5He humbles the proud
and brings down the arrogant city.
He brings it down to the dust.
6The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot,
and the needy walk all over it.
7But for those who are righteous,
the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
and you smooth out the path ahead of them.
8Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
9In the night I search for you;
in the morning I earnestly seek you.
For only when you come to judge the earth
will people learn what is right.
10Your kindness to the wicked
does not make them do good.
Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong
and take no notice of the Lord’s majesty.
11O Lord, they pay no attention to your upraised fist.
Show them your eagerness to defend your people.
Then they will be ashamed.
Let your fire consume your enemies.
12Lord, you will grant us peace;
all we have accomplished is really from you.
13O Lord our God, others have ruled us,
but you alone are the one we worship.
14Those we served before are dead and gone.
Their departed spirits will never return!
You attacked them and destroyed them,
and they are long forgotten.
15O Lord, you have made our nation great;
yes, you have made us great.
You have extended our borders,
and we give you the glory!
16Lord, in distress we searched for you.
We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline.
17Just as a pregnant woman
writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth,
so were we in your presence, Lord.
18We, too, writhe in agony,
but nothing comes of our suffering.
We have not given salvation to the earth,
nor brought life into the world.
19But those who die in the Lord will live;
their bodies will rise again!
Those who sleep in the earth
will rise up and sing for joy!
For your life-giving light will fall like dew
on your people in the place of the dead!
Restoration for Israel
20Go home, my people,
and lock your doors!
Hide yourselves for a little while
until the Lord’s anger has passed.
21Look! The Lord is coming from heaven
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed.
They will be brought out for all to see.