Psalm 17-20 Bible in Basic English

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A Prayer for Protection against Oppressors

17 1  Let my cause come to your ears, O Lord, give attention to my cry; give ear to my prayer which goes not out from false lips. 2  Be my judge; for your eyes see what is right. 3  You have put my heart to the test, searching me in the night; you have put me to the test and seen no evil purpose in me; I will keep my mouth from sin. 4  As for the works of men, by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. 5  I have kept my feet in your ways, my steps have not been turned away. 6  My cry has gone up to you, for you will give me an answer, O God: let your ear be turned to me, and give attention to my words. 7  Make clear the wonder of your mercy, O saviour of those who put their faith in your right hand, from those who come out against them.

8  Keep me as the light of your eyes, covering me with the shade of your wings, 9  From the evil-doers who are violent to me, and from those who are round me, desiring my death. 10  They are shut up in their fat: with their mouths they say words of pride. 11  They have made a circle round our steps: their eyes are fixed on us, forcing us down to the earth; 12  Like a lion desiring its food, and like a young lion waiting in secret places. 13  Up! Lord, come out against him, make him low, with your sword be my saviour from the evil-doer. 14  With your hand, O Lord, from men, even men of the world, whose heritage is in this life, and whom you make full with your secret wealth: they are full of children; after their death their offspring take the rest of their goods. 15  As for me, I will see your face in righteousness: when I am awake it will be joy enough for me to see your form.

Thanksgiving for Deliverance

18 1  I will give you my love, O Lord, my strength. 2  The Lord is my Rock, my walled town, and my saviour; my God, my Rock, in him will I put my faith; my breastplate, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3  I will send up my cry to the Lord, who is to be praised; so will I be made safe from those who are against me. 4  The cords of death were round me, and the seas of evil put me in fear. 5  The cords of hell were round me: the nets of death came on me. 6  In my trouble my voice went up to the Lord, and my cry to my God: my voice came to his hearing in his holy Temple, and my prayer came before him, even into his ears. 7  Then trouble and shock came on the earth; and the bases of the mountains were moved and shaking, because he was angry. 8  There went up a smoke from his nose, and a fire of destruction from his mouth: flames were lighted by it. 9  The heavens were bent, so that he might come down; and it was dark under his feet. 10  And he went in flight through the air, seated on a storm-cloud: going quickly on the wings of the wind. 11  He made the dark his secret place; his tent round him was the dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 12  Before his shining light his dark clouds went past, raining ice and fire. 13  The Lord made thunder in the heavens, and the voice of the Highest was sounding out: a rain of ice and fire. 14  He sent out his arrows, driving them in all directions; by his flames of fire they were troubled. 15  Then the deep beds of the waters were seen, and the bases of the world were uncovered, because of your words of wrath, O Lord, because of the breath from your mouth. 16  He sent from on high, he took me, pulling me out of great waters. 17  He made me free from my strong hater, and from those who were against me, because they were stronger than I. 18  They came on me in the day of my trouble; but the Lord was my support. 19  He took me out into a wide place; he was my saviour because he had delight in me.

20  The Lord gives me the reward of my righteousness, because my hands are clean before him. 21  For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not been turned away in sin from my God. 22  For all his decisions were before me, and I did not put away his laws from me. 23  And I was upright before him, and I kept myself from sin. 24  Because of this the Lord has given me the reward of my righteousness, because my hands are clean in his eyes. 25  On him who has mercy you will have mercy; to the upright you will be upright; 26  He who is holy will see that you are holy; but to the man whose way is not straight you will be a hard judge. 27  For you are the saviour of those who are in trouble; but eyes full of pride will be made low. 28  You, O Lord, will be my light; by you, my God, the dark will be made bright for me.

29  By your help I have made a way through the wall which was shutting me in; by the help of my God I have gone over a wall. 30  As for God, his way is completely good; the word of the Lord is tested; he is a breastplate for all those who put their faith in him. 31  For who is God but the Lord? or who is a Rock but our God? 32  God puts a strong band about me, guiding me in a straight way. 33  He makes my feet like roes' feet, and puts me on high places. 34  He makes my hands expert in war, so that a bow of brass is bent by my arms. 35  You have given me the breastplate of your salvation: your right hand has been my support, and your mercy has made me great. 36  You have made my steps wide under me, so that my feet are kept from slipping. 37  I go after my haters and overtake them; not turning back till they are all overcome. 38  I will give them wounds, so that they are not able to get up: they are stretched under my feet. 39  For I have been armed by you with strength for the fight: you have made low under me those who come out against me. 40  By you their backs are turned in flight, so that my haters are cut off. 41  They were crying out, but there was no one to come to their help: even to the Lord, but he gave them no answer. 42  Then they were crushed as small as dust before the wind; they were drained out like the waste of the streets. 43  You have made me free from the fightings of the people; you have made me the head of the nations: a people of whom I had no knowledge will be my servants. 44  From the time when my name comes to their ears they will be ruled by me: men of other countries will, with false hearts, put themselves under my authority. 45  They will be wasting away, they will come out of their secret places shaking with fear. 46  The Lord is living; praise be to my Rock, and let the God of my salvation be honoured. 47  It is God who sends punishment on my haters, and puts peoples under my rule. 48  He makes me free from my haters; I am lifted up over those who come up against me: you have made me free from the violent man. 49  Because of this I will give you praise, O Lord, among the nations, and will make a song of praise to your name. 50  Great salvation does he give to his king; he has mercy on the king of his selection, David, and on his seed for ever.

The Works and Word of God

19 1  The heavens are sounding the glory of God; the arch of the sky makes clear the work of his hands. 2  Day after day it sends out its word, and night after night it gives knowledge. 3  There are no words or language; their voice makes no sound. 4  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has he put a tent for the sun, 5  Who is like a newly married man coming from his bride-tent, and is glad like a strong runner starting on his way. 6  His going out is from the end of the heaven, and his circle to the ends of it; there is nothing which is not open to his heat.

7  The law of the Lord is good, giving new life to the soul: the witness of the Lord is certain, giving wisdom to the foolish. 8  The orders of the Lord are right, making glad the heart: the rule of the Lord is holy, giving light to the eyes. 9  The fear of the Lord is clean, and has no end; the decisions of the Lord are true and full of righteousness. 10  More to be desired are they than gold, even than much shining gold; sweeter than the dropping honey. 11  By them is your servant made conscious of danger, and in keeping them there is great reward. 12  Who has full knowledge of his errors? make me clean from secret evil. 13  Keep your servant back from sins of pride; let them not have rule over me: then will I be upright and free from great sin. 14  Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your eyes, O Lord, my strength and my salvation.

A Prayer for Victory

20 1  May the Lord give ear to you in the day of trouble; may you be placed on high by the name of the God of Jacob; 2  May he send you help from the holy place, and give you strength from Zion; 3  May he keep all your offerings in mind, and be pleased with the fat of your burned offerings; (Selah.) 4  May he give you your heart's desire, and put all your purposes into effect. 5  We will be glad in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will put up our flags: may the Lord give you all your requests.

6  Now am I certain that the Lord gives salvation to his king; he will give him an answer from his holy heaven with the strength of salvation in his right hand. 7  Some put their faith in carriages and some in horses; but we will be strong in the name of the Lord our God. 8  They are bent down and made low; but we have been lifted up. 9  Come to our help, Lord: let the king give ear to our cry.

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