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(A special psalm by David.)

The Joy of Forgiveness

32 Our God, you bless everyone
    whose sins you forgive
    and wipe away.
You bless them by saying,
    “You told me your sins,
without trying to hide them,
    and now I forgive you.”

Before I confessed my sins,
my bones felt limp,
    and I groaned all day long.
Night and day your hand
    weighed heavily on me,
    and my strength was gone
    as in the summer heat.

So I confessed my sins
    and told them all to you.
    I said, “I’ll tell the Lord
    each one of my sins.”
Then you forgave me
    and took away my guilt.

We worship you, Lord,
    and we should always pray
whenever we find out
    that we have sinned.[a]
    Then we won’t be swept away
    by a raging flood.
You are my hiding place!
    You protect me from trouble,
and you put songs in my heart
    because you have saved me.

You said to me,
“I will point out the road
    that you should follow.
I will be your teacher
    and watch over you.
Don’t be stupid
    like horses and mules
    that must be led with ropes
    to make them obey.”

10 All kinds of troubles
    will strike the wicked,
    but your kindness shields those
    who trust you, Lord.
11 And so your good people
    should celebrate and shout.

Sing Praises to the Lord

33 You are the Lord’s people.
Obey him and celebrate!
    He deserves your praise.
Praise the Lord with harps!
Use harps with ten strings
    to make music for him.
    Sing a new song. Shout!
    Play beautiful music.

The Lord is truthful;
    he can be trusted.
He loves justice and fairness,
    and he is kind to everyone
    everywhere on earth.

The Lord made the heavens
    and everything in them
    by his word.
He scooped up the ocean
    and stored the water.
Everyone in this world
should worship
    and honor
    the Lord!
As soon as he spoke
    the world was created;
    at his command,
    the earth was formed.

10 The Lord destroys the plans
    and spoils the schemes
    of the nations.
11 But what the Lord has planned
will stand forever.
    His thoughts never change.
12 The Lord blesses each nation
that worships only him.
    He blesses his chosen ones.
13 The Lord looks at the world
14     from his throne in heaven,
    and he watches us all.
15 The Lord gave us each a mind,
    and nothing we do
    can be hidden from him.

16 Mighty armies alone
    cannot win wars for a king;
    great strength by itself
    cannot keep a soldier safe.
17 In war the strength of a horse
cannot be trusted
    to take you to safety.
18 But the Lord watches over
all
    who honor him
    and trust his kindness.
19 He protects them from death
    and starvation.

20 We depend on you, Lord,
    to help and protect us.
21 You make our hearts glad
    because we trust you,
    the only God.
22 Be kind and bless us!
    We depend on you.

(Written by David when he pretended to be crazy in front of Abimelech, so that Abimelech would send him away, and David could leave.)

Honor the Lord

34 I will always praise the Lord.
With all my heart,
    I will praise the Lord.
    Let all who are helpless,
    listen and be glad.
Honor the Lord with me!
    Celebrate his great name.

I asked the Lord for help,
    and he saved me
    from all my fears.
Keep your eyes on the Lord!
You will shine like the sun
    and never blush with shame.
I was a nobody, but I prayed,
    and the Lord saved me
    from all my troubles.

If you honor the Lord,
    his angel will protect you.
Discover for yourself
    that the Lord is kind.
    Come to him for protection,
    and you will be glad.

Honor the Lord!
    You are his special people.
    No one who honors the Lord
    will ever be in need.
10 Young lions[b] may go hungry
    or even starve,
but if you trust the Lord,
    you will never miss out
    on anything good.

11 Come, my children, listen
    as I teach you
    to respect the Lord.
12 Do you want to live
    and enjoy a long life?
13 Then don’t say cruel things
    and don’t tell lies.
14     Do good instead of evil
    and try to live at peace.

15 If you obey the Lord,
he will watch over you
    and answer your prayers.
16 But God despises evil people,
    and he will wipe them all
from the earth,
    till they are forgotten.
17 When his people pray for help,
    he listens and rescues them
    from their troubles.
18 The Lord is there to rescue
all
    who are discouraged
    and have given up hope.

19 The Lord’s people
    may suffer a lot,
    but he will always
    bring them safely through.
20 Not one of their bones
    will ever be broken.

21 Wicked people are killed
    by their own evil deeds,
    and if you hate God’s people
    you will be punished.
22 The Lord saves the lives
    of his servants.
Run to him for protection,
    and you won’t be punished.

(A psalm by David.)

A Prayer for Protection from Enemies

35 Fight my enemies, Lord!
Attack my attackers!
    Shield me and help me.
Aim your spear at everyone
who hunts me down,
    but promise to save me.

Let all who want to kill me
    be disappointed
    and disgraced.
Chase away and confuse
    all who plan to harm me.
Send your angel after them
    and let them be like straw
    in the wind.
Make them run in the dark
on a slippery road,
    as your angel chases them.
I did them no harm,
but they hid a net
    to trap me,
    and they dug a deep pit
    to catch and kill me.
Surprise them with disaster!
    Trap them in their own nets
    and let them fall and rot
    in the pits they have dug.

I will celebrate and be joyful
    because you, Lord,
    have saved me.
10 Every bone in my body
    will shout:
    “No one is like the Lord!”
You protect the helpless
    from those in power;
    you save the poor and needy
    from those who hurt them.

11 Liars accuse me of crimes
    I know nothing about.
12     They repay evil for good,
    and I feel all alone.
13 When they were sick,
I wore sackcloth[c]
    and went without food.[d]
I truly prayed for them,[e]
14     as I would for a friend
    or a relative.
I was in sorrow and mourned,
    as I would for my mother.

15 I have stumbled,
    and worthless liars
I don’t even know
    surround me and sneer.
16 Worthless people make fun[f]
    and never stop laughing.
17 But all you do is watch!
    When will you do something?
    Save me from the attack
    of those vicious lions.
18 And when your people meet,
    I will praise you
    and thank you, Lord,
    in front of them all.

19 Don’t let my brutal enemies
    be glad because of me.
They hate me for no reason.
    Don’t let them wink
    behind my back.
20 They say hurtful things,
and they lie to people
    who want to live in peace.
21 They are quick to accuse me.
    They say, “You did it!
    We saw you ourselves.”

22 You see everything, Lord!
Please don’t keep silent
    or stay so far away.
23 Fight to defend me, Lord God,
24     and prove that I am right
    by your standards.
Don’t let them laugh at me
25     or say to each other,
“Now we’ve got what we want!
    We’ll gobble him down!”

26 Disappoint and confuse
all who are glad
    to see me in trouble,
but disgrace and embarrass
my proud enemies
    who say to me,
    “You are nothing!”

27 Let all who want me to win
    be happy and joyful.
From now on let them say,
    “The Lord is wonderful!
    God is glad when all goes well
    for his servant.”
28 Then I will shout all day,
    “Praise the Lord God!
    He did what was right.”

Footnotes

  1. 32.6 whenever. . . sinned: Hebrew “at a time of finding only.”
  2. 34.10 Young lions: In the Psalms wild animals often stand for God’s enemies.
  3. 35.13 sackcloth: See the note at 30.11.
  4. 35.13 went without food: People sometimes went without food (called “fasting”) to show sorrow.
  5. 35.13 I. . . them: Or “My prayer wasn’t answered, but I prayed.”
  6. 35.16 Worthless. . . fun: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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