Prayer of an Afflicted Man for Mercy on Himself and on Zion.
A Prayer of the afflicted; when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint to God.
102 Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And let my cry for help come to You!
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress!
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days have vanished in smoke,
And my bones have been scorched like a hearth.
My heart has been struck like grass and withered,
Indeed, [absorbed by my heartache] I forget to eat my food.
Because of the sound of my groaning [in suffering and trouble]
My bones cling to my flesh.
I am like a [mournful] [a]vulture of the wilderness;
I am like a [desolate] owl of the wasteland.
I am sleepless and lie awake [mourning],
I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.
My enemies taunt me all day long;
Those who ridicule me use my name as a curse.
For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And have mingled my drink with tears(A)
Because of Your indignation and Your wrath,
For You have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days are like an evening shadow that lengthens and vanishes [with the sun];
And as for me, I wither away like grass.
But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever [ruling eternally as sovereign];
And [the fame and glory of] Your name [endures] to all generations.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
For it is time to be gracious and show favor to her;
Yes, the appointed time [the moment designated] has come.(B)
For Your servants find [melancholy] pleasure in the stones [of her ruins]
And feel pity for her dust.
So the nations will fear the name of the Lord,
And all the kings of the earth [will recognize] Your glory.(C)
For the Lord has built up Zion;
He has appeared in His glory and brilliance;
He has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
And has not despised their prayer.
Let this be recorded for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created will praise the Lord.
For He looked down from His holy height [of His sanctuary],
From heaven the Lord gazed on the earth,
To hear the sighing of the prisoner,
To set free those who were doomed to death,
So that people may declare the name of the Lord in Zion
And His praise in Jerusalem,
When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.
He has exhausted my strength [humbling me with sorrow] in the way;
He has shortened my days.
I said, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days;
Your years are [eternal] throughout all generations.
“At the beginning You founded the earth;
The heavens are the work of Your hands.
“Even they will perish, but You endure;
Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment.
Like clothing You will change them and they shall be changed.
“But You remain the same,
And Your years will never end.(D)
“The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”
Praise for the Lord’s Mercies.
A Psalm of David.
103 Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.(E)
The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all the oppressed.
He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in compassion and lovingkindness.(F)
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins [as we deserve],
Nor rewarded us [with punishment] according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father loves his children,
So the Lord loves those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
For He knows our [mortal] frame;
He remembers that we are [merely] dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
Like a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it and it is no more,
And its place knows it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who [reverently] fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,(G)
To those who honor and keep His covenant,
And remember to do His commandments [imprinting His word on their hearts].
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all [the universe].
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
You mighty ones who do His commandments,
Obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him and do His will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion;
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul!
The Lord’s Care over All His Works.
104 Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
[You are the One] who covers Yourself with light as with a garment,
Who stretches out the heavens like a tent curtain,
Who lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters [above the firmament],
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind,
Who makes winds His messengers,
Flames of fire His ministers.(H)
He established the earth on its foundations,
So that it will not be moved forever and ever.(I)
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters were standing above the mountains.(J)
At Your rebuke they fled;
At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
To the place which You established for them.
You set a boundary [for the waters] that they may not cross over,
So that they will not return to cover the earth.
You send springs into the valleys;
Their waters flow among the mountains.
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst there.
Beside them the birds of the heavens have their nests;
They lift up their voices and sing among the branches.(K)
He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.
He causes grass to grow for the cattle,
And all that the earth produces for cultivation by man,
So that he may bring food from the earth—
And wine which makes the heart of man glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And bread to sustain and strengthen man’s heart.
The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
The cedars of Lebanon which He has planted,
Where the birds make their nests;
As for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
The rocks are a refuge for the [b]shephanim.
He made the moon for the seasons;
The sun knows the [exact] place of its setting.
You [O Lord] make darkness and it becomes night,
In which prowls about every wild beast of the forest.
The young lions roar after their prey
And seek their food from God.
When the sun arises, they withdraw
And lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work
And remains at his labor until evening.
O Lord, how many and varied are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures.
There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Creatures both small and great.
There the ships [of the sea] sail,
And Leviathan [the sea monster], which You have formed to play there.
They all wait for You
To give them their food in its appointed season.
You give it to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are filled and satisfied with good [things].
You hide Your face, they are dismayed;
You take away their breath, they die
And return to their dust.
You send out Your Spirit, they are created;
You renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice and be glad in His works—
He looks at the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet and pleasing to Him;
As for me, I will rejoice and be glad in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
And let the wicked be no more.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)