The psalms celebrate God’s forgiveness that comes through confession and repentance. Some interpreters link this psalm to David’s sin with Bathsheba after Nathan had exposed his transgression, but the king certainly had other failings. Even if we do not associate this psalm with any personal transgression by David, it serves well as a model confession for those who are painfully aware of their sin.
1 How happy is the one whose wrongs are forgiven, whose sin is hidden from sight. 2 How happy is the person whose sin the Eternal will not take into account.[b] How happy are those who no longer lie, to themselves or others.
3 When I refused to admit my wrongs, I was miserable, moaning and complaining all day long so that even my bones felt brittle. 4 Day and night, Your hand kept pressing on me. My strength dried up like water in the summer heat; You wore me down.
5 When I finally saw my own lies, I owned up to my sins before You, and I did not try to hide my evil deeds from You. I said to myself, “I’ll admit all my sins to the Eternal,” and You lifted and carried away the guilt of my sin.
6 So let all who are devoted to You speak honestly to You now, while You are still listening. For then when the floods come, surely the rushing water will not even reach them. 7 You are my hiding place. You will keep me out of trouble and envelop me with songs that remind me I am free.
8 I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there; I will give you good counsel, and I will watch over you. 9 But don’t be stubborn and stupid like horses and mules who, if not reined by leather and metal, will run wild, ignoring their masters.
10 Tormented and empty are wicked and destructive people, but the one who trusts in the Eternal is wrapped tightly in His gracious love. 11 Express your joy; be happy in Him, you who are good and true. Go ahead, shout and rejoice aloud, you whose hearts are honest and straightforward.
1 Release your heart’s joy in sweet music to the Eternal. When the upright passionately sing glory-filled songs to Him, everything is in its right place. 2 Worship the Eternal with your instruments, strings offering their praise; write awe-filled songs to Him on the 10-stringed harp. 3 Sing to Him a new song; play each the best way you can, and don’t be afraid to be bold with your joyful feelings.
4 For the word of the Eternal is perfect and true; His actions are always faithful and right. 5 He loves virtue and equity; the Eternal’s love fills the whole earth.
6 The unfathomable cosmos came into being at the word of the Eternal’s imagination, a solitary voice in endless darkness. The breath of His mouth whispered the sea of stars into existence. 7 He gathers every drop of every ocean as in a jar, securing the ocean depths as His watery treasure.
8 Let all people stand in awe of the Eternal; let every man, woman, and child live in wonder of Him. 9 For He spoke, and all things came into being. A single command from His lips, and all creation obeyed and stood its ground.
10 The Eternal cripples the schemes of the other nations; He impedes the plans of rival peoples. 11 The Eternal’s purposes will last to the end of time; the thoughts of His heart will awaken and stir all generations. 12 The nation whose True God is the Eternal is truly blessed; fortunate are all whom He chooses to inherit His legacy.
13 The Eternal peers down from heaven and watches all of humanity; 14 He observes every soul from His divine residence. 15 He has formed every human heart, breathing life into every human spirit; He knows the deeds of each person, inside and out. 16 A king is not delivered by the might of his army. Even the strongest warrior is not saved by his own strength. 17 A horse is not the way to victory; its great strength cannot rescue.
18 Listen, the eye of the Eternal is upon those who live in awe of Him, those who hope in His steadfast love, 19 That He may save them from the darkness of the grave and be kept alive during the lean seasons.
20 We live with hope in the Eternal. We wait for Him, for He is our Divine Help and Impenetrable Shield. 21 Our hearts erupt with joy in Him because we trust His holy name. 22 O Eternal, drench us with Your endless love, even now as we wait for You.
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