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(A psalm by David for the music leader. To the tune “The Death of the Son.”)

Sing Praises to the Lord

I will praise you, Lord,
    with all my heart
    and tell about the wonders
    you have worked.
God Most High, I will rejoice;
    I will celebrate and sing
    because of you.

When my enemies face you,
    they run away and stumble
    and are destroyed.
You take your seat as judge,
and your fair decisions prove
    that I was in the right.
You warn the nations
    and destroy evil people;
    you wipe out their names
    forever and ever.
Our enemies are destroyed
    completely for all time.
Their cities are torn down,
    and they will never
    be remembered again.

You rule forever, Lord,
and you are on your throne,
    ready for judgment.
You judge the world fairly
    and treat all nations
    with justice.
The poor can run to you
    because you are a fortress
    in times of trouble.
10 Everyone who honors your name
    can trust you,
    because you are faithful
    to all who depend on you.

11 You rule from Zion, Lord,
    and we sing about you
    to let the nations know
    everything you have done.
12 You did not forget
    to punish the guilty
    or listen to the cries
    of those in need.

13 Please have mercy, Lord!
    My enemies mistreat me.
Keep me from the gates
    that lead to death,
14     and I will sing about you
    at the gate to Zion.
I will be happy there
    because you rescued me.

15 Our Lord, the nations fell
    into their own pits,
    and their feet were caught
    in their own traps.
16 You showed what you are like,
and you made certain
    that justice is done,
    but evil people are trapped
    by their own evil deeds.
17 The wicked will go down
    to the world of the dead
    to be with those nations
    that forgot about you.

18 The poor and the homeless
won’t always be forgotten
    and without hope.

19 Do something, Lord!
    Don’t let the nations win.
    Make them stand trial
    in your court of law.
20 Make the nations afraid
and let them all discover
    just how weak they are.

A Prayer for Help

10 Why are you far away, Lord?
    Why do you hide yourself
    when I am in trouble?
Proud and brutal people
    hunt down the poor.
    But let them get caught
    by their own evil plans!

The wicked brag about
    their deepest desires.
    Those greedy people hate
    and curse you, Lord.
The wicked are too proud
to turn to you
    or even think about you.
They are always successful,
though they can’t understand
    your teachings,
    and they keep sneering
    at their enemies.

In their hearts they say,
    “Nothing can hurt us!
    We’ll always be happy
    and free from trouble.”
They curse and tell lies,
and all they talk about
    is how to be cruel
    or how to do wrong.

They hide outside villages,
    waiting to strike and murder
    some innocent victim.
They are hungry lions
    hiding in the bushes,
    hoping to catch
    some helpless passerby.
They trap the poor in nets
    and drag them away.
10 They crouch down and wait
    to grab a victim.
11     They say, “God can’t see!
    He’s got on a blindfold.”

12 Do something, Lord God,
    and use your powerful arm
    to help those in need.
13 The wicked don’t respect you.
    In their hearts they say,
    “God won’t punish us!”

14 But you see the trouble
and the distress,
    and you will do something.
The poor can count on you,
    and so can orphans.
15 Now break the arms
    of all merciless people.
    Punish them for doing wrong
    and make them stop.

16 Our Lord, you will always rule,
    but nations will vanish
    from the earth.
17 You listen to the longings
    of those who suffer.
You offer them hope,
    and you pay attention
    to their cries for help.
18 You defend orphans
    and everyone else in need,
    so that no one on earth
    can terrify others again.

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

Trusting the Lord

11 The Lord is my fortress!
    Don’t say to me,
    “Escape like a bird
    to the mountains!”
You tell me, “Watch out!
Those evil people
    have put
    their arrows on their bows,
and they are standing
in the shadows,
    aiming at good people.
What can an honest person do
    when everything crumbles?”

The Lord is sitting
in his sacred temple
    on his throne in heaven.
He knows everything we do
    because he sees us all.
The Lord tests honest people,
but despises those
    who are cruel
    and love violence.
He will send fiery coals[a]
and flaming sulfur
    down on the wicked,
and they will drink nothing
    but a scorching wind.

The Lord always does right
    and wants justice done.
    Everyone who does right
    will see his face.

(A psalm by David for the music leader.[b])

A Prayer for Help

12 Please help me, Lord!
    All who were faithful
    and all who were loyal
    have disappeared.
Everyone tells lies,
    and no one is sincere.
Won’t you chop off
all flattering tongues
    that brag so loudly?
They say to themselves,
“We are great speakers.
    No one else has a chance.”

But you, Lord, tell them,
    “I will do something!
The poor are mistreated
and helpless people moan.
    I’ll rescue all who suffer.”

Our Lord, you are true
    to your promises,
and your word is like silver
    heated seven times
    in a fiery furnace.[c]
You will protect us
    and always keep us safe
    from those people.
But all who are wicked
    will keep on strutting,
    while everyone praises
    their shameless deeds.[d]

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

A Prayer for the Lord’s Help

13 How much longer, Lord,
    will you forget about me?
    Will it be forever?
    How long will you hide?
How long must I be confused
    and miserable all day?
    How long will my enemies
    keep beating me down?

Please listen, Lord God,
    and answer my prayers.
Make my eyes sparkle again,
    or else I will fall
    into the sleep of death.
My enemies will say,
    “Now we’ve won!”
    They will be greatly pleased
    when I am defeated.

I trust your love,
and I feel like celebrating
    because you rescued me.
You have been good to me, Lord,
    and I will sing about you.

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

No One Can Ignore the Lord

14 Only a fool would say,
    “There is no God!”
People like that are worthless;
    they are heartless and cruel
    and never do right.

From heaven the Lord
    looks down to see
    if anyone is wise enough
    to search for him.
But all of them are corrupt;
    no one does right.

Won’t you evil people learn?
    You refuse to pray,
    and you gobble down
    the Lord’s people.
But you will be frightened,
    because God is on the side
    of every good person.
You may spoil the plans
of the poor,
    but the Lord protects them.

I long for someone from Zion
    to come and save Israel!
Our Lord, when you bless
    your people again,
    Jacob’s family will be glad,
    and Israel will celebrate.

(A psalm by David.)

Who May Worship the Lord?

15 Who may stay in God’s temple
    or live on the holy mountain
    of the Lord?

Only those who obey God
    and do as they should.
They speak the truth
    and don’t spread gossip;
    they treat others fairly
    and don’t say cruel things.

They hate worthless people,
    but show respect for all
    who worship the Lord.
And they keep their promises,
    no matter what the cost.
They lend their money
    without charging interest,
    and they don’t take bribes
    to hurt the innocent.

Those who do these things
    will always stand firm.

(A special psalm by David.)

The Best Choice

16 Protect me, Lord God!
    I run to you for safety,
and I have said,
    “Only you are my Lord!
    Every good thing I have
    is a gift from you.”

Your people are wonderful,
    and they make me happy,[e]
    but worshipers of other gods
    will have much sorrow.[f]
I refuse to offer sacrifices
of blood to those gods
    or worship in their name.

You, Lord, are all I want!
    You are my choice,
    and you keep me safe.
You make my life pleasant,
    and my future is bright.

I praise you, Lord,
    for being my guide.
Even in the darkest night,
    your teachings fill my mind.
I will always look to you,
    as you stand beside me
    and protect me from fear.
With all my heart,
I will celebrate,
    and I can safely rest.

10 I am your chosen one.
You won’t leave me in the grave
    or let my body decay.
11 You have shown me
    the path to life,
    and you make me glad
    by being near to me.
Sitting at your right side,[g]
    I will always be joyful.

Footnotes

  1. 11.6 fiery coals: Or “trouble, fire.”
  2. Psalm 12 leader: The Hebrew text adds “according to the sheminith,” which may be a musical instrument with eight strings.
  3. 12.6 in a fiery furnace: The Hebrew text has “in a furnace to the ground,” which may describe part of a process for refining silver in Old Testament times.
  4. 12.8 while. . . deeds: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 16.3 Your people. . . happy: Or “I was happy worshiping gods I thought were powerful.”
  6. 16.4 but. . . sorrow: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 16.11 right side: The place of power and honor.

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