Supplication for Rescue and Grateful Trust in God.
To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] “Silent Dove Among Those Far Away.” A Mikhtam of David. [A record of memorable thoughts] when the Philistines seized him in Gath.
56 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled on me; All day long the adversary oppresses and torments me. 2 My enemies have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. 3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust and faith in You. 4 In God, whose word I praise; In God I have put my trust; I shall not fear. What can mere man do to me? 5 All day long they twist my words and say hurtful things; All their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They attack, they hide and lurk, They watch my steps, As they have [expectantly] waited to take my life. 7 Cast them out because of their wickedness. In anger bring down the peoples, O God!
8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not recorded in Your book? 9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, In the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will give thank offerings to You. 13 For You have rescued my soul from death, Yes, and my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of life.
120 In my trouble I cried to the Lord, And He answered me. 2 Rescue my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, And from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, You deceitful tongue?— 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With the [b]burning coals of the broom tree.
5 Woe to me, for I sojourn in Meshech, and I live among the tents of Kedar [among hostile people]! 6 Too long my soul has had its dwelling With those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace, but when I speak, They are for war.
Psalm 120:1It is possible that the fifteen psalms (chs 120-134) known as the “Songs of Degrees or Ascents” were sung by the caravans of pilgrims going up to attend the annual feasts at Jerusalem. But it is equally possible that the title has reference to some peculiarity in connection with the music or the manner of using it.
Psalm 120:4The ancient rabbis explained that coals from a broom tree are unusual in that they continue burning on the inside even after they are extinguished on the outside. They compared this to a person who listens to slander: even if you try to persuade him otherwise and he seems to be convinced, he is still “burning” on the inside, i.e. still unconvinced.
140 Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; Protect me from violent men. 2 They devise evil things in their hearts; They continually [gather together and] stir up wars. 3 They sharpen their tongues like a serpent’s; Poison of a viper is under their lips.Selah.
4 Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; Protect me from violent men Who intend to trip up my steps. 5 The proud have hidden a trap for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside; They have set traps for me. Selah.
6 I said to the Lord, “You are my God; Listen to the voice of my supplications, O Lord. 7 “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. 8 “Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; Do not further their evil device, that they not be exalted. Selah.
9 “Those who surround me raise their heads; May the mischief of their own lips come upon them. 10 “Let burning coals fall upon them; Let them be thrown into the fire, Into deep [water] pits from which they cannot rise. 11 “Do not let a slanderer be established in the earth; Let evil quickly hunt the violent man [to overthrow him and stop his evil acts].”
12 I know [with confidence] that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, And [will secure] justice for the poor. 13 Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; The upright will dwell in Your presence.
An Evening Prayer for Sanctification and Protection.
A Psalm of David.
141 Lord, I call upon You; hurry to me. Listen to my voice when I call to You. 2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. 3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips [to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly]. 4 Do not incline my heart to [consent to or tolerate] any evil thing, Or to practice deeds of wickedness With men who plan and do evil; And let me not eat of their delicacies (be tempted by their gain).
5 Let the righteous [thoughtfully] strike (correct) me—it is a kindness [done to encourage my spiritual maturity]. It is [the choicest anointing] oil on the head; Let my head not refuse [to accept and acknowledge and learn from] it; For still my prayer is against their wicked deeds. 6 Their [wicked, godless] judges are thrown down the sides of the rocky cliff, And they [who followed them] will hear my words, for they are pleasant (just). 7 As when the one plows and breaks open the ground [and the soil scatters behind him], Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol [by the injustices of the wicked].
8 For my eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not pour out my life nor leave me defenseless. 9 Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, And from the snares of those who do evil. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, While I pass by and safely escape [from danger].
Prayer for Help in Trouble.
A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of David; when he was in the cave. A Prayer.
142 I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. 3 When my spirit was overwhelmed and weak within me [wrapped in darkness], You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me. 4 Look to the right [the point of attack] and see; For there is no one who has regard for me [to act in my favor]. Escape has failed me and I have nowhere to run; No one cares about my life.
5 I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. 6 “Give attention to my cry, For I am brought very low; Rescue me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I. 7 “Bring my soul out of prison (adversity), So that I may give thanks and praise Your name; The righteous will surround me [in triumph], For You will look after me.”
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