1 O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. 2 Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free. 3 Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of cruel oppressors. 5 O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. 6 Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you!
7 My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. 8 That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long. 9 And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing. 10 For my enemies are whispering against me. They are plotting together to kill me. 11 They say, “God has abandoned him. Let’s go and get him, for no one will help him now.”
12 O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. 13 Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers. Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me. 14 But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. 15 I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.[a] 16 I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord. I will tell everyone that you alone are just.
17 O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. 18 Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? 20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. 21 You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.
22 Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me. 24 I will tell about your righteous deeds all day long, for everyone who tried to hurt me has been shamed and humiliated.
A psalm of Solomon.
1 Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. 2 Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. 3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful. 4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. 5 May they fear you[b] as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon remains in the sky. Yes, forever!
6 May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain on freshly cut grass, like the showers that water the earth. 7 May all the godly flourish during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more. 8 May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River[c] to the ends of the earth. 9 Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust. 10 The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. 11 All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him.
12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. 13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. 14 He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.
15 Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him. May the people always pray for him and bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundant grain throughout the land, flourishing even on the hilltops. May the fruit trees flourish like the trees of Lebanon, and may the people thrive like grass in a field. 17 May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise.
18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!
20 (This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)
Book three (Psalms 73–89)
A psalm of Asaph.
1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. 2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. 6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. 7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. 10 And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. 11 “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” 12 Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? 14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.
15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. 20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
1 O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture? 2 Remember that we are the people you chose long ago, the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession! And remember Jerusalem,[e] your home here on earth. 3 Walk through the awful ruins of the city; see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.
4 There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries; there they set up their battle standards. 5 They swung their axes like woodcutters in a forest. 6 With axes and picks, they smashed the carved paneling. 7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground. They defiled the place that bears your name. 8 Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!” So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.
9 We no longer see your miraculous signs. All the prophets are gone, and no one can tell us when it will end. 10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you? Will you let them dishonor your name forever? 11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand? Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.
12 You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. 13 You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan[f] and let the desert animals eat him. 15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. 16 Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight[g] and the sun. 17 You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.
18 See how these enemies insult you, Lord. A foolish nation has dishonored your name. 19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves. Don’t forget your suffering people forever.
20 Remember your covenant promises, for the land is full of darkness and violence! 21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again. Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause. Remember how these fools insult you all day long. 23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said or their growing uproar.
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”
1 We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked. 3 When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude
4 “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists! 5 Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’” 6 For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness— should raise a defiant fist.[h] 7 It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall. 8 For the Lord holds a cup in his hand that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours out the wine in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs.
9 But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”
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