1 O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? 2 The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others. 3 For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the Lord.
4 The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. 5 Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They sneer at all their enemies. 6 They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!”
7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.[a] Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues. 8 They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people. They are always searching for helpless victims. 9 Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless. Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets. 10 Their helpless victims are crushed; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked. 11 The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us! He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”
12 Arise, O Lord! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not ignore the helpless! 13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, “God will never call us to account.” 14 But you see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans.
15 Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed. 16 The Lord is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. 17 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. 18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! 2 The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. 3 The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?”
4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. 5 The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. 6 He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. 7 For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument.[b]
1 Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing! The faithful have vanished from the earth! 2 Neighbors lie to each other, speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts. 3 May the Lord cut off their flattering lips and silence their boastful tongues. 4 They say, “We will lie to our hearts’ content. Our lips are our own—who can stop us?”
5 The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” 6 The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over. 7 Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed, preserving them forever from this lying generation, 8 even though the wicked strut about, and evil is praised throughout the land.
10:7Greek version reads cursing and bitterness. Compare Rom 3:14.
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