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BOOK II

(Psalms 42–72)

Psalm 42

Longing for God and His Help in Distress

To the leader. A Maskil of the Korahites.

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
    the face of God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,[a]
    and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
    a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
    because the enemy oppresses me?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my body,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

Psalm 43

Prayer to God in Time of Trouble

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
    deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
    because of the oppression of the enemy?

O send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

Psalm 44

National Lament and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Maskil.

We have heard with our ears, O God,
    our ancestors have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
    in the days of old:
you with your own hand drove out the nations,
    but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
    but them you set free;
for not by their own sword did they win the land,
    nor did their own arm give them victory;
but your right hand, and your arm,
    and the light of your countenance,
    for you delighted in them.

You are my King and my God;
    you command[b] victories for Jacob.
Through you we push down our foes;
    through your name we tread down our assailants.
For not in my bow do I trust,
    nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes,
    and have put to confusion those who hate us.
In God we have boasted continually,
    and we will give thanks to your name forever.Selah

Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
    and have not gone out with our armies.
10 You made us turn back from the foe,
    and our enemies have gotten spoil.
11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
    and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You have sold your people for a trifle,
    demanding no high price for them.

13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
    the derision and scorn of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations,
    a laughingstock[c] among the peoples.
15 All day long my disgrace is before me,
    and shame has covered my face
16 at the words of the taunters and revilers,
    at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

17 All this has come upon us,
    yet we have not forgotten you,
    or been false to your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
    nor have our steps departed from your way,
19 yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
    and covered us with deep darkness.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
    or spread out our hands to a strange god,
21 would not God discover this?
    For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Because of you we are being killed all day long,
    and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

23 Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
    Awake, do not cast us off forever!
24 Why do you hide your face?
    Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For we sink down to the dust;
    our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up, come to our help.
    Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 42:4 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Psalm 44:4 Gk Syr: Heb You are my King, O God; command
  3. Psalm 44:14 Heb a shaking of the head

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