For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” 2 But as I stood there in silence— not even speaking of good things— the turmoil within me grew worse. 3 The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: 4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude
6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. 7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. 8 Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me. 9 I am silent before you; I won’t say a word, for my punishment is from you. 10 But please stop striking me! I am exhausted by the blows from your hand. 11 When you discipline us for our sins, you consume like a moth what is precious to us. Each of us is but a breath. Interlude
12 Hear my prayer, O Lord! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest— a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. 13 Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.
4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols. 5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]— you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. 7 Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: 8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”
9 I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know. 10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
11 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me. 12 For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.
13 Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. 14 May those who try to destroy me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. 15 Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
16 But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” 17 As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay.
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble. 2 The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. 3 The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.
4 “O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me. Heal me, for I have sinned against you.” 5 But my enemies say nothing but evil about me. “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask. 6 They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere. 7 All who hate me whisper about me, imagining the worst. 8 “He has some fatal disease,” they say. “He will never get out of that bed!” 9 Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
10 Lord, have mercy on me. Make me well again, so I can pay them back! 11 I know you are pleased with me, for you have not let my enemies triumph over me. 12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever.
13 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen!
Book two (Psalms 42–72)
For the choir director: A psalm[b] of the descendants of Korah.
1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? 3 Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?”
4 My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!
5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and6 my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you— even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar. 7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. 8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
9 “O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?” 10 Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”
11 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!
1 Declare me innocent, O God! Defend me against these ungodly people. Rescue me from these unjust liars. 2 For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. 4 There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!
5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!
For the choir director: A psalm[c] of the descendants of Korah.
1 O God, we have heard it with our own ears— our ancestors have told us of all you did in their day, in days long ago: 2 You drove out the pagan nations by your power and gave all the land to our ancestors. You crushed their enemies and set our ancestors free. 3 They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them.
4 You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel.[d] 5 Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes. 6 I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. 7 You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us. 8 O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name. Interlude
9 But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor. You no longer lead our armies to battle. 10 You make us retreat from our enemies and allow those who hate us to plunder our land. 11 You have butchered us like sheep and scattered us among the nations. 12 You sold your precious people for a pittance, making nothing on the sale. 13 You let our neighbors mock us. We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us. 14 You have made us the butt of their jokes; they shake their heads at us in scorn. 15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation; shame is written across our faces. 16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers. All we see are our vengeful enemies.
17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you. We have not violated your covenant. 18 Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path. 19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home. You have covered us with darkness and death. 20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods, 21 God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart. 22 But for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.
23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever. 24 Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression? 25 We collapse in the dust, lying face down in the dirt. 26 Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love.
40:6Greek version reads You have given me a body. Compare Heb 10:5.
42:TitleHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
44:TitleHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
44:4Hebrew for Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
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