43 Show that I am right, God! Defend me against everyone who doesn’t know you; rescue me from each of those deceitful liars. 2 I run to you for protection. Why have you turned me away? Why must enemies mistreat me and make me sad?
3 Send your light and your truth to guide me. Let them lead me to your house on your sacred mountain. 4 Then I will worship at your altar because you make me joyful. You are my God, and I will praise you. Yes, I will praise you as I play my harp.
5 Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless? I trust you! And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God.
(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)
A Prayer for Help
44 Our God, our ancestors told us what wonders you worked and we listened carefully. 2 You chased off the nations by causing them trouble with your powerful arm. Then you let our ancestors take over their land. 3 Their strength and weapons were not what won the land and gave them victory! You loved them and fought with your powerful arm and your shining glory.
4 You are my God and King, and you give victory[a] to the people of Jacob. 5 By your great power, we knocked our enemies down and stomped on them. 6 I don’t depend on my arrows or my sword to save me. 7 But you saved us from our hateful enemies, and you put them to shame. 8 We boast about you, our God, and we are always grateful.
9 But now you have rejected us; you don’t lead us into battle, and we look foolish. 10 You made us retreat, and our enemies have taken everything we own. 11 You let us be slaughtered like sheep, and you scattered us among the nations. 12 You sold your people for little or nothing, and you earned no profit.
13 You made us look foolish to our neighbors, and people who live nearby insult us and sneer. 14 Foreigners joke about us and shake their heads. 15 I am embarrassed every day, and I blush with shame. 16 But others mock and sneer, as they watch my enemies take revenge on me.
17 All of this has happened to us, though we didn’t forget you or break our agreement. 18 We always kept you in mind and followed your teaching. 19 But you crushed us, and you covered us with deepest darkness where wild animals live.
20 We did not forget you or lift our hands in prayer to foreign gods. 21 You would have known it because you discover every secret thought. 22 We face death all day for you. We are like sheep on their way to be slaughtered.
23 Wake up! Do something, Lord! Why are you sleeping? Don’t desert us forever. 24 Why do you keep looking away? Don’t forget our sufferings and all of our troubles. 25 We are flat on the ground, holding on to the dust. 26 Do something! Help us! Show how kind you are and come to our rescue.
(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader. To the tune “Lilies.” A love song.)
For a Royal Wedding
45 My thoughts are filled with beautiful words for the king, and I will use my voice as a writer would use pen and ink.
2 No one is as handsome as you! Your words are always kind. That is why God will always bless you. 3 Mighty king, glorious ruler, strap on your sword 4 and ride out in splendor! Win victories for truth and mercy and justice. Do fearsome things with your powerful arm. 5 Send your sharp arrows through enemy hearts and make all nations fall at your feet.
6 You are God, and you will rule forever as king.[b] Your royal power brings about justice. 7 You love justice and hate evil. And so, your God chose you and made you happier than any of your friends. 8 The sweet aroma of the spices myrrh, aloes, and cassia, covers your royal robes. You enjoy the music of harps in palaces decorated with ivory. 9 Daughters of kings are here, and your bride stands at your right side, wearing a wedding gown trimmed with pure gold.[c]
10 Bride of the king, listen carefully to me. Forget your own people and your father’s family. 11 The king is your husband, so do what he desires. 12 All of the richest people from the city of Tyre will try to influence you 13 with precious treasures.
Your bride, my king, has inward beauty,[d] and her wedding gown is woven with threads of gold. 14 Wearing the finest garments, she is brought to you, followed by her young friends, the bridesmaids. 15 Everyone is excited, as they follow you to the royal palace.
16 Your sons and your grandsons will also be kings as your ancestors were. You will make them the rulers everywhere on earth.
17 I will make your name famous from now on, and you will be praised forever and ever.
44.4and. . . victory: One ancient translation; Hebrew “please give victory.”
45.6You. . . king: Or “God has made you king, and you will rule forever.”
45.9trimmed with pure gold: Hebrew has “with gold from Ophir,” which may have been in Africa or India. Gold from there was considered the very best.
45.13has inward beauty: Or “is dressed in her room.”
(A psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)
Don’t Depend on Wealth
49 Everyone on this earth, now listen to what I say! 2 Listen, no matter who you are, rich or poor. 3 I speak words of wisdom, and my thoughts make sense. 4 I have in mind a mystery that I will explain while playing my harp.
5 Why should I be afraid in times of trouble, when I am surrounded by vicious enemies? 6 They trust in their riches and brag about all of their wealth. 7 You cannot buy back your life or pay off God! 8 It costs far too much to buy back your life. You can never pay God enough 9 to stay alive forever and safe from death.
10 We see that wise people die, and so do stupid fools. Then their money is left for someone else. 11 The grave[a] will be their home forever and ever, although they once had land of their own. 12 Our human glory disappears, and, like animals, we die.
13 Here is what happens to fools and to those who trust the words of fools: 14 They are like sheep with death as their shepherd, leading them to the grave.[b] In the morning God’s people will walk all over them, as their bodies lie rotting in their home, the grave. 15 But God will rescue me from the power of death.
16 Don’t let it bother you when others get rich and live in luxury. 17 Soon they will die and all of their wealth will be left behind.
18 We humans are praised when we do well, and all of us are glad to be alive. 19 But we each will go down to our ancestors, never again to see the light of day. 20 Our human glory disappears, and, like animals, we die.
49.11The grave: Some ancient translations; Hebrew “Their inward thoughts.”
49.14as their. . . grave: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
(For the music leader.[a] A psalm for the people of Korah.)
The Joy of Worship
84 Lord God All-Powerful, your temple is so lovely! 2 Deep in my heart I long for your temple, and with all that I am I sing joyful songs to you.
3 Lord God All-Powerful, my King and my God, sparrows find a home near your altars; swallows build nests there to raise their young.
4 You bless everyone who lives in your house, and they sing your praises. 5 You bless all who depend on you for their strength and all who deeply desire to visit your temple. 6 When they reach Dry Valley,[b] springs start flowing, and the autumn rain fills it with pools of water.[c] 7 Your people grow stronger, and you, the God of gods, will be seen in Zion.
8 Lord God All-Powerful, the God of Jacob, please answer my prayer! 9 You are the shield that protects your people, and I am your chosen one. Won’t you smile on me?
10 One day in your temple is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather serve in your house, than live in the homes of the wicked.
11 Our Lord and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield. You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right.
12 Lord God All-Powerful, you bless everyone who trusts you.
(A psalm by the people of Korah for the music leader.)
A Prayer for Peace
85 Our Lord, you have blessed your land and made all go well for Jacob’s descendants. 2 You have forgiven the sin and taken away the guilt of your people. 3 Your fierce anger is no longer aimed at us.
4 Our Lord and our God, you save us! Please bring us back home and don’t be angry. 5 Will you always be angry with us and our families? 6 Won’t you give us fresh life and let your people be glad because of you? 7 Show us your love and save us!
8 I will listen to you, Lord God, because you promise peace to those who are faithful and no longer foolish. 9 You are ready to rescue everyone who worships you, so that you will live with us in all of your glory.
10 Love and loyalty will come together; goodness and peace will unite. 11 Loyalty will sprout from the ground; justice will look down from the sky above.
12 Our Lord, you will bless us; our land will produce wonderful crops. 13 Justice will march in front, making a path for you to follow.
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