For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.[a] 5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb,[b] teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. 18 Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit— with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
For the choir director: A psalm[e] of David, regarding the time Doeg the Edomite said to Saul, “David has gone to see Ahimelech.”
1 Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior? Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever? 2 All day long you plot destruction. Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor; you’re an expert at telling lies. 3 You love evil more than good and lies more than truth. Interlude
4 You love to destroy others with your words, you liar! 5 But God will strike you down once and for all. He will pull you from your home and uproot you from the land of the living. Interlude
6 The righteous will see it and be amazed. They will laugh and say, 7 “Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”
8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. 9 I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.
For the choir director: A meditation; a psalm[f] of David.
1 Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
2 God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. 3 But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt.[g] No one does good, not a single one!
4 Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like bread and wouldn’t think of praying to God. 5 Terror will grip them, terror like they have never known before. God will scatter the bones of your enemies. You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.
6 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When God restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
For the choir director: A psalm[h] of David, regarding the time the Ziphites came and said to Saul, “We know where David is hiding.” To be accompanied by stringed instruments.
1 Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might. 2 Listen to my prayer, O God. Pay attention to my plea. 3 For strangers are attacking me; violent people are trying to kill me. They care nothing for God. Interlude
4 But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive! 5 May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them. Do as you promised and put an end to them.
6 I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 For you have rescued me from my troubles and helped me to triumph over my enemies.
For the choir director: A psalm[i] 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[j] 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.
For the choir director: A psalm[k] of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath. To be sung to the tune “Dove on Distant Oaks.”
1 O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. 2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. 3 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
5 They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me. 6 They come together to spy on me— watching my every step, eager to kill me. 7 Don’t let them get away with their wickedness; in your anger, O God, bring them down.
8 You keep track of all my sorrows.[l] You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! 10 I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised. 11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. 13 For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.
For the choir director: A psalm[m] of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”
1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. 2 I cry out to God Most High,[n] to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. 3 He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. Interlude My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
4 I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey— whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth.
6 My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude
7 My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! 8 Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. 9 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. 10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.
51:4Greek version reads and you will win your case in court. Compare Rom 3:4.
51:6Or from the heart; Hebrew reads in the inward parts.
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