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(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?
You are always planning evil,
    and you are brutal.
You have done wrong and lied
    from the day you were born.
Your words spread poison
    like the bite of a cobra
    that refuses to listen
    to the snake charmer.

My enemies are fierce
    as lions, Lord God!
    Shatter their teeth.
    Snatch out their fangs.
Make them disappear
like leaking water,
    and make their arrows miss.
Let them dry up like snails
    or be like a child that dies
    before seeing the sun.
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!
Keep me safe from brutal people
    who want to kill me.

Merciless enemies, Lord,
are hiding and plotting,
    hoping to kill me.
I have not hurt them
    in any way at all.
But they are ready to attack.
Do something! Help me!
    Look at what’s happening.
Lord God All-Powerful,
    you are the God of Israel.
Punish the other nations
    and don’t pity those terrible
    and rebellious people.

My enemies return at evening,
    growling like dogs
    roaming the city.
They curse and their words
    cut like swords,
    as they say to themselves,
    “No one can hear us!”

You, Lord, laugh at them
    and sneer at the nations.
    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!
You made the earth shake
    and split wide open;
    now heal its wounds
    and stop its trembling.
You brought hard times
    on your people,
    and you gave us wine
    that made us stagger.

You gave a signal to those
    who worship you,
    so they could escape
    from enemy arrows.[h]
Answer our prayers!
Use your powerful arm
    and give us victory.
    Then the people you love
    will be safe.

Our God, you solemnly promised,
“I would gladly divide up
    the city of Shechem
    and give away Succoth Valley
    piece by piece.
The lands of Gilead
    and Manasseh are mine.
Ephraim is my war helmet,
    and Judah is the symbol
    of my royal power.
Moab is merely my washbasin.
    Edom belongs to me,
    and I shout in triumph
    over the Philistines.”

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!
I feel hopeless,
    and I cry out to you
    from a faraway land.

Lead me to the mighty rock[i]
    high above me.
You are a strong tower,
    where I am safe
    from my enemies.

Let me live with you forever
    and find protection
    under your wings, my God.
You heard my promises,
    and you have blessed me,
    just as you bless everyone
    who worships you.

Let the king have a long
    and healthy life.
May he always rule
    with you, God, at his side;
    may your love and loyalty
    watch over him.

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.
God alone is the mighty rock[k]
    that keeps me safe
    and the fortress
    where I am secure.

I feel like a shaky fence
    or a sagging wall.
    How long will all of you
    attack and assault me?
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.

Only God gives inward peace,
    and I depend on him.
God alone is the mighty rock
    that keeps me safe,
    and he is the fortress
    where I feel secure.
God saves me and honors me.
    He is that mighty rock
    where I find safety.

Trust God, my friends,
    and always tell him
each one of your concerns.
    God is our place of safety.

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.

I have seen your power
and your glory
    in the place of worship.
Your love means more
than life to me,
    and I praise you.
As long as I live,
    I will pray to you.
I will sing joyful praises
and be filled with excitement
    like a guest at a banquet.

I think about you
    before I go to sleep,
    and my thoughts turn to you
    during the night.
You have helped me,
    and I sing happy songs
    in the shadow of your wings.
I stay close to you,
    and your powerful arm
    supports me.

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.
Keep me safe from secret plots
    of corrupt and evil gangs.
Their words cut like swords,
    and their cruel remarks
    sting like sharp arrows.
They fearlessly ambush
    and shoot innocent people.

They are determined to do evil,
    and they tell themselves,
    “Let’s set traps!
    No one can see us.”[l]
They make evil plans and say,
“We’ll commit a perfect crime.
    No one knows our thoughts.”[m]

But God will shoot his arrows
    and quickly wound them.
They will be destroyed
    by their own words,
    and everyone who sees them
    will tremble with fear.[n]
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.
Everyone will come to you
    because you answer prayer.
    Our terrible sins get us down,
    but you forgive us.
You bless your chosen ones,
    and you invite them
    to live near you
    in your temple.
We will enjoy your house,
    the sacred temple.

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.
You are strong,
    and your mighty power
    put the mountains in place.
You silence the roaring waves
    and the noisy shouts
    of the nations.
People far away marvel
    at your fearsome deeds,
and all who live under the sun
    celebrate and sing
    because of you.

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.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 57; 58 Don’t Destroy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 58.1 mighty people: Or “mighty rulers” or “mighty gods.”
  3. 58.1 Do. . . justice: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 58.9 Wipe. . . fire: See the note at Psalm 57.
  5. Psalm 59 Don’t Destroy: See the note at Psalm 57.
  6. Psalm 60 wars. . . Syria: See 2 Samuel 8.3-8; 10.16-18; 1 Chronicles 18.3-11; 19.6-19.
  7. Psalm 60 killed. . . Edomites: See 2 Samuel 8.13; 1 Chronicles 18.12.
  8. 60.4 so. . . arrows: Some ancient translations and one possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. 61.2 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  10. 62.1 calmly wait for: Or “am at peace with.”
  11. 62.2 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  12. 64.5 us: One ancient translation; Hebrew “them.”
  13. 64.6 thoughts: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
  14. 64.8 tremble with fear: Or “turn and run.”
  15. 65.1 deserve: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.