- Note to the music leader: This is a song, and a psalm of David.1
We’ll keep our promise, God
- 1 Jerusalem2 sings your praises, God.
Our promises we’ll keep.
- 2 It’s you who hear our prayer.
You’re there for everyone.
- 3 We’re guilty as sin and loaded with guilt.
But you take our sins and forgive.
- 4 How wonderful it is for the one you choose
To live with you, in your home.
You have more than enough to offer us
From the goodness in your sacred Temple.
God’s amazing answer
- 5 You answer our prayers
With goodness and amazement.
You, dear God, are the one who saves us.
You are one people trust
From here to far-off lands and seas.
- 6 Your power raised the mountains.
And you wear strength as a perfect fit.
- 7 You calm the raging seas.
You quiet the roaring waves.
And you silence the noisy people of the world.
- 8 People throughout the earth
Will watch in awe at what you do.
You make lands of the sunrise dance
And lands of the sunset sing.
- 9 You irrigate the earth with rain
And enrich the fertile soil.
You’re a steady source of living water.
And you’re the reason grain springs to life.
- 10 You water the rows we’ve plowed and planted.
You soften hard ground with rain.
Then you bless it all with life and growth.
- 11 A bumper crop is what you gave.
And walls of the barns are bulging.
- 12 Badlands turn to grasslands,
And the hills sing happy songs.
- 13 Flocks blanket the meadow,
Valleys sprout to grain,
And everyone and everything
Sings and shouts for joy.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
Literally, “Zion,” a term of endearment, and another name for Jerusalem. It’s a bit like “The Big Apple” for New York City, “The City of Love” for Paris, and “Sin City” for Las Vegas, though some wouldn’t call that a term of endearment.