And you! Are you indifferent, above it all,
leaning back on the cushions of Israel’s praise?
We know you were there for our parents:
they cried for your help and you gave it; they trusted and lived a good life.
And here I am, a nothing—an earthworm,
something to step on, to squash.
Everyone pokes fun at me;
they make faces at me, they shake their heads:
“Let’s see how God handles this one;
since God likes him so much, let him help him!”
And to think you were midwife at my birth,
setting me at my mother’s breasts!
When I left the womb you cradled me; since the moment of birth you’ve been my God.
Then you moved far away
and trouble moved in next door.
I need a neighbor.
Herds of bulls come at me,
the raging bulls stampede,
Horns lowered, nostrils flaring,
like a herd of buffalo on the move.
I’m a bucket kicked over and spilled,
every joint in my body has been pulled apart.
My heart is a blob
of melted wax in my gut.
I’m dry as a bone,
my tongue black and swollen.
They have laid me out for burial
in the dirt.
Now packs of wild dogs come at me;
thugs gang up on me.
They pin me down hand and foot,
and lock me in a cage—a bag
Of bones in a cage, stared at
by every passerby.
They take my wallet and the shirt off my back,
and then throw dice for my clothes.
You, God—don’t put off my rescue! Hurry and help me!
Don’t let them cut my throat;
don’t let those mongrels devour me.
If you don’t show up soon,
I’m done for—gored by the bulls,
meat for the lions.
Here’s the story I’ll tell my friends when they come to worship,
and punctuate it with Hallelujahs:
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down,
never looked the other way
when you were being kicked around.
He has never wandered off to do his own thing;
he has been right there, listening.
Here in this great gathering for worship
I have discovered this praise-life.
And I’ll do what I promised right here
in front of the God-worshipers.
Down-and-outers sit at God‘s table
and eat their fill.
Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him. “Live it up, from head to toe. Don’t ever quit!”
From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, are running back to God.
are falling on their faces before him.
God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word.
All the power-mongers are before him
All the poor and powerless, too
Along with those who never got it together
Our children and their children
will get in on this
As the word is passed along from parent to child.
Babies not yet conceived
will hear the good news—
that God does what he says.
(Psalm 22, MSG, emphasis mine)