Psalm 1-36 The Voice (VOICE)
Book One (Psalms 1–41) is attributed almost entirely to David; all but four of the psalms (1–2; 10; 33) are ascribed to him. In Hebrew Psalm 10 is a continuation of Psalm 9 because it was composed as an acrostic poem. Likewise, many Hebrew manuscripts combine Psalm 33 with 32. Only later are these divided into separate psalms. Psalm 1 sets the stage for the entire collection by explaining that the study of the Word of God is the foundation of a meaningful, prosperous life.
1 God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes,
When you avoid sin’s highway,
when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse.
2 For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness.
It is your focus—from dusk to dawn.
3 You are like a tree,
planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.
Your fruit ripens in its time;
your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.
4 For those who focus on sin, the story is different.
They are like the fallen husk of wheat, tossed by an open wind, left deserted and alone.
5 In the end, the wicked will fall in judgment;
the guilty will be separated from the innocent.
6 Their road suddenly will end in death,
yet the journey of the righteous has been charted by the Eternal.
1 You are wondering: What has provoked the nations to embrace anger and chaos?
Why are the people making plans to pursue their own vacant and empty greatness?
2 Leaders of nations stand united;
rulers put their heads together,
plotting against the Eternal One and His Anointed King, trying to figure out
3 How they can throw off the gentle reign of God’s love,
step out from under the restrictions of His claims to advance their own schemes.
4 At first, the Power of heaven laughs at their silliness.
The Eternal mocks their ignorant selfishness.
5 But His laughter turns to rage, and He rebukes them.
As God displays His righteous anger, they begin to know the meaning of fear. He says,
6 “I am the One who appointed My king who reigns from Zion, My mount of holiness.
He is the one in charge.”
7 I am telling all of you the truth. I have heard the Eternal’s decree.
He said clearly to me, “You are My son.
Today I have become your Father.
8 The nations shall be yours for the asking,
and the entire earth will belong to you.
9 They are yours to crush with an iron scepter,
yours to shatter like fragile, clay pots.”
10 So leaders, kings, and judges,
be wise, and be warned.
11 There is only one God, the Eternal;
worship Him with respect and awe;
take delight in Him and tremble.
12 Bow down before God’s son.
If you don’t, you will face His anger and retribution,
And you won’t stand a chance.
For it doesn’t take long to kindle royal wrath,
But blessings await all who trust in Him.
They will find God a gentle refuge.
A song of David composed while fleeing from his son Absalom.
This Davidic psalm recalls the time when David fled from Jerusalem after Absalom, his son, rebelled and claimed the throne (2 Samuel 15–17).
1 Eternal One, my adversaries are many, too many to count.
Now they have taken a stand against me!
2 Right to my face they say,
“God will not save you!”
3 But You, Eternal One, wrap around me like an impenetrable shield.
You give me glory and lift my eyes up to the heavens.
4 I lift my voice to You, Eternal One,
and You answer me from Your sacred heights.
5 I lie down at night and fall asleep.
I awake in the morning—healthy, strong, vibrant—because the Eternal supports me.
6 No longer will I fear my tens of thousands of enemies
who have surrounded me!
7 Rise up, O Eternal One!
Rescue me, O God!
For You have dealt my enemies a strong blow to the jaw!
You have shattered their teeth! Do so again.
8 Liberation truly comes from the Eternal.
Let Your blessings shower down upon Your people.
For the worship leader. A song of David accompanied by strings.
1 Answer my prayers, O True God, the righteous, who makes me right.
I was hopelessly surrounded, and You rescued me.
Once again hear me; hide me in Your favor;
bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness.
2 How long will you sons of Adam steal my dignity, reduce my glory to shame?
Why pine for the fruitless and dream a delusion?
3 Understand this: The Eternal One treats as special those like Him.
The Eternal will answer my prayers and save me.
4 Think long; think hard. When you are angry, don’t let it carry you into sin.
When night comes, in calm be silent.
5 From this day forward, offer to God the right sacrifice from a heart made right by God.
Entrust yourself to the Eternal.
6 Crowds of disheartened people ask, “Who can show us what is good?”
Let Your brilliant face shine upon us, O Eternal One, that we may know the undeniable answer.
7 You have filled me with joy, and happiness has risen in my heart, great delight and unrivaled joy,
even more than when bread abounds and wine flows freely.
8 Tonight I will sleep securely on a bed of peace
because I trust You, You alone, O Eternal One, will keep me safe.
For the worship leader. A song of David accompanied by flutes.
The various psalms reflect nearly every human emotion: unbridled joy, deep-seated jealousy, seething anger, hope, and depression. These are only a few of the emotions behind the poetry we hear expressed in individual psalms. Feelings and emotions are central to what it means to be human. We cannot escape them nor should we. Psalms invites us to take the emotions we feel and bring them before God. This book models how to come before God in times of sadness, brokenness, and joy. Psalm 5 is a cry for help and a plea for guidance by a person who suffered at the hands of an enemy. It talks about the morning as the time to pray and listen for God to answer. Like many laments, it begins with a cry but ends in confidence.
1 Bend Your ear to me and listen to my words, O Eternal One;
hear the deep cry of my heart.
2 Listen to my call for help,
my King, my True God;
to You alone I pray.
3 In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice;
in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer.
4 You’re not a God who smiles at sin;
You cannot abide with evil.
5 The proud wither in Your presence;
You hate all who pervert and destroy what is good.
6 You destroy those with lying lips;
the Eternal detests those who murder and deceive.
7 Yet I, by Your loving grace,
am welcomed into Your house;
I will turn my face toward Your holy place
and fall on my knees in reverence before You.
8 O Eternal One, lead me in the path of Your righteousness
amidst those who wish me harm;
make Your way clear to me.
9 Their words cannot be trusted;
they are destructive to their cores.
What comes out of their mouths is as foul as a rotting corpse;
their words stink of flattery.
10 Find them guilty, O True God;
let their own devices bring them ruin.
Throw them out, and let them drown in the deluge of their sin,
for in revolt they brazenly spit in Your face.
11 But let those who run to You for safety be glad they did;
let them break out in joyful song.
May You keep them safe—
their love for You resounding in their hearts.
12 You, O Eternal, are the One who lays all good things in the laps of the right-hearted.
Your blessings surround them like a shield.
For the worship leader. A song of David accompanied by the lyre.
1 O Eternal One, don’t punish me in Your anger
or harshly correct me.
2 Show me grace, Eternal God. I am completely undone.
Bring me back together, Eternal One. Mend my shattered bones.
3 My soul is drowning in darkness.
How long can You, the Eternal, let things go on like this?
4 Come back, Eternal One, and lead me to Your saving light.
Rescue me because I know You are truly compassionate.
5 I’m alive for a reason—I can’t worship You if I’m dead.
If I’m six feet under, how can I thank You?
6 I’m exhausted. I cannot even speak, my voice fading as sighs.
Every day ends in the same place—lying in bed, covered in tears,
my pillow wet with sorrow.
7 My eyes burn, devoured with grief;
they grow weak as I constantly watch for my enemies.
8 All who are evil, stay away from me
because the Eternal hears my voice, listens as I cry.
9 The Eternal God hears my simple prayers;
He receives my request.
10 All who seek to destroy me will be humiliated;
they will turn away and suddenly crumble in shame.
A song of David to the Eternal regarding Cush, the Benjaminite.
1 O Eternal my God, in You I seek refuge.
Save me from those who are chasing me. Rescue me,
2 Or else they will tear me to pieces as a lion devours his prey;
they will carry me off with no one to snatch me from their jaws.
3 O Eternal my God, if I have done anything wrong to deserve this,
if there is blood on my hands,
4 If I have mistreated a friend,
or if I have stolen from an adversary without just cause,
5 Then let my enemy come after me and catch me,
stomping me into the ground, ending my life,
and grinding my honor into the dirt.
6 Arise, O Eternal One, inflamed by Your anger.
Come and counter the rage of my adversaries;
open Your eyes, my God; hear my plea for justice once and for all.
7 Let the people gather around You.
Return to Your rightful place above them in the high court.
8 The Eternal will judge the nations.
Judge me now, Eternal One, according to my virtue and integrity.
9 Please, bring the evil actions of these wicked, wicked people to an end!
But secure the righteous,
For You, righteous God,
examine our hearts and minds.
10 God is my defender;
He rescues those who have a pure heart.
11 God is a just judge;
He passes judgment daily against the person who does evil.
12 If the wicked do not turn from their evil deeds, God will sharpen His sword;
He will bend His bow, stringing it in readiness.
13 Yes, He has prepared His deadly weapons
with His arrows flaming hot.
14 See, my enemies are fertile with evil.
They conceive trouble
and give birth to deception.
15 They prepare a trap, digging a deep pit,
and fall into the snare they have made.
16 The trouble they plan will return to punish them,
and their violent acts will come back to haunt them.
17 As a result, I will thank the Eternal for His justice
and sing praises in honor of the Eternal, Most High.
For the worship leader. A song of David accompanied by the harp.
This Davidic psalm based on Genesis 1 celebrates not only God’s majesty as Creator but also the unique place of human beings in His creation.
1 O Eternal, our Lord,
Your majestic name is heard throughout the earth;
Your magnificent glory shines far above the skies.
2 From the mouths and souls of infants and toddlers, the most innocent,
You have decreed power to stop Your adversaries
and quash those who seek revenge.
3 When I gaze to the skies and meditate on Your creation—
on the moon, stars, and all You have made,
4 I can’t help but wonder why You care about mortals—
sons and daughters of men—
specks of dust floating about the cosmos.
5 But You placed the son of man just beneath God
and honored him like royalty, crowning him with glory and honor.
6 You ordained him to govern the works of Your hands,
to nurture the offspring of Your divine imagination;
You placed everything on earth beneath his feet:
7 All kinds of domesticated animals,
even the wild animals in the fields and forests,
8 The birds of the sky and the fish of the sea,
all the multitudes of living things that travel the currents of the oceans.
9 O Eternal, our Lord,
Your majestic name is heard throughout the earth.
For the worship leader. A song of David to the tune “Death of a Son.”
In the Hebrew manuscripts, Psalms 9 and 10 work as a unit because together they form an acrostic poem, meaning each stanza begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This literary device has several functions. First, it provides a mnemonic device for easier memorization. Second, it is inherently beautiful; the rigid structure is a showcase for the author’s literary talents. Finally, it conveys the idea of completion by describing the reasons God is to be praised “from A to Z.” Psalm 9 offers David’s thanks and praise to God for defeating his enemies. Psalm 10, on the other hand, is a lament complaining that God is far off while the poor and helpless suffer.
1 All my heart will give thanks to You, Eternal One.
I will tell others about Your amazing works.
2 I will be glad and celebrate You!
I will praise You, O Most High!
3 When my adversaries turned and fled,
they fell and died right in front of You,
4 For You supported my just cause.
From Your throne, You have judged wisely.
5 You confronted the nations; You have destroyed the wicked.
You have erased their names from history.
6 The enemy is finished, their time is up;
their cities will lie in ruin forever;
all memory of them is gone.
7 Still the Eternal remains and will reign forever;
He has taken His place on His throne for judgment.
8 So He will judge the world rightly.
He shall execute that judgment equally on all people.
9 For the Eternal will be a shelter for those who know misery,
a refuge during troubling times.
10 Those who know Your name will rely on You,
for You, O Eternal One, have not abandoned those who search for You.
11 Praise Him who lives on Zion’s holy hill.
Tell the story of His great acts among the people!
12 For He remembers the victims of violence and avenges their blood;
He does not turn a deaf ear to the cry of the needy.
13 Be gracious to me, O Eternal One.
Notice the harm I have suffered because of my enemies,
You who carry me safely away from death’s door,
14 So that I may rehearse Your deeds, declare Your praise,
and rejoice in Your rescue
when I take my stand in the gates of Zion.
15 The nations have fallen into the pit they dug for others,
their own feet caught, snared by the net they hid.
16 The Eternal is well known, for He has taken action and secured justice;
He has trapped the wicked through the work of their own hands.
17 The wicked are headed for death and the grave;
all the nations who forget the True God will share a similar fate.
18 For those in need shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor will never die.
19 Eternal One, arise! Do not allow mere mortals to win the day.
Judge the nations Yourself.
20 Put the fear of God in them, Eternal One!
Remind the nations they are mere men, not gods.
1 Why, O Eternal One, are You so far away?
Why can’t You be found during troubling times?
2 Mean and haughty people hunt down the poor.
May they get caught up in their own wicked schemes.
3 For the wicked celebrates the evil cravings of his heart
as the greedy curses and rejects the Eternal.
4 The arrogance of the wicked one keeps him from seeking the True God.
He truly thinks, “There is no God.”
5 His ways seem always to be successful;
Your judgments, too, seem far beyond him, out of his reach.
He looks down on all his enemies.
6 In his heart he has decided, “Nothing will faze me.
From generation to generation I will not face trouble.”
7 His mouth is full of curses, lies, and oppression.
Beneath his tongue lie trouble and wickedness.
8 He hides in the shadows of the villages,
waiting to ambush and kill the innocent in dark corners.
He eyes the weak and the poor.
9 Ominously, like a lion in its lair,
he lurks in secret to waylay those who are downtrodden.
When he catches them, he draws them in and drags them off with his net.
10 Quietly crouching, lying low,
ready to overwhelm the next by his strength,
11 The wicked thinks in his heart, “God has forgotten us!
He has covered His face and will never notice!”
12 Arise, O Eternal, my True God. Lift up Your hand.
Do not forget the downtrodden.
13 Why does the wicked revile the True God?
He has decided, “He will not hold me responsible.”
14 But wait! You have seen,
and You will consider the trouble and grief he caused.
You will impose consequences for his actions.
The helpless, the orphans, commit themselves to You,
and You have been their Helper.
15 Break the arm of the one guilty of doing evil;
investigate all his wicked acts;
hold him responsible for every last one of them.
16 The Eternal will reign as King forever.
The other nations will be swept off His land.
17 O Eternal One, You have heard the longings of the poor and lowly.
You will strengthen them; You who are of heaven will hear them,
18 Vindicating the orphan and the oppressed
so that men who are of the earth will terrify them no more.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
Psalm 11 is a Davidic psalm expressing trust in the Eternal as a refuge and fortress for those who do what is right. David spent many years struggling first with Saul, then with the neighboring nations, and finally against the rebellion led by his son Absalom.
1 I am already in the soft embrace of the Eternal,
so why do you beckon me to leave, saying,
“Fly like a bird to the mountains.
2 Look! The wicked approach with bows bent,
sneaking around in the shadows,
setting their arrows against their bowstrings to pierce everyone whose heart is pure.
3 If the foundations are crumbling,
is there hope for the righteous?”
4 But the Eternal has not moved; He remains in His holy temple.
He sits squarely on His heavenly throne.
He observes the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, examining us within and without,
exploring every fiber of our beings.
5 The Eternal searches the hearts of those who are good,
but He despises all those who can’t get enough of perversion and violence.
6 If you are evil, He will rain hot lava over your head,
will fill your cup with burning wind and liquid fire to scorch your insides.
7 The Eternal is right in all His ways;
He cherishes all that is upright.
Those who do what is right in His eyes will see His face.
For the worship leader. A song of David accompanied by the lyre.
1 Help me, O Eternal One, for I can’t find anyone who follows You.
The faithful have fallen out of sight.
2 Everyone tells lies through sweet-talking lips
and speaks from a hollow and deceptive heart.
3 May the Eternal silence all sweet-talking lips,
stop all boasting tongues,
4 Of those who say, “With our words we will win;
our lips are our own. Who is the master of our souls?”
5 “I will rise up,” says the Eternal,
“because the poor are being trampled, and the needy groan for My saving help.
I will lift them up to the safety they long for.”
6 The promises of the Eternal, they are true, they are pure—
like silver refined in a furnace,
purified seven times, they will be without impurity.
7 You, O Eternal, will be their protector.
You will keep them safe from those around them forever.
8 All around, those who are wicked parade—proud and arrogant—and people applaud their emptiness.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
1 How long, O Eternal One? How long will You forget me? Forever?
How long will You look the other way?
2 How long must I agonize,
grieving Your absence in my heart every day?
How long will You let my enemies win?
3 Turn back; respond to me, O Eternal, my True God!
Put the spark of life in my eyes, or I’m dead.
4 My enemies will boast they have beaten me;
my foes will celebrate that I have stumbled.
5 But I trust in Your faithful love;
my heart leaps at the thought of imminent deliverance by You.
6 I will sing to the Eternal,
for He is always generous with me.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
This is a wisdom psalm that grieves over the pervasiveness of sin and its sad effects. It is repeated with minor changes in Psalm 53. Paul refers to this Davidic psalm to explain how all of humanity is tainted by sin (Romans 3:1–12).
1 A wicked and foolish man truly believes there is no God.
They are vile, their sinfulness nauseating to their Creator;
their actions are soiled and repulsive; every deed is depraved;
not one of them does good.
2 The Eternal leans over from heaven to survey the sons of Adam.
No one is missed, and no one can hide.
He searches to see who understands true wisdom,
who desires to know the True God.
3 They all turn their backs, walking their own roads;
they are rancid, leaving a trail of rotten footsteps behind them;
not one of them does good,
not even one.
4 Do the wicked have no clue about what really matters?
They devour my brothers and sisters the way a man eats his dinner.
They ignore the Eternal and don’t call on Him, rejecting His reality and truth.
5 They shall secretly tremble behind closed doors, hearts beating hard within their chests,
knowing that God always avenges the upright.
6 You laugh at the counsel of the poor, the needy, the troubled who put their trust in God.
You try to take away their only hope,
but the Eternal is a strong shelter in the heaviest storm.
7 May a new day, a day of deliverance come for Israel, starting with Zion.
When the Eternal breaks the chains of His oppressed people,
the family of Jacob will rejoice, and Israel will be delighted.
A song of David.
A recurring theme in the psalms is the dwelling place of God and its importance in worship. This Davidic psalm considers the moral qualities of the person who wishes to approach God.
1 Eternal One, who is invited to stay in Your dwelling?
Who is granted passage to Your holy mountain?
2 Here is the answer: The one who lives with integrity, does what is right,
and speaks honestly with truth from the heart.
3 The one who doesn’t speak evil against others
or wrong his neighbor,
or slander his friends.
4 The one who loathes the loathsome,
honors those who fear the Eternal,
And keeps all promises no matter the cost.
5 The one who does not lend money with gain in mind
and cannot be bought to harm an innocent name.
If you live this way, you will not be shaken and will live together with the Lord.
A prayer of David.
1 Protect me, God, for the only safety I know is found in the moments I seek You.
2 I told You, Eternal One, “You are my Lord,
for the only good I know in this world is found in You alone.”
3 The beauty of faith-filled people encompasses me.
They are true, and my heart is thrilled beyond measure.
4 All the while the despair of many,
who abandoned Your goodness for the empty promises of false gods, increases day by day.
I refuse to pour out blood offerings,
to utter their names from my lips.
5 You, Eternal One, are my sustenance and my life-giving cup.
In that cup, You hold my future and my eternal riches.
6 My home is surrounded in beauty;
You have gifted me with abundance and a rich legacy.
7 I will bless the Eternal, whose wise teaching orchestrates my days
and centers my mind at night.
8 He is ever present with me;
at all times He goes before me.
I will not live in fear or abandon my calling
because He stands at my right hand.
9 This is a good life—my heart is glad, my soul is full of joy,
and my body is at rest.
Who could want for more?
10 You will not abandon me to experience death and the grave
or leave me to rot alone.
11 Instead, You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life.
As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending,
and I know true joy and contentment.
A prayer of David.
1 Listen, O Eternal One, to my cry for justice.
These words of mine are true—turn Your ear toward me.
2 Announce that I am free of all the charges against me—only You can see into my heart to know that to be true.
Treat me with fairness; look at me with justice.
3 You have searched me—my heart and soul—awakened me from dreaming and tested me.
You’ve found nothing against me.
I have resolved not to sin in what I say.
4 The path violent men have followed,
I will not travel. Violence is not my way.
Your ways and Your voice now guide my journey.
5 I will press on—moving steadfastly forward along Your path.
I will not look back. I will not stumble.
6 I am crying aloud to You, O True God, for I long to know Your answer.
Hear me, O God. Hear my plea. Hear my prayer for help.
7 Put Your marvelous love on display for all to see.
Liberator of those who long for shelter beside You,
set them safely away from their enemies, ever welcomed by grace.
8 Keep close watch over me as the apple of Your eye;
shelter me in the shadow of Your wings.
9 Protect me from the wicked who are poised to attack,
from the enemies swarming around me and closing in quickly.
10 Like clay baking in the sun, their hearts have hardened;
arrogance spills from their mouths.
11 They’ve tracked me down like quarry.
They’re surrounding me
and are poised to throw me down into the dirt.
12 Like a lion—crouching in the brush—they are ready to tear me apart.
Like young lions in their hiding places, they are poised to strike.
13 Rise up and confront them, O Eternal One! Make them pay.
By Your sword, set me free from my wicked enemies!
14 May Your rescue find me here.
By Your hand, save me from my enemies, Eternal One.
Save me from men whose hopes are rooted in this world.
But as for those You cherish,
may they feast on all You have set aside for them;
may their children never be in need;
may they have enough so their children will inherit their wealth.
15 But as for me, my hope is to see Your face.
When I am vindicated, I will look upon the holy face of God,
and when I awake, the longing of my soul will be satisfied in the glow of Your presence.
For the worship leader. A song of David, the Eternal One’s servant, who addressed these words to the Eternal after He had rescued him from Saul and his other enemies.
This Davidic psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22. It expresses gratitude to God for saving him.
1 I love You, Eternal One, source of my power.
2 The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation;
He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide,
my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower.
3 I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.
4 The bonds of death encircled me;
the currents of destruction tugged at me;
5 The sorrows of the grave wrap around me;
the traps of death lay in wait for me.
6 In my time of need, I called to the Eternal;
I begged my True God for help.
He heard my voice echo up to His temple,
and my cry came to His ears.
7 Because of His great anger, the earth shook and staggered;
the roots of the mountains shifted.
8 Smoke poured out from His nose,
and devouring fire burst from His mouth.
Coals glowed from Him.
9 He bent the heavens and descended;
inky darkness was beneath His feet.
10 He rode upon a heavenly creature, flying;
He was carried quickly on the wings of the wind.
11 He took darkness as His hiding place—
both the dark waters of the seas and the dark clouds of the sky.
12 Out from His brilliance
hailstones and burning coals
broke through the clouds.
13 The Eternal thundered in the heavens;
the Highest spoke; His voice rumbled [in the midst of hail and lightning].
14 He shot forth His arrows and scattered the wicked;
He flung forth His lightning and struck them.
15 Then the deepest channels of the seas were visible,
and the very foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Eternal One,
at the blast of wind from Your nostrils.
16 He reached down His hand from above me; He held me.
He lifted me from the raging waters.
17 He rescued me from my strongest enemy,
from all those who sought my death,
for they were too strong.
18 They came for me in the day of my destruction,
but the Eternal was the support of my life.
19 He set me down in a safe place;
He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.
20 The Eternal One responded to me according to my goodness;
I kept my hands clean, and He blessed me.
21 I kept the ways of the Eternal
and have not walked away from my True God in wickedness.
22 All His laws were there before me,
and I did not push His statutes away.
23 I was blameless before Him;
I kept myself from guilt and shame.
24 That’s why the Eternal has rewarded me for my right living;
He’s rewarded me because He saw my hands were clean.
25 You are loyal to those who are loyal;
with the innocent, You prove to be innocent;
26 With the clean, You prove to be clean;
and with the twisted, You make Yourself contrary.
27 For You rescue humble people,
but You bring the proud back in line.
28 You are the lamp who lights my way;
the Eternal, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 With Your help, I can conquer an army;
I can leap over walls with a helping hand from You.
30 Everything God does is perfect;
the promise of the Eternal rings true;
He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him.
31 Who is the True God except the Eternal?
Who stands like a rock except our God?
32 The True God who encircled me with strength
and made my pathway straight.
33 He made me sure-footed as a deer
and placed me high up where I am safe.
34 He teaches me to fight
so that my arms can bend a bronze bow.
35 You have shielded me with Your salvation,
supporting me with Your strong right hand,
and it makes me strong.
36 You taught me how to walk with care
so my feet will not slip.
37 I chased my enemies and caught them
and did not stop until they were destroyed.
38 I broke them and threw them down beneath my feet,
and they could not rise up again.
39 For You equipped me for battle,
and You made my enemies fall beneath me.
40 You made my enemies turn tail and run,
and all who wanted my destruction, I destroyed.
41 They looked everywhere, but no one came to rescue them;
they asked the Eternal, but He did not answer them.
42 I beat them to sand, to dust that blows in the wind;
I flung them away like trash in the gutters.
43 You rescued me from conflict with the peoples;
You raised me up to rule over nations.
People who did not know me have come to serve me.
44 Strangers come to me, afraid.
As soon as they hear about me, they serve me;
45 Strangers who have lost heart
come fearfully to me from behind their high walls.
46 The Eternal is alive! My Rock is blessed,
and exalted is the True God of my deliverance—
47 The God who avenged me
and placed the peoples under me,
48 Who rescued me from all my foes.
Truly, You raised me up above my enemies
and saved me from the violent ones.
49 For this I will praise You among the nations, O Eternal,
and sing praises to Your name.
50 He is a tower of salvation for His king
and shows His enduring love to His anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
1 The celestial realms announce God’s glory;
the skies testify of His hands’ great work.
2 Each day pours out more of their sayings;
each night, more to hear and more to learn.
3 Inaudible words are their manner of speech,
and silence, their means to convey.
4 Yet from here to the ends of the earth, their voices have gone out;
the whole world can hear what they say.
God stretched out in these heavens a tent for the sun,
5 And the sun is like a groom
who, after leaving his room, arrives at the wedding in splendor;
He is the strong runner
who, favored to win in his race, is eager to face his challenge.
6 He rises at one end of the skies
and runs in an arc overhead;
nothing can hide from his heat, from the swelter of his daily tread.
7 The Eternal’s law is perfect,
turning lives around.
His words are reliable and true,
instilling wisdom to open minds.
8 The Eternal’s directions are correct,
giving satisfaction to the heart.
God’s commandments are clear,
lending clarity to the eyes.
9 The awe of the Eternal is clean,
sustaining for all of eternity.
The Eternal’s decisions are sound;
they are right through and through.
10 They are worth more than gold—
even more than abundant, pure gold.
They are sweeter to the tongue than honey
or the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 In addition to all that has been said,
Your servant will find, hidden in Your commandments, both a strong warning
and a great reward for keeping them.
12 Who could possibly know all that he has done wrong?
Forgive my hidden and unknown faults.
13 As I am Your servant, protect me from my bent toward pride,
and keep sin from ruling my life.
If You do this, I will be without blame,
innocent of the great breach.
14 May the words that come out of my mouth and the musings of my heart
meet with Your gracious approval,
O Eternal, my Rock,
O Eternal, my Redeemer.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
1 May the Eternal’s answer find you, come to rescue you,
when you desperately cling to the end of your rope.
May the name of the True God of Jacob be your shelter.
2 May He extend hope and help to you from His holy sanctuary
and support you from His sacred city of Zion.
3 May He remember all that you have offered Him;
may your burnt sacrifices serve as a prelude to His mercy.
4 May He grant the dreams of your heart
and see your plans through to the end.
5 When you win, we will not be silent! We will shout
and raise high our banners in the great name of our God!
May the Eternal say yes to all your requests.
6 I don’t fear; I’m confident that help will come to the one anointed by the Eternal:
heaven will respond to his plea;
His mighty right hand will win the battle.
7 Many put their hope in chariots, others in horses,
but we place our trust in the name of the Eternal One, our True God.
8 Soon our enemies will collapse and fall, never to return home;
all the while, we will rise and stand firm.
9 Eternal One, grant victory to our king!
Answer our plea for help.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
1 The king is glad because You, O Eternal, are strong.
In light of Your salvation, he is singing Your name.
2 You have given him all he could wish for.
After hearing his prayer, You withheld nothing.
3 True blessings You lavished upon the king;
a crown of precious gold You placed upon his head.
4 His prayer was to live fully. You responded with even more—
a never-ending life to enjoy.
5 With Your help, his fame and glory have grown;
You raise him high and cover him in majesty.
6 You shower him with blessings that last forever;
he finds joy in knowing Your presence and loving You.
7 For the king puts his trust in the Eternal,
so he will not be shaken
because of the persistent love of the Most High God.
8 King, your hand will reach for all your enemies;
your right hand will seize all who hate you.
9 When you arrive at the battle’s edge,
you will seem to them a furnace.
For the fire of the Eternal’s anger, the heat of His wrath
will burn and consume them.
10 You will cut off their children,
lop off the branches of their family tree.
The earth will never know them,
nor will they ever be numbered among Adam’s kin.
11 When they scheme against you,
when they conspire their mischief, such efforts will be in vain.
12 At the sight of you, they will sound the retreat;
your bows, drawn back, will aim directly at their faces.
13 Put Your strength, Eternal One, on display for all to see;
we will sing and make music of Your mighty power.
For the worship leader. A song of David to the tune “Deer of the Dawn.”
Jesus prayed this individual lament from the cross (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Though it begins with a sense of abandonment, it ends on a triumphant note.
1 My God, my God, why have You turned Your back on me?
Your ears are deaf to my groans.
2 O my God, I cry all day and You are silent;
my tears in the night bring no relief.
3 Still, You are holy;
You make Your home on the praises of Israel.
4 Our mothers and fathers trusted in You;
they trusted, and You rescued them.
5 They cried out to You for help and were spared;
they trusted in You and were vindicated.
6 But I am a worm and not a human being,
a disgrace and an object of scorn.
7 Everyone who sees me laughs at me;
they whisper to one another I’m a loser; they sneer and mock me, saying,
8 “He relies on the Eternal; let the Eternal rescue him
and keep him safe because He is happy with him.”
9 But You are the One who granted me life;
You endowed me with trust as I nursed at my mother’s breast.
10 I was dedicated to You at birth;
You’ve been my God from my mother’s womb.
11 Stay close to me—
trouble is at my door;
no one else can help me.
12 I’m surrounded by many tormenters;
like strong bulls of Bashan, they circle around me with their taunts.
13 They open their mouths wide at me
like ravenous, roaring lions.
14 My life is poured out like water,
and all my bones have slipped out of joint.
My heart melts like wax inside me.
15 My strength is gone, dried up like shards of pottery;
my dry tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
You lay me in the dust of death.
16 A throng of evil ones has surrounded me
like a pack of wild dogs;
They pierced my hands and ripped a hole in my feet.
17 I count all my bones;
people gawk and stare at me.
18 They make a game out of dividing my clothes among themselves;
they cast lots for the clothes on my back.
19 But You, O Eternal, stay close;
O You, my help, hurry to my side.
20 Save my life from violence,
my sweet life from the teeth of the wild dog.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lion.
From the horns of the wild oxen, You responded to my plea.
22 I will speak Your Name to my brothers and sisters
when I praise You in the midst of the community.
23 You who revere the Eternal, praise Him—
descendants of Jacob, worship Him;
be struck with wonder before Him, all you children of Israel.
24 He’s not put off
by the suffering of the suffering one;
He doesn’t pretend He hasn’t seen him;
when he pleaded for help, He listened.
25 You stir my praise in the great assembly;
I will fulfill my vows before those who humble their hearts before Him.
26 Those who are suffering will eat and be nourished;
those who seek Him will praise the Eternal.
May your hearts beat strong forever!
27 Those from the farthest reaches of the earth will remember
and turn back to look for the Eternal;
All the families of the nations
will worship You.
28 The Eternal owns the world;
He exercises His gentle rule over all the nations.
29 All the wealthy of the world will eat and worship;
all those who fall in the dust will bow before Him,
even the life that is headed to the grave.
30 Our children will serve Him;
future generations will hear the story of how the Lord rescued us.
31 They will tell the generations to come
of the righteousness of the Lord,
of what He has done.
A song of David.
Psalm 23 is the best known and most beloved psalm in the collection. Surprisingly, it casts humanity as sheep—stupid, helpless sheep. But the long-lasting appeal of Psalm 23 is a direct result of that casting because the imagery is both soothing and accessible.
When he was a boy, King David was a shepherd watching his father’s flocks in the hills around Bethlehem. In those days, too, it was common to refer to kings in the Near East as shepherds; but not all shepherd-kings cared for their sheep. Though David tried to shepherd his people well, he knew the truth: the Eternal is the true Shepherd.
In John 10:11 Jesus makes a bold claim. He declares that He is the good shepherd. Immediately His disciples detected the resonance of Psalm 23 in His words. Those of us who follow Jesus today come to know Him as that gentle but strong shepherd who guides us through life if we will follow Him.
1 The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
2 He provides me rest in rich, green fields
beside streams of refreshing water.
He soothes my fears;
3 He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.
4 Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
near with Your protection and guidance,
I am comforted.
5 You spread out a table before me,
provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
6 Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
in Your house forever.
A song of David.
1 The earth and all that’s upon it belong to the Eternal.
The world is His, with every living creature on it.
2 With seas as foundations and rivers as boundaries,
He shaped the continents, fashioned the earth.
3 Who can possibly ascend the mountain of the Eternal?
Who can stand before Him in sacred spaces?
4 Only those whose hands have been washed and hearts made pure,
men and women who are not given to lies or deception.
5 The Eternal will stand close to them with blessing and mercy at hand,
and the God who redeems will right what has been wrong.
6 These are the people who chase after Him;
[like Jacob, they look for the face of God].
7 City gates—open wide!
Ancient doors—stand back!
For the glorious King shall soon pass your way.
8 Who is the glorious King?
The Eternal who is powerful
and mightily equipped for battle.
9 City gates—open wide!
Ancient doors—stand back!
For the glorious King shall soon pass your way.
10 Who is the glorious King?
The Eternal, Commander of heaven’s army,
He is the glorious King.
A song of David.
1 ALWAYS I will lift up my soul to You, Eternal One,
2 BECAUSE You are my God and I put my trust in You.
Do not let me be humiliated.
Do not let my enemies celebrate at my expense.
3 CERTAINLY none of the people who rely on You will be shamed,
but those who are unfaithful, who intentionally deceive,
they are the ones who will be disgraced.
4 DEMONSTRATE Your ways, O Eternal One.
Teach me to understand so I can follow.
5 EASE me down the path of Your truth.
FEED me Your word
because You are the True God who has saved me.
I wait all day long, hoping, trusting in You.
6 GRACIOUS Eternal One, remember Your compassion; rekindle Your concern and love,
which have always been part of Your actions toward those who are Yours.
7 Do not HOLD against me the sins I committed when I was young;
instead, deal with me according to Your mercy and love.
Then Your goodness may be demonstrated in all the world, Eternal One.
8 IMMENSELY good and honorable is the Eternal;
that’s why He teaches sinners the way.
9 With JUSTICE, He directs the humble in all that is right,
and He shows them His way.
10 KIND and true are all the ways of the Eternal
to the people who keep His covenant and His words.
11 O LORD, the Eternal, bring glory to Your name,
and forgive my sins because they are beyond number.
12 MAY anyone who fears the Eternal
be shown the path he should choose.
13 His soul will NOT only live in goodness,
but his children will inherit the land.
14 ONLY those who stand in awe of the Eternal will have intimacy with Him,
and He will reveal His covenant to them.
15 PERPETUALLY my focus takes me to the Eternal
because He will set me free from the traps laid for me.
16 QUIETLY turn Your eyes to me and be compassionate toward me
because I am lonely and persecuted.
17 RAPIDLY my heart beats as troubles build on the horizon.
Come relieve me from these threats.
18 SEE my troubles and my misery,
and forgive all my sins.
19 TAKE notice of my enemies.
See how there are so many of them
who hate me and would seek my violent destruction.
20 Watch over my soul,
and let me face shame and defeat
UNASHAMED because You are my refuge.
21 May honor and strong character keep me safe.
VIGILANTLY I wait for You, hoping, trusting.
22 Save Israel from all its troubles,
O True God.
A song of David.
1 Declare my innocence, O Eternal One!
I have walked blamelessly down this path.
I placed my trust in the Eternal and have yet to stumble.
2 Put me on trial and examine me, O Eternal One!
Search me through and through—from my deepest longings to every thought that crosses my mind.
3 Your unfailing love is always before me;
I have journeyed down Your path of truth.
A great theme throughout the psalms is the experience of coming before God. This Davidic psalm affirms the integrity of the worshiper before the Lord even while pleading for God’s mercy.
4 My life is not wasted among liars;
my days are not spent among cheaters.
5 I despise every crowd intent on evil;
I do not commune with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in the fountain of innocence
so that I might join the gathering that surrounds Your altar, O Eternal One.
7 From my soul, I will join the songs of thanksgiving;
I will sing and proclaim Your wonder and mystery.
8 Your house, home to Your glory, O Eternal One, radiates its light.
I am fixed on this place and long to be nowhere else.
9 When Your wrath pursues those who oppose You,
those swift to sin and thirsty for blood,
spare my soul and grant me life.
10 These men hold deceit in their left hands,
and in their right hands, bribery and lies.
11 But God, I have walked blamelessly down this path,
and this is my plea for redemption.
This is my cry for Your mercy.
12 Here I stand secure and confident
before all the people; I will praise the Eternal.
A song of David.
1 The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness
and my rescue in times of trouble.
So whom shall I fear?
He surrounds me with a fortress of protection.
So nothing should cause me alarm.
The psalms provide us with a way to think about and pray through the various threats we face. Our enemies today may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real. Consider the threats on the horizon. Some may be national. Others may be more personal. Still they come to surround us and destroy us if they could only get the chance. The reality is there are times when our enemies appear to have the upper hand and our cause is lost. But wait and listen to the psalm! All is not lost because, ultimately, God is our light and salvation. The darkness will lift, and our Savior will come. He will settle all scores, and we will live in the beauty of His presence.
2 When my enemies advanced
to devour me alive,
They tripped and fell flat on their faces into the soil.
3 When the armies of the enemy surround me,
I will not be afraid.
When death calls for me in the midst of war,
my soul is confident and unmoved.
4 I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing,
my soul’s desire:
To live with Him all of my days—
in the shadow of His temple,
To behold His beauty and ponder His ways
in the company of His people.
5 His house is my shelter and secret retreat.
It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil.
Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God.
He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.
6 God lifts me high above those with thoughts
of death and deceit that call for my life.
I will enter His presence, offering sacrifices and praise.
In His house, I am overcome with joy
As I sing, yes, and play music for the Eternal alone.
7 I cannot shout any louder. Eternal One—hear my cry
and respond with Your grace.
8 The prodding of my heart leads me to chase after You.
I am seeking You, Eternal One—don’t retreat from me.
9 You have always answered my call.
Don’t hide from me now.
Don’t give up on me in anger at Your servant.
You have always been there for me.
Don’t throw me to the side and forget me,
my God and only salvation.
10 My father and mother have deserted me,
yet the Eternal will take me in.
11 O Eternal, show me Your way,
shine Your light brightly on this path, and make it level for me,
for my enemies are lurking in the recesses and ravines along the way.
12 They are watching—hoping to seize me.
Do not release me to their desires or surrender me to their will!
Liars are standing against me,
breathing out cruel lies hoping that I will die.
13 I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope:
that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal
in the land of the living.
14 Please answer me: Don’t give up.
Wait for the Eternal in expectation, and be strong.
Again, wait for the Eternal.
A song of David.
1 Eternal One, I am calling out to You;
You are the foundation of my life. Please, don’t turn Your ear from me.
If You respond to my pleas with silence,
I will lose all hope like those silenced by death’s grave.
2 Listen to my voice.
You will hear me begging for Your help
With my hands lifted up in prayer,
my body turned toward Your holy home.
This Davidic psalm pleads with God to spare him and repay his enemies. It would be difficult to locate this psalm in any one event. During his life David faced many threats from different enemies; not only were these threats from outside his realm, but some of his most difficult challenges came from inside his own family.
3 I beg You; don’t punish me with the most heinous men.
They spend their days doing evil.
Even when they engage their neighbors in pleasantness,
they are scheming against them.
4 Pay them back for their deeds;
hold them accountable for their malice.
Give them what they deserve.
5 Because these are people who have no respect for You, O Eternal,
they ignore everything You have done.
So He will tear them down with His powerful hands;
never will they be built again.
6 The Eternal should be honored and revered;
He has heard my cries for help.
7 The Eternal is the source of my strength and the shield that guards me.
When I learn to rest and truly trust Him,
He sends His help. This is why my heart is singing!
I open my mouth to praise Him, and thankfulness rises as song.
8 The Eternal gives life and power to all His chosen ones;
to His anointed He is a sturdy fortress.
9 Rescue Your people, and bring prosperity to Your legacy;
may they know You as a shepherd, carrying them at all times.
A song of David.
1 Give all credit to the Eternal, O heavenly creatures;
give praise to Him for His glory and power.
2 Give to the Eternal the glory due His name;
worship Him with lavish displays of sacred splendor.
3 The voice of the Eternal echoes over the great waters;
God’s magnificence roars like thunder.
The Eternal’s presence hovers over all the waters.
4 His voice explodes in great power over the earth.
His voice is both regal and grand.
5 The Eternal’s voice shatters the cedars;
His power splinters the great cedars of Lebanon.
6 He speaks, and Lebanon leaps like a young calf;
Sirion jumps like a wild, youthful ox.
7 The voice of the Eternal cuts through with flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Eternal rumbles through the wilderness
with great quakes;
He causes Kadesh to tremble.
9 The Eternal’s voice brings life from the doe’s womb;
His voice strips the forest bare,
and all the people in the temple declare, “Glory!”
10 The Eternal is enthroned over the great flood;
His reign is unending.
11 We ask You, Eternal One, to give strength to Your people;
Eternal One, bless them with the gift of peace.
A song of David. For the dedication of the temple.
1 I praise You, Eternal One. You lifted me out of that deep, dark pit
and denied my opponents the pleasure of rubbing in their success.
2 Eternal One, my True God, I cried out to You for help;
You mended the shattered pieces of my life.
3 You lifted me from the grave with a mighty hand,
gave me another chance,
and saved me from joining those in that dreadful pit.
4 Sing, all you who remain faithful!
Pour out your hearts to the Eternal with praise and melodies;
let grateful music fill the air and bless His name.
5 His wrath, you see, is fleeting,
but His grace lasts a lifetime.
The deepest pains may linger through the night,
but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.
6 When things were quiet and life was easy, I said in arrogance,
“Nothing can shake me.”
7 By Your grace, Eternal,
I thought I was as strong as a mountain;
But when You left my side and hid away,
I crumbled in fear.
8 O Eternal One, I called out to You;
I pleaded for Your compassion and forgiveness:
9 “I’m no good to You dead! What benefits come from my rotting corpse?
My body in the grave will not praise You.
No songs will rise up from the dust of my bones.
From dust comes no proclamation of Your faithfulness.
10 Hear me, Eternal Lord—please help me,
Eternal One—be merciful!”
11 You did it: You turned my deepest pains into joyful dancing;
You stripped off my dark clothing
and covered me with joyful light.
12 You have restored my honor. My heart is ready to explode, erupt in new songs!
It’s impossible to keep quiet!
Eternal One, my God, my Life-Giver, I will thank You forever.
For the worship leader. A song of David.
1 You are my shelter, O Eternal One—my soul’s sanctuary!
Shield me from shame;
rescue me by Your righteousness.
2 Hear me, Lord! Turn Your ear in my direction.
Come quick! Save me!
Be my rock, my shelter,
my fortress of salvation!
3 You are my rock and my fortress—my soul’s sanctuary!
Therefore, for the sake of Your reputation, be my leader, my guide, my navigator, my commander.
4 Save me from the snare that has been secretly set out for me,
for You are my protection.
5 I entrust my spirit into Your hands.
You have redeemed me, O Eternal, God of faithfulness and truth.
6 I despise the people who pay respect to breathless idols,
and I trust only in You, Eternal One.
7 I will gladly rejoice because of Your gracious love
because You recognized the sadness of my affliction.
You felt deep compassion when You saw the pains of my soul.
8 You did not hand me over to the enemy,
but instead, You liberated me
and made me secure in a good and spacious land.
9 Show me Your grace, Eternal One, for I am in a tight spot.
My eyes are aching with grief;
my body and soul are withering with miseries.
10 My life is devoured by sorrow,
and my years are haunted with mourning.
My sin has sapped me of all my strength;
my body withers under the weight of this suffering.
11 To all my enemies I am an object of scorn.
My neighbors especially are ashamed of me.
My friends are afraid to be seen with me.
When I walk down the street, people go out of their way to avoid me.
12 I am as good as dead to them. Forgotten!
Like a shattered clay pot, I am easily discarded and gladly replaced.
13 For I hear their whispered plans;
terror is everywhere!
They conspire together,
planning, plotting, scheming to take my life.
14 But I pour my trust into You, Eternal One.
I’m glad to say, “You are my God!”
15 I give the moments of my life over to You, Eternal One.
Rescue me from those who hate me and who hound me with their threats.
16 Look toward me, and let Your face shine down upon Your servant.
Because of Your gracious love, save me!
17 Spare me shame, O Eternal One,
for I turn and call to You.
Instead, let those who hate me be shamed;
let death’s silence claim them.
18 Seal their lying lips forever,
for with pride and contempt boiling in their hearts,
they speak boldly against the righteous and persecute those who poured their trust into You.
19 Your overflowing goodness
You have kept for those who live in awe of You,
And You share Your goodness with those who make You their sanctuary.
20 You hide them, You shelter them in Your presence,
safe from the conspiracies of sinful men.
You keep them in Your tent,
safe from the slander of accusing tongues.
21 Bless the Eternal!
For He has revealed His gracious love to me
when I was trapped like a city under siege.
22 I began to panic so I yelled out,
“I’m cut off. You no longer see me!”
But You heard my cry for help that day
when I called out to You.
23 Love the Eternal, all of you, His faithful people!
He protects those who are true to Him,
but He pays back the proud in kind.
24 Be strong, and live courageously,
all of you who set your hope in the Eternal!
A contemplative song of David.
The psalms celebrate God’s forgiveness that comes through confession and repentance. Some interpreters link this psalm to David’s sin with Bathsheba after Nathan had exposed his transgression, but the king certainly had other failings. Even if we do not associate this psalm with any personal transgression by David, it serves well as a model confession for those who are painfully aware of their sin.
1 How happy is the one whose wrongs are forgiven,
whose sin is hidden from sight.
2 How happy is the person whose sin the Eternal will not take into account.
How happy are those who no longer lie, to themselves or others.
3 When I refused to admit my wrongs, I was miserable,
moaning and complaining all day long
so that even my bones felt brittle.
4 Day and night, Your hand kept pressing on me.
My strength dried up like water in the summer heat;
You wore me down.
5 When I finally saw my own lies,
I owned up to my sins before You,
and I did not try to hide my evil deeds from You.
I said to myself, “I’ll admit all my sins to the Eternal,”
and You lifted and carried away the guilt of my sin.
6 So let all who are devoted to You
speak honestly to You now, while You are still listening.
For then when the floods come, surely the rushing water
will not even reach them.
7 You are my hiding place.
You will keep me out of trouble
and envelop me with songs that remind me I am free.
8 I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there;
I will give you good counsel, and I will watch over you.
9 But don’t be stubborn and stupid like horses and mules
who, if not reined by leather and metal,
will run wild, ignoring their masters.
10 Tormented and empty are wicked and destructive people,
but the one who trusts in the Eternal is wrapped tightly in His gracious love.
11 Express your joy; be happy in Him, you who are good and true.
Go ahead, shout and rejoice aloud, you whose hearts are honest and straightforward.
1 Release your heart’s joy in sweet music to the Eternal.
When the upright passionately sing glory-filled songs to Him, everything is in its right place.
2 Worship the Eternal with your instruments, strings offering their praise;
write awe-filled songs to Him on the 10-stringed harp.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
play each the best way you can,
and don’t be afraid to be bold with your joyful feelings.
4 For the word of the Eternal is perfect and true;
His actions are always faithful and right.
5 He loves virtue and equity;
the Eternal’s love fills the whole earth.
6 The unfathomable cosmos came into being at the word of the Eternal’s imagination, a solitary voice in endless darkness.
The breath of His mouth whispered the sea of stars into existence.
7 He gathers every drop of every ocean as in a jar,
securing the ocean depths as His watery treasure.
8 Let all people stand in awe of the Eternal;
let every man, woman, and child live in wonder of Him.
9 For He spoke, and all things came into being.
A single command from His lips, and all creation obeyed and stood its ground.
10 The Eternal cripples the schemes of the other nations;
He impedes the plans of rival peoples.
11 The Eternal’s purposes will last to the end of time;
the thoughts of His heart will awaken and stir all generations.
12 The nation whose True God is the Eternal is truly blessed;
fortunate are all whom He chooses to inherit His legacy.
13 The Eternal peers down from heaven
and watches all of humanity;
14 He observes every soul
from His divine residence.
15 He has formed every human heart, breathing life into every human spirit;
He knows the deeds of each person, inside and out.
16 A king is not delivered by the might of his army.
Even the strongest warrior is not saved by his own strength.
17 A horse is not the way to victory;
its great strength cannot rescue.
18 Listen, the eye of the Eternal is upon those who live in awe of Him,
those who hope in His steadfast love,
19 That He may save them from the darkness of the grave
and be kept alive during the lean seasons.
20 We live with hope in the Eternal. We wait for Him,
for He is our Divine Help and Impenetrable Shield.
21 Our hearts erupt with joy in Him
because we trust His holy name.
22 O Eternal, drench us with Your endless love,
even now as we wait for You.
A song of David as he pretended to be insane to escape from Abimelech.
While there is nothing specific to tie this Davidic psalm to the events in 1 Samuel 21:10–15, the superscription recalls a time when David pretended to be insane to protect himself from the Philistines.
1 I will praise the Eternal in every moment through every situation.
Whenever I speak, my words will always praise Him.
2 Everything within me wants to pay tribute to Him.
Whenever the poor and humble hear of His greatness, they will celebrate too!
3 Come and lift up the Eternal with me;
let’s praise His name together!
4 When I needed the Lord, I looked for Him;
I called out to Him, and He heard me and responded.
He came and rescued me from everything that made me so afraid.
5 Look to Him and shine,
so shame will never contort your faces.
6 This poor soul cried, and the Eternal heard me.
He rescued me from my troubles.
7 The messenger of the Eternal God surrounds
everyone who walks with Him and is always there to protect and rescue us.
8 Taste of His goodness; see how wonderful the Eternal truly is.
Anyone who puts trust in Him will be blessed and comforted.
9 Revere the Eternal, you His saints,
for those who worship Him will possess everything important in life.
10 Young lions may grow tired and hungry,
but those intent on knowing the Eternal God will have everything they need.
11 Gather around, children, listen to what I’m saying;
I will teach you how to revere the Eternal.
12 If you love life
and want to live a good, long time,
13 Take care with the things you say.
Don’t lie or spread gossip or talk about improper things.
14 Walk away from the evil things of the world,
and always seek peace and pursue it.
15 For the Eternal watches over the righteous,
and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.
16 But He will punish evildoers,
and nothing they do will last. They will soon be forgotten.
17 When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal, He hears their cries
and rescues them from all of their troubles.
18 When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close
and revives him in his pain.
19 Hard times may well be the plight of the righteous—
they may often seem overwhelmed—
but the Eternal rescues the righteous from what oppresses them.
20 He will protect all of their bones;
not even one bone will be broken.
21 Evil moves in and ultimately murders the wicked;
the enemies of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Eternal will liberate His servants;
those who seek refuge in Him will never be condemned.
A song of David.
1 Make a case against those who struggle with me, Eternal One.
Battle against those who battle against me.
2 Be my shield and protection;
stand with me and rescue me!
3 Draw the spear and javelin
to meet my pursuers.
Reassure my soul and say,
“I will deliver you.”
4 Shame and dishonor those ruthless enemies
who wish to end my life.
Turn back those who conspire against me,
defeated and humiliated!
5 Let them be separated from the righteous as chaff is separated from the grain,
blown by the wind,
driven far, far away by the Eternal’s messenger.
6 Make their way unsure and dangerously dark,
a gauntlet of gloom
chased through the darkness by the Eternal’s messenger.
7 For no reason at all, they set a trap for me—a net, a snare—
then, without cause, they disguised a pit to capture my soul—another cowardly snare.
8 May they be surprised by their own destruction.
May they become tangled in their own net
and fall into the pit which they, themselves, dug.
9 When that day comes, my soul will celebrate the Eternal
and be glad in His salvation.
10 Every fiber of my being will shout,
“Eternal One, there is none like You!
You save the poor
from those who try to overpower them
and rescue the weak and the needy from those who steal from them.”
11 False witnesses step forward;
they ask me strange questions for which I have no answers.
12 When I do good to them, they do evil to me,
bringing misery to my soul.
13 When they were sick,
I mourned for them and wore sackcloth;
I chose to humble myself by fasting.
But my prayers came back unanswered.
14 So I mourned more deeply as if I grieved for my brother or friend;
I went around bowed down by sorrow, dressed in black,
as if I were weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered together
and celebrated my fall with joy;
People attacked me when I wasn’t expecting it;
they slandered me with no end.
16 Like godless mockers at a festival,
their words tore at me.
17 Lord, how long will You do nothing but watch?
Save me from their evil assaults, plots, and plunder;
rescue my life from these hungry beasts, these ruthless lions!
18 Then I will praise You and thank You at the great gathering,
in the company of the entire congregation.
19 Do not allow my enemies to boast at my expense,
for they despise me without any cause—
yet they wink at me—malicious, taunting winks.
20 Their words have no ring of peace.
They plan evil rumors and incriminations
against those who live peacefully in the land.
21 They speak lying accusations against me;
they say, “Aha! Aha! We know what you’ve been up to.
We’ve seen it with our own eyes!”
22 You have seen what’s happening, Eternal One; don’t remain silent!
Lord, do not stay far away from me!
23 Wake up; come to my defense!
Fight for me, my Lord and my God!
24 Pass Your judgment, Eternal One, my True God;
do it by the standards of Your righteousness.
Do not allow my enemies to boast over me.
25 Do not allow them to gloat over me,
“Aha, we have won! We got what we wanted!”
Do not allow them to brag,
“We chewed him up and spit him out.”
26 Shame and confuse those who celebrate my suffering;
may those who exalt themselves above me be covered with shame—
wrapped in a cloak of dishonor!
27 As for those who desire my vindication,
may they be joyful and glad.
May they forever say,
“The Eternal is indeed great!
He takes pleasure when good things happen to His servant!”
28 That’s why I will speak of Your righteousness
and sing praises to You all day long.
For the worship leader. A song of David, the Eternal’s servant.
1 Sin speaks in the depths of the soul
of those who oppose God; they listen closely to its urgings.
You’ll never see the fear of God
in their eyes,