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(A psalm by David for the music leader. To the tune “A Deer at Dawn.”)

Suffering and Praise

22 My God, my God, why have you
    deserted me?
    Why are you so far away?
Won’t you listen to my groans
    and come to my rescue?
I cry out day and night,
but you don’t answer,
    and I can never rest.

Yet you are the holy God,
ruling from your throne
    and praised by Israel.
Our ancestors trusted you,
    and you rescued them.
When they cried out for help,
    you saved them,
and you did not let them down
    when they depended on you.

But I am merely a worm,
    far less than human,
    and I am hated and rejected
    by people everywhere.
Everyone who sees me
    makes fun and sneers.
They shake their heads,
    and say,
“Trust the Lord!
If you are his favorite,
    let him protect you
    and keep you safe.”

You, Lord, brought me
    safely through birth,
and you protected me
    when I was a baby
    at my mother’s breast.
10 From the day I was born,
    I have been in your care,
and from the time of my birth,
    you have been my God.

11 Don’t stay far off
    when I am in trouble
    with no one to help me.
12 Enemies are all around
    like a herd of wild bulls.
    Powerful bulls from Bashan[a]
    are everywhere.
13 My enemies are like lions
    roaring and attacking
    with jaws open wide.

14 I have no more strength
    than a few drops of water.
All my bones are out of joint;
    my heart is like melted wax.
15 My strength has dried up
    like a broken clay pot,
    and my tongue sticks
    to the roof of my mouth.
You, God, have left me
    to die in the dirt.

16 Brutal enemies attack me
    like a pack of dogs,
    tearing at[b] my hands
    and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones,
    and my enemies just stare
    and sneer at me.
18 They took my clothes
    and gambled for them.

19 Don’t stay far away, Lord!
    My strength comes from you,
    so hurry and help.
20 Rescue me from enemy swords
    and save me from those dogs.
21     Don’t let lions eat me.

You rescued me from the horns
    of wild bulls,
22     and when your people meet,
    I will praise you, Lord.

23 All who worship the Lord,
    now praise him!
You belong to Jacob’s family
and to the people of Israel,
    so fear and honor the Lord!
24 The Lord doesn’t hate
or despise the helpless
    in all of their troubles.
When I cried out, he listened
    and did not turn away.

25 When your people meet,
you will fill my heart
    with your praises, Lord,
    and everyone will see me
    keep my promises to you.
26 The poor will eat and be full,
and all who worship you
    will be thankful
    and live in hope.

27 Everyone on this earth
    will remember you, Lord.
People all over the world
    will turn and worship you,
28     because you are in control,
    the ruler of all nations.

29 All who are rich
and have more than enough
    will bow down to you, Lord.
Even those who are dying
and almost in the grave
    will come and bow down.
30 In the future, everyone
will worship
    and learn
    about you, our Lord.
31 People not yet born
will be told,
    “The Lord has saved us!”


  1. 22.12 Bashan: A land east of the Jordan River, where there were pastures suitable for raising fine cattle.
  2. 22.16 tearing at: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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