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BOOK III

(Psalms 73-89)

(A psalm by Asaph.)

God Is Good

73 God is truly good to Israel,[a]
    especially to everyone
    with a pure heart.
But I almost stumbled and fell,
    because it made me jealous
to see proud and evil people
    and to watch them prosper.
They never have to suffer,[b]
    they stay healthy,
    and they don’t have troubles
    like everyone else.

Their pride is like a necklace,
and they commit sin
    more often
    than they dress themselves.
Their eyes poke out with fat,
    and their minds are flooded
    with foolish thoughts.
They sneer and say cruel things,
    and because of their pride,
    they make violent threats.
They dare to speak against God
    and to order others around.

10 God will bring his people back,
    and they will drink the water
    he so freely gives.[c]

11 Only evil people would say,
    “God Most High cannot
    know everything!”
12 Yet all goes well for them,
    and they live in peace.
13 What good did it do me
to keep my thoughts pure
    and refuse to do wrong?
14 I am sick all day,
and I am punished
    each morning.
15 If I had said evil things,
    I would not have been loyal
    to your people.

16 It was hard for me
    to understand all this!
17 Then I went to your temple,
    and there I understood
    what will happen
    to my enemies.
18 You will make them stumble,
    never to get up again.
19 They will be terrified,
    suddenly swept away
    and no longer there.
20 They will disappear, Lord,
    despised like a bad dream
    the morning after.

21 Once I was bitter
    and brokenhearted.
22 I was stupid and ignorant,
    and I treated you
    as a wild animal would.
23 But I never really left you,
    and you hold my right hand.
24 Your advice has been my guide,
    and later you will welcome me
    in glory.[d]
25 In heaven I have only you,
    and on this earth
    you are all I want.
26 My body and mind may fail,
    but you are my strength
    and my choice forever.

27 Powerful Lord God,
all who stay far from you
    will be lost,
    and you will destroy those
    who are unfaithful.
28 It is good for me
    to be near you.
I choose you as my protector,
    and I will tell about
    your wonderful deeds.

Footnotes

  1. 73.1 to Israel: Or “to those who do right.”
  2. 73.4 They. . . suffer: Or “They die a painless death.”
  3. 73.10 gives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  4. 73.24 in glory: Or “with honor.”

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