Come down from heaven, LORD
Put the fear of God in our enemies1
Come Lord, hurry.
Rip through heaven,
Tear through the sky,
Shake the mountains with your presence.
And the water begins to boil,
May enemy nations start to feel
A blistering terror in your presence.
3You did wonders we couldn’t imagine.
When you came, the mountains trembled.
4Who on earth has ever heard
Of a God who serves his people?
5You work with those who work with you.
They live by laws you gave.
But you got mad when we disobeyed.
And you left us in our sin.
6We’re filthy in your sight now.
Our good deeds are the filthy rags
from a woman’s monthly period.
We’re fallen leaves, withered to a crisp.
And we’re waiting for a puff of wind
To carry us away.
7None of us prays to you anymore.
We don’t call your name
Because you left us behind,
To melt in the heat of our sins.
We are what you make of us8
LORD, you’re our Father.
We’re your clay and you’re the potter.
We’re whatever you make of us.
Don’t linger forever on thoughts of our sins.
Instead, remember that we are your people.
10Your holy cities lie in ruins.
And the Jerusalem we loved is gone.
11Our holy Temple was a beautiful sanctuary.
Our ancestors worshiped you there.
Now it’s burned to the ground,
Like all the places we’ve loved,
It’s destroyed, broken to pieces.
12After all of this, LORD
Will you still not help us?
Is there more you want us to suffer?
A little finger-pointing here. And it points to God, suggesting he’s partly to blame for the trouble the resettling Jews are having with their hostile neighbors. The Jews had been gone for 50 years, exiled to Babylon, in what is now Iraq. Pioneers settled in the abandoned land, and they didn’t want a resurging Jewish nation to push them out, much like Jews in modern times have been accused of confiscating land that local Palestinians have owned for many generations, and then planting Jewish settlements there.
Most Bibles say “filthy,” but the Hebrew words describes how filthy. Women are ritually unclean during their monthly period, and not allowed to enter the Jerusalem Temple area. Anything they sit on or touch becomes ritually unclean, too. Used menstrual rags are about as ritually unclean as anything could get.
This suggests the poem refers to a time before Jews rebuilt the Jerusalem Temple in 516 BC.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.