1 O God, we with our ears have heard—
our fathers told us so—
What you accomplished in their days,
in days of long ago.
2 Your hand drove nations out,
and placed our fathers there instead;
You crushed the peoples,
but you caused our tribes to grow and spread.
3 It was not by their sword or arm
that they possessed the land,
But by your love and favour shown,
and by your mighty hand.
4 You are my King and God;
ordain for Jacob victories.
5 Through you we trample down
our foes and rout our enemies.
6 My sword does not bring victory,
nor do I trust my bow.
7 You put our enemies to shame
and overcome our foe.
8 In God alone we make our boast,
rejoicing all day long,
And to your name for evermore
we’ll offer praise in song.
9 But now you have rejected us
and brought us very low,
And when our armies march to war,
with them you do not go.
10 Our hateful foe has plundered us;
you made us flee, O God.
11 You let us be devoured like sheep
and scattered us abroad.
12 You cheaply sold your people off;
the sale produced no gain.
13 Our neighbours look on us with scorn
and treat us with disdain.
14 You make us a reproach
and shame before the nations’ face;
The peoples shake their heads at us
and mock at our disgrace.
15 Disgrace I suffer all day long
and I am filled with shame
16 Because of mocking taunts
and scorn from those who hate my name.
17 All this has happened to us,
though we’d not forgotten you.
We had not spurned your covenant;
to it we had been true.
18 Our hearts did not turn back;
our feet from your path did not stray. 1
9 You crushed and left us in the dark
where jackals hunt their prey.
20 If we forgot God’s name,
or to false gods had stretched our hands,
21 Would God not know,
for he our hearts and secrets understands?
22 And yet it is for your own sake
we face death all the day;
We’re reckoned like the sheep
that are for slaughter led away.
23 Awake, O Lord! Arise from sleep!
Do not reject your folk.
24 Why hide your face
and quite forget our pain and cruel yoke?
25 For we’ve been humbled to the dust,
laid prostrate on the ground.
26 Rise, help, redeem,
because within your cov’nant love we’re found.
You can hear a Free Church of Scotland congregation sing this to the tune Old 44th here.
Author: David Wiggs
I am the webmaster for Purley United Reformed Church and have been involved with the church since my late teens. I work in Croydon and live in Caterham.