1 O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage! 2 Your arrows have struck deep, and your blows are crushing me. 3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins. 4 My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear. 5 My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins. 6 I am bent over and racked with pain. All day long I walk around filled with grief. 7 A raging fever burns within me, and my health is broken. 8 I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart.
9 You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. 10 My heart beats wildly, my strength fails, and I am going blind. 11 My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance. 12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery.
13 But I am deaf to all their threats. I am silent before them as one who cannot speak. 14 I choose to hear nothing, and I make no reply. 15 For I am waiting for you, O Lord. You must answer for me, O Lord my God. 16 I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me or rejoice at my downfall.”
17 I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. 18 But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. 19 I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason. 20 They repay me evil for good and oppose me for pursuing good. 21 Do not abandon me, O Lord. Do not stand at a distance, my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior.
For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” 2 But as I stood there in silence— not even speaking of good things— the turmoil within me grew worse. 3 The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: 4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude
6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. 7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. 8 Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me. 9 I am silent before you; I won’t say a word, for my punishment is from you. 10 But please stop striking me! I am exhausted by the blows from your hand. 11 When you discipline us for our sins, you consume like a moth what is precious to us. Each of us is but a breath. Interlude
12 Hear my prayer, O Lord! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest— a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. 13 Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.[a] 5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb,[b] teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. 18 Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit— with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
51:4Greek version reads and you will win your case in court. Compare Rom 3:4.
51:6Or from the heart; Hebrew reads in the inward parts.
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah. A song to be sung to the tune “The Suffering of Affliction.” A psalm[a] of Heman the Ezrahite.
1 O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to you at night. 2 Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry. 3 For my life is full of troubles, and death[b] draws near. 4 I am as good as dead, like a strong man with no strength left. 5 They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave. I am forgotten, cut off from your care. 6 You have thrown me into the lowest pit, into the darkest depths. 7 Your anger weighs me down; with wave after wave you have engulfed me. Interlude
8 You have driven my friends away by making me repulsive to them. I am in a trap with no way of escape. 9 My eyes are blinded by my tears. Each day I beg for your help, O Lord; I lift my hands to you for mercy. 10 Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise you? Interlude
11 Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love? Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction?[c] 12 Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds? Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness? 13 O Lord, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day. 14 O Lord, why do you reject me? Why do you turn your face from me?
15 I have been sick and close to death since my youth. I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors. 16 Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me. Your terrors have paralyzed me. 17 They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long. They have engulfed me completely. 18 You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend.
88:TitleHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
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