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Psalm 81

God’s Appeal to Stubborn Israel

To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing aloud to God our strength;
    shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
    at the full moon, on our festal day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph,
    when he went out over[a] the land of Egypt.

I hear a voice I had not known:
“I relieved your[b] shoulder of the burden;
    your[c] hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
    O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
    you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
13 O that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
    and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their doom would last forever.
16 I would feed you[d] with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Psalm 82

A Plea for Justice

A Psalm of Asaph.

God has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
    and show partiality to the wicked?Selah
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
    maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
    they walk around in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I say, “You are gods,
    children of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
    and fall like any prince.”[e]

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
    for all the nations belong to you!

Psalm 83

Prayer for Judgment on Israel’s Foes

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

O God, do not keep silence;
    do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
Even now your enemies are in tumult;
    those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people;
    they consult together against those you protect.
They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
    let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
They conspire with one accord;
    against you they make a covenant—
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
    Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
    Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assyria also has joined them;
    they are the strong arm of the children of Lot.Selah

Do to them as you did to Midian,
    as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,
10 who were destroyed at En-dor,
    who became dung for the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
    all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take the pastures of God
    for our own possession.”

13 O my God, make them like whirling dust,[f]
    like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest,
    as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
    and terrify them with your hurricane.
16 Fill their faces with shame,
    so that they may seek your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
    let them perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you alone,
    whose name is the Lord,
    are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 84

The Joy of Worship in the Temple

To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
    ever singing your praise.Selah

Happy are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion.[g]
As they go through the valley of Baca
    they make it a place of springs;
    the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
    the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
    give ear, O God of Jacob!Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
    look on the face of your anointed.

10 For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than live in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
    happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Psalm 85

Prayer for the Restoration of God’s Favor

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
    you pardoned all their sin.Selah
You withdrew all your wrath;
    you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
    and put away your indignation toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
    so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people,
    to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.[h]
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
    that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
    righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
    and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The Lord will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him,
    and will make a path for his steps.

Psalm 86

Supplication for Help against Enemies

A Prayer of David.

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    listen to my cry of supplication.
In the day of my trouble I call on you,
    for you will answer me.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and bow down before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, the insolent rise up against me;
    a band of ruffians seeks my life,
    and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant;
    save the child of your serving girl.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
    so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,
    because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 87

The Joy of Living in Zion

Of the Korahites. A Psalm. A Song.

On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
    the Lord loves the gates of Zion
    more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
    O city of God.Selah

Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
    Philistia too, and Tyre, with Ethiopia[i]
    “This one was born there,” they say.

And of Zion it shall be said,
    “This one and that one were born in it”;
    for the Most High himself will establish it.
The Lord records, as he registers the peoples,
    “This one was born there.”Selah

Singers and dancers alike say,
    “All my springs are in you.”

Psalm 88

Prayer for Help in Despondency

A Song. A Psalm of the Korahites. To the leader: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

O Lord, God of my salvation,
    when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry.

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
    I am like those who have no help,
like those forsaken among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves.Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call on you, O Lord;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the shades rise up to praise you?Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry out to you;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast me off?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.[j]
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dread assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
    from all sides they close in on me.
18 You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me;
    my companions are in darkness.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 81:5 Or against
  2. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  3. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  4. Psalm 81:16 Cn Compare verse 16b: Heb he would feed him
  5. Psalm 82:7 Or fall as one man, O princes
  6. Psalm 83:13 Or a tumbleweed
  7. Psalm 84:5 Heb lacks to Zion
  8. Psalm 85:8 Gk: Heb but let them not turn back to folly
  9. Psalm 87:4 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
  10. Psalm 88:15 Meaning of Heb uncertain

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