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Psalm 38-40 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 38

A Penitent Sufferer’s Plea for Healing

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
    or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
    and your hand has come down on me.

There is no soundness in my flesh
    because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
    because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
    they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

My wounds grow foul and fester
    because of my foolishness;
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
    all day long I go around mourning.
For my loins are filled with burning,
    and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am utterly spent and crushed;
    I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
    as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
    and my neighbors stand far off.

12 Those who seek my life lay their snares;
    those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
    and meditate treachery all day long.

13 But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
    like the mute, who cannot speak.
14 Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
    and in whose mouth is no retort.

15 But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
    it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
    those who boast against me when my foot slips.”

17 For I am ready to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am sorry for my sin.
19 Those who are my foes without cause[a] are mighty,
    and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good
    are my adversaries because I follow after good.

21 Do not forsake me, O Lord;
    O my God, do not be far from me;
22 make haste to help me,
    O Lord, my salvation.

Psalm 39

Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

To the leader: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

I said, “I will guard my ways
    that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
    as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was silent and still;
    I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
    my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

Lord, let me know my end,
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a few handbreadths,
    and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath.Selah
    Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
    they heap up, and do not know who will gather.

“And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
    My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
    for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
    I am worn down by the blows[b] of your hand.

11 “You chastise mortals
    in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
    surely everyone is a mere breath.Selah

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
    and give ear to my cry;
    do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest,
    an alien, like all my forebears.
13 Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
    before I depart and am no more.”

Psalm 40

Thanksgiving for Deliverance and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,[c]
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Happy are those who make
    the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
    they would be more than can be counted.

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
    but you have given me an open ear.[d]
Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
Then I said, “Here I am;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me.[e]
I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance
    in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.

11 Do not, O Lord, withhold
    your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    keep me safe forever.
12 For evils have encompassed me
    without number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
    until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
    O Lord, make haste to help me.
14 Let all those be put to shame and confusion
    who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who desire my hurt.
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 38:19 Q Ms: MT my living foes
  2. Psalm 39:10 Heb hostility
  3. Psalm 40:2 Cn: Heb pit of tumult
  4. Psalm 40:6 Heb ears you have dug for me
  5. Psalm 40:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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