1 God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won’t follow sinners or join in sneering at God. 2 Instead, the Law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.
3 They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves. Those people succeed in everything they do.
4 That isn’t true of those who are evil, because they are like straw blown by the wind. 5 Sinners won’t have an excuse on the day of judgment, and they won’t have a place with the people of God. 6 The Lord protects everyone who follows him, but the wicked follow a road that leads to ruin.
The Lord’s Chosen King
2 Why do the nations plot,[a] and why do their people make useless plans?[b] 2 The kings of this earth have all joined together to turn against the Lord and his chosen one. 3 They say, “Let’s cut the ropes and set ourselves free!”
4 In heaven the Lord laughs as he sits on his throne, making fun of the nations. 5 The Lord becomes furious and threatens them. His anger terrifies them as he says, 6 “I’ve put my king on Zion, my sacred hill.”
7 I will tell the promise that the Lord made to me: “You are my son, because today I have become your father. 8 Ask me for the nations, and every nation on earth will belong to you. 9 You will smash them with an iron rod and shatter them like dishes of clay.”
10 Be smart, all you rulers, and pay close attention. 11 Serve and honor the Lord; be glad and tremble. 12 Show respect to his son because if you don’t, the Lord might become furious and suddenly destroy you.[c] But he blesses and protects everyone who runs to him.
2.1Why. . . plot: Or “Why are the nations restless?”
15 Who may stay in God’s temple or live on the holy mountain of the Lord?
2 Only those who obey God and do as they should. They speak the truth 3 and don’t spread gossip; they treat others fairly and don’t say cruel things.
4 They hate worthless people, but show respect for all who worship the Lord. And they keep their promises, no matter what the cost. 5 They lend their money without charging interest, and they don’t take bribes to hurt the innocent.
(A psalm by David for the music leader. To the tune “A Deer at Dawn.”)
Suffering and Praise
22 My God, my God, why have you deserted me? Why are you so far away? Won’t you listen to my groans and come to my rescue? 2 I cry out day and night, but you don’t answer, and I can never rest.
3 Yet you are the holy God, ruling from your throne and praised by Israel. 4 Our ancestors trusted you, and you rescued them. 5 When they cried out for help, you saved them, and you did not let them down when they depended on you.
6 But I am merely a worm, far less than human, and I am hated and rejected by people everywhere. 7 Everyone who sees me makes fun and sneers. They shake their heads, 8 and say, “Trust the Lord! If you are his favorite, let him protect you and keep you safe.”
9 You, Lord, brought me safely through birth, and you protected me when I was a baby at my mother’s breast. 10 From the day I was born, I have been in your care, and from the time of my birth, you have been my God.
11 Don’t stay far off when I am in trouble with no one to help me. 12 Enemies are all around like a herd of wild bulls. Powerful bulls from Bashan[a] are everywhere. 13 My enemies are like lions roaring and attacking with jaws open wide.
14 I have no more strength than a few drops of water. All my bones are out of joint; my heart is like melted wax. 15 My strength has dried up like a broken clay pot, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You, God, have left me to die in the dirt.
16 Brutal enemies attack me like a pack of dogs, tearing at[b] my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones, and my enemies just stare and sneer at me. 18 They took my clothes and gambled for them.
19 Don’t stay far away, Lord! My strength comes from you, so hurry and help. 20 Rescue me from enemy swords and save me from those dogs. 21 Don’t let lions eat me.
You rescued me from the horns of wild bulls, 22 and when your people meet, I will praise you, Lord.
23 All who worship the Lord, now praise him! You belong to Jacob’s family and to the people of Israel, so fear and honor the Lord! 24 The Lord doesn’t hate or despise the helpless in all of their troubles. When I cried out, he listened and did not turn away.
25 When your people meet, you will fill my heart with your praises, Lord, and everyone will see me keep my promises to you. 26 The poor will eat and be full, and all who worship you will be thankful and live in hope.
27 Everyone on this earth will remember you, Lord. People all over the world will turn and worship you, 28 because you are in control, the ruler of all nations.
29 All who are rich and have more than enough will bow down to you, Lord. Even those who are dying and almost in the grave will come and bow down. 30 In the future, everyone will worship and learn about you, our Lord. 31 People not yet born will be told, “The Lord has saved us!”
(A psalm by David.)
The Good Shepherd
23 You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. 2 You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, 3 and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. 4 I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod[c] makes me feel safe.
5 You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. 6 Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever in your house, Lord.
(A psalm by David.)
Who Can Enter the Lord’s Temple?
24 The earth and everything on it belong to the Lord. The world and its people belong to him. 2 The Lord placed it all on the oceans and rivers.
3 Who may climb the Lord’s hill[d] or stand in his holy temple? 4 Only those who do right for the right reasons, and don’t worship idols or tell lies under oath. 5 The Lord God, who saves them, will bless and reward them, 6 because they worship and serve the God of Jacob.[e] 7 Open the ancient gates, so that the glorious king may come in.
8 Who is this glorious king? He is our Lord, a strong and mighty warrior.
9 Open the ancient gates, so that the glorious king may come in.
10 Who is this glorious king? He is our Lord, the All-Powerful!
22.12Bashan: A land east of the Jordan River, where there were pastures suitable for raising fine cattle.
22.16tearing at: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
23.4shepherd’s rod: The Hebrew text mentions two objects carried by the shepherd: a club to defend against wild animals and a long pole to guide and control the sheep.
24.3the Lord’s hill: The hill in Jerusalem where the temple was built.
24.6worship. . . Jacob: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “worship God and serve the descendants of Jacob.”
(A psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)
God Rules the Nations
47 All of you nations, clap your hands and shout joyful praises to God. 2 The Lord Most High is fearsome, the ruler of all the earth. 3 God has put every nation under our power, 4 and he chose for us the land that was the pride of Jacob, his favorite.
5 God goes up to his throne, as people shout and trumpets blast. 6 Sing praises to God our King, 7 the ruler of all the earth! Praise God with songs.
8 God rules the nations from his sacred throne. 9 Their leaders come together and are now the people of Abraham’s God. All rulers on earth surrender their weapons, and God is greatly praised!
(A psalm and a song by David for the music leader.)
God Will Win the Battle
68 Do something, God! Scatter your hateful enemies. Make them turn and run. 2 Scatter them like smoke! When you come near, make them melt like wax in a fire. 3 But let your people be happy and celebrate because of you.
4 Our God, you are the one who rides on the clouds, and we praise you. Your name is the Lord, and we celebrate as we worship you.
5 Our God, from your sacred home you take care of orphans and protect widows. 6 You find families for those who are lonely. You set prisoners free and let them prosper,[a] but all who rebel will live in a scorching desert.
7 You set your people free, and you led them through the desert. 8 God of Israel, the earth trembled, and rain poured down. You alone are the God who rules from Mount Sinai. 9 When your land was thirsty, you sent showers to refresh it. 10 Your people settled there, and you were generous to everyone in need.
11 You gave the command, and a chorus of women told what had happened: 12 “Kings and their armies retreated and ran, and everything they left is now being divided. 13 And for those who stayed back to guard the sheep, there are metal doves with silver-coated wings and shiny gold feathers.”
14 God All-Powerful, you scattered the kings like snow falling on Mount Zalmon.[b]
15 Our Lord and our God, Bashan is a mighty mountain covered with peaks. 16 Why is it jealous of Zion, the mountain you chose as your home forever?
17 When you, Lord God, appeared to your people[c] at Sinai, you came with thousands of mighty chariots. 18 When you climbed the high mountain, you took prisoners with you and were given gifts. Your enemies didn’t want you to live there, but they gave you gifts.
19 We praise you, Lord God! You treat us with kindness day after day, and you rescue us. 20 You always protect us and save us from death.
21 Our Lord and our God, your terrible enemies are ready for war,[d] but you will crush their skulls. 22 You promised to bring them from Bashan and from the deepest sea. 23 Then we could stomp on their blood, and our dogs could chew on their bones.
24 We have seen crowds marching to your place of worship, our God and King. 25 The singers come first, and then the musicians, surrounded by young women playing tambourines. 26 They come shouting, “People of Israel, praise the Lord God!” 27 The small tribe of Benjamin leads the way, followed by the leaders from Judah. Then come the leaders from Zebulun and Naphtali.
28 Our God, show your strength! Show us once again. 29 Then kings will bring gifts to your temple in Jerusalem.[e]
30 Punish that animal that lives in the swamp![f] Punish that nation whose leaders and people are like wild bulls. Make them come crawling with gifts of silver. Scatter those nations that enjoy making war.[g] 31 Force the Egyptians to bring gifts of bronze; make the Ethiopians[h] hurry to offer presents.[i]
32 Now sing praises to God! Every kingdom on earth, sing to the Lord! 33 Praise the one who rides across the ancient skies; listen as he speaks with a mighty voice.
34 Tell about God’s power! He is honored in Israel, and he rules the skies. 35 The God of Israel is fearsome in his temple, and he makes us strong. Let’s praise our God!
68.6and let them prosper: Or “and give them a song.”
68.14Mount Zalmon: The location of this mountain is not known.
68.17to your people: Or “in all your holiness” or “in your holy place.”
68.21are ready for war: The Hebrew text has “have long hair,” which probably refers to the ancient custom of wearing long hair on special occasions, such as a “holy war.”
68.28,29Our God. . . Jerusalem: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 28,29.
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