(A special psalm by David for the music leader. To the tune “Don’t Destroy.”[a])
A Prayer When All Goes Wrong
58 Do you mighty people[b] talk only to oppose justice?[c] Don’t you ever judge fairly? 2 You are always planning evil, and you are brutal. 3 You have done wrong and lied from the day you were born. 4 Your words spread poison like the bite of a cobra 5 that refuses to listen to the snake charmer.
6 My enemies are fierce as lions, Lord God! Shatter their teeth. Snatch out their fangs. 7 Make them disappear like leaking water, and make their arrows miss. 8 Let them dry up like snails or be like a child that dies before seeing the sun. 9 Wipe them out quicker than a pot can be heated by setting thorns on fire.[d]
10 Good people will be glad when they see the wicked getting what they deserve, and they will wash their feet in their enemies' blood. 11 Everyone will say, “It’s true! Good people are rewarded. God does rule the earth with justice.”
(For the music leader. To the tune “Don’t Destroy.”[e] A special psalm by David when Saul had David’s house watched so that he could kill him.)
A Prayer for Protection
59 Save me, God! Protect me from enemy attacks! 2 Keep me safe from brutal people who want to kill me.
3 Merciless enemies, Lord, are hiding and plotting, hoping to kill me. I have not hurt them in any way at all. 4 But they are ready to attack. Do something! Help me! Look at what’s happening. 5 Lord God All-Powerful, you are the God of Israel. Punish the other nations and don’t pity those terrible and rebellious people.
6 My enemies return at evening, growling like dogs roaming the city. 7 They curse and their words cut like swords, as they say to themselves, “No one can hear us!”
8 You, Lord, laugh at them and sneer at the nations. 9 You are my mighty fortress, and I depend on you. 10 You love me and will let me see my enemies defeated. 11 Don’t kill them, or everyone may forget! Just use your mighty power to make them tremble and fall.
You are a shield for your people. 12 My enemies are liars! So let them be trapped by their boastful lies. 13 Get angry and destroy them. Leave them in ruin. Then all the nations will know that you rule in Israel.
14 Those liars return at evening, growling like dogs roaming the city. 15 They search for scraps of food, and they snarl until they are stuffed.
16 But I will sing about your strength, my God, and I will celebrate because of your love. You are my fortress, my place of protection in times of trouble. 17 I will sing your praises! You are my mighty fortress, and you love me.
(For the music leader. To the tune “Lily of the Promise.” A special psalm by David for teaching. He wrote it during his wars with the Arameans of northern Syria,[f] when Joab came back and killed twelve thousand Edomites[g] in Salt Valley.)
You Can Depend on God
60 You, God, are angry with us! We are rejected and crushed. Make us strong again! 2 You made the earth shake and split wide open; now heal its wounds and stop its trembling. 3 You brought hard times on your people, and you gave us wine that made us stagger.
4 You gave a signal to those who worship you, so they could escape from enemy arrows.[h] 5 Answer our prayers! Use your powerful arm and give us victory. Then the people you love will be safe.
6 Our God, you solemnly promised, “I would gladly divide up the city of Shechem and give away Succoth Valley piece by piece. 7 The lands of Gilead and Manasseh are mine. Ephraim is my war helmet, and Judah is the symbol of my royal power. 8 Moab is merely my washbasin. Edom belongs to me, and I shout in triumph over the Philistines.”
9 Our God, who will bring me to the fortress, or lead me to Edom? 10 Have you rejected us and deserted our armies? 11 Help us defeat our enemies! No one else can rescue us. 12 You will give us victory and crush our enemies.
(A psalm by David for the music leader. Use with stringed instruments.)
Under the Protection of God
61 Please listen, God, and answer my prayer! 2 I feel hopeless, and I cry out to you from a faraway land.
Lead me to the mighty rock[i] high above me. 3 You are a strong tower, where I am safe from my enemies.
4 Let me live with you forever and find protection under your wings, my God. 5 You heard my promises, and you have blessed me, just as you bless everyone who worships you.
6 Let the king have a long and healthy life. 7 May he always rule with you, God, at his side; may your love and loyalty watch over him.
8 I will sing your praises forever and will always keep my promises.
(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)
God Is Powerful and Kind
62 Only God can save me, and I calmly wait for[j] him. 2 God alone is the mighty rock[k] that keeps me safe and the fortress where I am secure.
3 I feel like a shaky fence or a sagging wall. How long will all of you attack and assault me? 4 You want to bring me down from my place of honor. You love to tell lies, and when your words are kind, hatred hides in your heart.
5 Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. 6 God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure. 7 God saves me and honors me. He is that mighty rock where I find safety.
8 Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns. God is our place of safety.
9 We humans are only a breath; none of us are truly great. All of us together weigh less than a puff of air. 10 Don’t trust in violence or depend on dishonesty or rely on great wealth.
11 I heard God say two things: “I am powerful, 12 and I am very kind.” The Lord rewards each of us according to what we do.
(A psalm by David when he was in the desert of Judah.)
God’s Love Means More than Life
63 You are my God. I worship you. In my heart, I long for you, as I would long for a stream in a scorching desert.
2 I have seen your power and your glory in the place of worship. 3 Your love means more than life to me, and I praise you. 4 As long as I live, I will pray to you. 5 I will sing joyful praises and be filled with excitement like a guest at a banquet.
6 I think about you before I go to sleep, and my thoughts turn to you during the night. 7 You have helped me, and I sing happy songs in the shadow of your wings. 8 I stay close to you, and your powerful arm supports me.
9 All who want to kill me will end up in the ground. 10 Swords will run them through, and wild dogs will eat them.
11 Because of you, our God, the king will celebrate with your faithful followers, but liars will be silent.
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
Celebrate because of the Lord
64 Listen to my concerns, God, and protect me from my terrible enemies. 2 Keep me safe from secret plots of corrupt and evil gangs. 3 Their words cut like swords, and their cruel remarks sting like sharp arrows. 4 They fearlessly ambush and shoot innocent people.
5 They are determined to do evil, and they tell themselves, “Let’s set traps! No one can see us.”[l] 6 They make evil plans and say, “We’ll commit a perfect crime. No one knows our thoughts.”[m]
7 But God will shoot his arrows and quickly wound them. 8 They will be destroyed by their own words, and everyone who sees them will tremble with fear.[n] 9 They will be afraid and say, “Look at what God has done and keep it all in mind.”
10 May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them celebrate.
(A psalm by David and a song for the music leader.)
God Answers Prayer
65 Our God, you deserve[o] praise in Zion, where we keep our promises to you. 2 Everyone will come to you because you answer prayer. 3 Our terrible sins get us down, but you forgive us. 4 You bless your chosen ones, and you invite them to live near you in your temple. We will enjoy your house, the sacred temple.
5 Our God, you save us, and your fearsome deeds answer our prayers for justice! You give hope to people everywhere on earth, even those across the sea. 6 You are strong, and your mighty power put the mountains in place. 7 You silence the roaring waves and the noisy shouts of the nations. 8 People far away marvel at your fearsome deeds, and all who live under the sun celebrate and sing because of you.
9 You take care of the earth and send rain to help the soil grow all kinds of crops. Your rivers never run dry, and you prepare the earth to produce much grain. 10 You water all of its fields and level the lumpy ground. You send showers of rain to soften the soil and help the plants sprout. 11 Wherever your footsteps touch the earth, a rich harvest is gathered. 12 Desert pastures blossom, and mountains celebrate. 13 Meadows are filled with sheep and goats; valleys overflow with grain and echo with joyful songs.
Psalm 57; 58Don’t Destroy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
58.1mighty people: Or “mighty rulers” or “mighty gods.”
58.1Do. . . justice: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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