17 I am innocent, Lord! Won’t you listen as I pray and beg for help? I am honest! Please hear my prayer. 2 Only you can say that I am innocent, because only your eyes can see the truth.
3 You know my heart, and even during the night you have tested me and found me innocent. I have made up my mind never to tell a lie. 4 I don’t do like others. I obey your teachings and am not cruel. 5 I have followed you, without ever stumbling.
6 I pray to you, God, because you will help me. Listen and answer my prayer! 7 Show your wonderful love. Your mighty arm protects those who run to you for safety from their enemies. 8 Protect me as you would your very own eyes; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Don’t let my brutal enemies attack from all sides and kill me. 10 They refuse to show mercy, and they keep bragging.
11 They have caught up with me! My enemies are everywhere, eagerly hoping to smear me in the dirt. 12 They are like hungry lions hunting for food, or like young lions hiding in ambush.
13 Do something, Lord! Attack and defeat them. Take your sword and save me from those evil people. 14 Use your powerful arm and rescue me from the hands of mere humans whose world won’t last.[a]
You provide food for those you love. Their children have plenty, and their grandchildren will have more than enough.
15 I am innocent, Lord, and I will see your face! When I awake, all I want is to see you as you are.
(For the music leader. A psalm by David, the Lord’s servant. David sang this to the Lord after the Lord had rescued him from his enemies, but especially from Saul.)
David’s Song of Thanks
18 I love you, Lord God, and you make me strong. 2 You are my mighty rock,[b] my fortress, my protector, the rock where I am safe, my shield, my powerful weapon,[c] and my place of shelter.
3 I praise you, Lord! I prayed, and you rescued me from my enemies. 4 Death had wrapped its ropes around me, and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters.
5 Ropes from the world of the dead had coiled around me, and death had set a trap in my path. 6 I was in terrible trouble when I called out to you, but from your temple you heard me and answered my prayer.
7 The earth shook and shivered, and the mountains trembled down to their roots. You were angry 8 and breathed out smoke. Scorching heat and fiery flames spewed from your mouth.
9 You opened the heavens like curtains, and you came down with storm clouds under your feet. 10 You rode on the backs of flying creatures and swooped down with the wind as wings. 11 Darkness was your robe; thunderclouds filled the sky, hiding you from sight. 12 Hailstones and fiery coals lit up the sky in front of you.
13 Lord Most High, your voice thundered from the heavens, as hailstones and fiery coals poured down like rain. 14 You scattered your enemies with arrows of lightning. 15 You roared at the sea, and its deepest channels could be seen. You snorted, and the earth shook to its foundations.
16 You reached down from heaven, and you lifted me from deep in the ocean. 17 You rescued me from enemies, who were hateful and too powerful for me. 18 On the day disaster struck, they came and attacked, but you defended me. 19 When I was fenced in, you freed and rescued me because you love me.
20 You are good to me, Lord, because I do right, and you reward me because I am innocent. 21 I do what you want and never turn to do evil. 22 I keep your laws in mind and never look away from your teachings. 23 I obey you completely and guard against sin. 24 You have been good to me because I do right; you have rewarded me for being innocent by your standards.
25 You are always loyal to your loyal people, and you are faithful to the faithful. 26 With all who are sincere, you are sincere, but you treat the unfaithful as their deeds deserve. 27 You rescue the humble, but you put down all who are proud.
28 You, the Lord God, keep my lamp burning and turn darkness to light. 29 You help me defeat armies and capture cities.
30 Your way is perfect, Lord, and your word is correct. You are a shield for those who run to you for help. 31 You alone are God! Only you are a mighty rock.[d] 32 You give me strength and guide me right. 33 You make my feet run as fast as those of a deer, and you help me stand on the mountains.
34 You teach my hands to fight and my arms to use a bow of bronze. 35 You alone are my shield. Your right hand supports me, and by coming to help me, you have made me famous. 36 You clear the way for me, and now I won’t stumble.
37 I kept chasing my enemies, until I caught them and destroyed them. 38 I stuck my sword through my enemies, and they were crushed under my feet. 39 You helped me win victories, and you forced my attackers to fall victim to me.
40 You made my enemies run, and I killed them. 41 They cried out for help, but no one saved them; they called out to you, but there was no answer. 42 I ground them to dust blown by the wind, and I poured them out like mud in the streets.
43 You rescued me from stubborn people, and you made me the leader of foreign nations, who are now my slaves. 44 They obey and come crawling. 45 They have lost all courage, and from their fortresses, they come trembling.
46 You are the living Lord! I will praise you. You are a mighty rock.[e] I will honor you for keeping me safe. 47 You took revenge for me, and you put nations in my power. 48 You protected me from violent enemies and made me much greater than all of them.
49 I will praise you, Lord, and I will honor you among the nations. 50 You give glorious victories to your chosen king. Your faithful love for David and for his descendants will never end.
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
The Wonders of God and the Goodness of His Law
19 The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done. 2 Each day informs the following day; each night announces to the next. 3 They don’t speak a word, and there is never the sound of a voice. 4 Yet their message reaches all the earth, and it travels around the world.
In the heavens a tent is set up for the sun. 5 It rises like a bridegroom and gets ready like a hero eager to run a race. 6 It travels all the way across the sky. Nothing hides from its heat.
7 The Law of the Lord is perfect; it gives us new life. His teachings last forever, and they give wisdom to ordinary people. 8 The Lord’s instruction is right; it makes our hearts glad. His commands shine brightly, and they give us light.
9 Worshiping the Lord is sacred; he will always be worshiped. All of his decisions are correct and fair. 10 They are worth more than the finest gold and are sweeter than honey from a honeycomb.
11 By your teachings, Lord, I am warned; by obeying them, I am greatly rewarded. 12 None of us know our faults. Forgive me when I sin without knowing it. 13 Don’t let me do wrong on purpose, Lord, or let sin have control over my life. Then I will be innocent, and not guilty of some terrible fault.
14 Let my words and my thoughts be pleasing to you, Lord, because you are my mighty rock[f] and my protector.
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for Victory
20 I pray that the Lord will listen when you are in trouble, and that the God of Jacob will keep you safe. 2 May the Lord send help from his temple and come to your rescue from Mount Zion. 3 May he remember your gifts and be pleased with what you bring.
4 May God do what you want most and let all go well for you. 5 Then you will win victories, and we will celebrate, while raising our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all of your prayers!
6 I am certain, Lord, that you will help your chosen king. You will answer my prayers from your holy place in heaven, and you will save me with your mighty arm.
7 Some people trust the power of chariots or horses, but we trust you, Lord God. 8 Others will stumble and fall, but we will be strong and stand firm.
9 Give the king victory, Lord, and answer our prayers.[g]
17.14last: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.
18.2mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
18.2my powerful weapon: The Hebrew text has “the horn,” which refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Palestine.
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