For the choir director; on stringed instruments; a maskil by David.
1 Open your ears to my prayer, O God. Do not hide from my plea for mercy. 2 Pay attention to me, and answer me. My thoughts are restless, and I am confused 3 because my enemy shouts at me and a wicked person persecutes me. They bring misery crashing down on me, and they attack me out of anger. 4 My heart is in turmoil. The terrors of death have seized me. 5 Fear and trembling have overcome me. Horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “If only I had wings like a dove— I would fly away and find rest. 7 Indeed, I would run far away. I would stay in the desert. Selah 8 I would hurry to find shelter from the raging wind and storm.”
9 Completely confuse their language, O Lord, because I see violence and conflict in the city. 10 Day and night they go around on top of the city walls. Trouble and misery are everywhere. 11 Destruction is everywhere. Oppression and fraud never leave the streets.[a]
12 If an enemy had insulted me, then I could bear it. If someone who hated me had attacked me, then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, my equal, my best friend, one I knew so well! 14 We used to talk to each other in complete confidence and walk into God’s house with the festival crowds.
15 Let death suddenly take wicked people! Let them go into the grave while they are still alive, because evil lives in their homes as well as in their hearts. 16 But I call on God, and the Lord saves me. 17 Morning, noon, and night I complain and groan, and he listens to my voice. 18 With his peace, he will rescue my soul from the war waged against me, because there are many soldiers fighting against me. 19 God will listen. The one who has sat enthroned from the beginning will deal with them. Selah They never change. They never fear God. 20 My best friend has betrayed his friends. He has broken his solemn promise. 21 His speech is smoother than butter, but there is war in his heart. His words are more soothing than oil, but they are like swords ready to attack. 22 Turn your burdens over to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will never let the righteous person stumble. 23 But you, O God, will throw wicked people into the deepest pit. Bloodthirsty and deceitful people will not live out half their days. But I will trust you.
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