For the choir director: A psalm[a] of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
1 Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! 2 Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. 3 My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down.
4 My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. 5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. 6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! 7 I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude 8 How quickly I would escape— far from this wild storm of hatred.
9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city. 10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city. 11 Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.
12 It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. 13 Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. 14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.
15 Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave[b] swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them.
16 But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. 17 Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. 18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. 19 God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them. Interlude For my enemies refuse to change their ways; they do not fear God.
20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. 21 His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!
22 Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
23 But you, O God, will send the wicked down to the pit of destruction. Murderers and liars will die young, but I am trusting you to save me.
55:TitleHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
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