For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah. A song to be sung to the tune “The Suffering of Affliction.” A psalm[a] of Heman the Ezrahite.
1 O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to you at night. 2 Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry. 3 For my life is full of troubles, and death[b] draws near. 4 I am as good as dead, like a strong man with no strength left. 5 They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave. I am forgotten, cut off from your care. 6 You have thrown me into the lowest pit, into the darkest depths. 7 Your anger weighs me down; with wave after wave you have engulfed me. Interlude
8 You have driven my friends away by making me repulsive to them. I am in a trap with no way of escape. 9 My eyes are blinded by my tears. Each day I beg for your help, O Lord; I lift my hands to you for mercy. 10 Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise you? Interlude
11 Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love? Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction?[c] 12 Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds? Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness? 13 O Lord, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day. 14 O Lord, why do you reject me? Why do you turn your face from me?
15 I have been sick and close to death since my youth. I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors. 16 Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me. Your terrors have paralyzed me. 17 They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long. They have engulfed me completely. 18 You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend.
1 I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. 2 Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.
3 The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him: 4 ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” Interlude 5 All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord; myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness. 6 For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord? What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord? 7 The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne. 8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord? You are entirely faithful.
9 You rule the oceans. You subdue their storm-tossed waves. 10 You crushed the great sea monster.[e] You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. 11 The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all. 12 You created north and south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name. 13 Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants. 15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord. 16 They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness. 17 You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong. 18 Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.
19 Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people. You said, “I have raised up a warrior. I have selected him from the common people to be king. 20 I have found my servant David. I have anointed him with my holy oil. 21 I will steady him with my hand; with my powerful arm I will make him strong. 22 His enemies will not defeat him, nor will the wicked overpower him. 23 I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. 24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and by my authority he will grow in power. 25 I will extend his rule over the sea, his dominion over the rivers. 26 And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ 27 I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth. 28 I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end. 29 I will preserve an heir for him; his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven. 30 But if his descendants forsake my instructions and fail to obey my regulations, 31 if they do not obey my decrees and fail to keep my commands, 32 then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their disobedience with beating. 33 But I will never stop loving him nor fail to keep my promise to him. 34 No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said. 35 I have sworn an oath to David, and in my holiness I cannot lie: 36 His dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun. 37 It will be as eternal as the moon, my faithful witness in the sky!” Interlude
38 But now you have rejected him and cast him off. You are angry with your anointed king. 39 You have renounced your covenant with him; you have thrown his crown in the dust. 40 You have broken down the walls protecting him and ruined every fort defending him. 41 Everyone who comes along has robbed him, and he has become a joke to his neighbors. 42 You have strengthened his enemies and made them all rejoice. 43 You have made his sword useless and refused to help him in battle. 44 You have ended his splendor and overturned his throne. 45 You have made him old before his time and publicly disgraced him. Interlude
46 O Lord, how long will this go on? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your anger burn like fire? 47 Remember how short my life is, how empty and futile this human existence! 48 No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave.[f]Interlude
49 Lord, where is your unfailing love? You promised it to David with a faithful pledge. 50 Consider, Lord, how your servants are disgraced! I carry in my heart the insults of so many people. 51 Your enemies have mocked me, O Lord; they mock your anointed king wherever he goes.
52 Praise the Lord forever! Amen and amen!
88:TitleHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
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