1 Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. 2 Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. 3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful. 4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. 5 May they fear you[a] as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon remains in the sky. Yes, forever!
6 May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain on freshly cut grass, like the showers that water the earth. 7 May all the godly flourish during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more. 8 May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River[b] to the ends of the earth. 9 Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust. 10 The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. 11 All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him.
12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. 13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. 14 He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.
15 Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him. May the people always pray for him and bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundant grain throughout the land, flourishing even on the hilltops. May the fruit trees flourish like the trees of Lebanon, and may the people thrive like grass in a field. 17 May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise.
18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!
20 (This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)
Book three (Psalms 73–89)
A psalm of Asaph.
1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. 2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. 6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. 7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. 10 And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. 11 “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” 12 Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? 14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.
15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. 20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
9 With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it.2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters.[a] I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.4 They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children.[b] God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.5 Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.[c]
6 Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promise to Israel? No, for not all who are born into the nation of Israel are truly members of God’s people!7 Being descendants of Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children. For the Scriptures say, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted,”[d] though Abraham had other children, too.8 This means that Abraham’s physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham’s children.9 For God had promised, “I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”[e]
10 This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins.[f]11 But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes;12 he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.”[g]13 In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”[h]
14 Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not!15 For God said to Moses,
“I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”[i]
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