(A special song for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)
God Is Our Mighty Fortress
46 God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble. 2 And so, we won’t be afraid! Let the earth tremble and the mountains tumble into the deepest sea. 3 Let the ocean roar and foam, and its raging waves shake the mountains.
4 A river and its streams bring joy to the city, which is the sacred home of God Most High. 5 God is in that city, and it won’t be shaken. He will help it at dawn.
6 Nations rage! Kingdoms fall! But at the voice of God the earth itself melts. 7 The Lord All-Powerful is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come! See the fearsome things the Lord has done on earth. 9 God brings wars to an end all over the world. He breaks the arrows, shatters the spears, and burns the shields.[a] 10 Our God says, “Calm down, and learn that I am God! All nations on earth will honor me.”
11 The Lord All-Powerful is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress.
(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 song and a psalm for the people of Korah.)
The City of God
48 The Lord God is wonderful! He deserves all praise in the city where he lives. His holy mountain, 2 beautiful and majestic, brings joy to all on earth. Mount Zion, truly sacred, is home for the Great King. 3 God is there to defend it and has proved to be its protector.
4 Kings joined forces to attack the city, 5 but when they saw it, they were terrified and ran away. 6 They trembled all over like women giving birth 7 or like seagoing ships[b] wrecked by eastern winds. 8 We had heard about it, and now we have seen it in the city of our God, the Lord All-Powerful. This is the city that God will let stand forever.
9 Our God, here in your temple we think about your love. 10 You are famous and praised everywhere on earth, as you win victories with your powerful arm. 11 Mount Zion will celebrate, and all Judah will be glad, because you bring justice.
12 Let’s walk around Zion and count its towers. 13 We will see its strong walls and visit each fortress. Then you can say to future generations, 14 “Our God is like this forever and will always[c] guide us.”
(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[d] 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.[e] 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.
(A psalm by Asaph.)
What Pleases God
50 From east to west, the powerful Lord God has been calling together everyone on earth. 2 God shines brightly from Zion, the most beautiful city.
3 Our God approaches, but not silently; a flaming fire comes first, and a storm surrounds him. 4 God comes to judge his people. He shouts to the heavens and to the earth, 5 “Call my followers together! They offered me a sacrifice, and we made an agreement.”
6 The heavens announce, “God is the judge, and he is always honest.”
7 My people, I am God! Israel, I am your God. Listen to my charges against you. 8 Although you offer sacrifices and always bring gifts, 9 I won’t accept your offerings of bulls and goats.
10 Every animal in the forest belongs to me, and so do the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds in the mountains, and every wild creature is in my care.
12 If I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you, because I own the world and everything in it. 13 I don’t eat the meat of bulls or drink the blood of goats. 14 I am God Most High! The only sacrifice I want is for you to be thankful and to keep your word. 15 Pray to me in time of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honor me.
16 But to the wicked I say: “You don’t have the right to mention my laws or claim to keep our agreement! 17 You refused correction and rejected my commands. 18 You made friends with every crook you met, and you liked people who break their wedding vows. 19 You talked only about violence and told nothing but lies; 20 you sat around gossiping, ruining the reputation of your own relatives.”
21 When you did all of this, I didn’t say a word, and you thought, “God is just like us!” But now I will accuse you. 22 You have ignored me! So pay close attention or I will tear you apart, and no one can help you.
23 The sacrifice that honors me is a thankful heart. Obey me,[f] and I, your God, will show my power to save.
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