A Protestation of Integrity
26 1 O Lord, be my judge, for my behaviour has been upright: I have put my faith in the Lord, I am not in danger of slipping. 2 Put me in the scales, O Lord, so that I may be tested; let the fire make clean my thoughts and my heart. 3 For your mercy is before my eyes; and I have gone in the way of your good faith. 4 I have not taken my seat with foolish persons, and I do not go with false men. 5 I have been a hater of the band of wrongdoers, and I will not be seated among sinners.
6 I will make my hands clean from sin; so will I go round your altar, O Lord; 7 That I may give out the voice of praise, and make public all the wonders which you have done. 8 Lord, your house has been dear to me, and the resting-place of your glory. 9 Let not my soul be numbered among sinners, or my life among men of blood; 10 In whose hands are evil designs, and whose right hands take money for judging falsely. 11 But as for me, I will go on in my upright ways: be my saviour, and have mercy on me. 12 I have a safe resting-place for my feet; I will give praise to the Lord in the meetings of the people.
Praise for Deliverance
40 1 When I was waiting quietly for the Lord, his heart was turned to me, and he gave ear to my cry. 2 He took me up out of a deep waste place, out of the soft and sticky earth; he put my feet on a rock, and made my steps certain. 3 And he put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God; numbers have seen it with fear, and put their faith in the Lord. 4 Happy is the man who has faith in the Lord, and does not give honour to the men of pride or to those who are turned away to deceit. 5 O Lord my God, great are the wonders which you have done in your thought for us; it is not possible to put them out in order before you; when I would give an account of them, their number is greater than I may say.
6 You had no desire for offerings of beasts or fruits of the earth; ears you made for me: for burned offerings and sin offerings you made no request. 7 Then I said, See, I come; it is recorded of me in the roll of the book, 8 My delight is to do your pleasure, O my God; truly, your law is in my heart. 9 I have given news of righteousness in the great meeting; O Lord, you have knowledge that I have not kept back my words. 10 Your righteousness has not been folded away in my heart; I have made clear your true word and your salvation; I have not kept secret your mercy or your faith from the great meeting.
11 Take not away your gentle mercies from me, O Lord; let your mercy and your faith keep me safe for ever. 12 For unnumbered evils are round about me; my sins have overtaken me, so that I am bent down with their weight; they are more than the hairs of my head, my strength is gone because of them. 13 Be pleased, O Lord, to take me out of danger; O Lord, come quickly and give me help. 14 Let those who go after my soul for its destruction have shame and trouble together; let them be turned back and made foolish who take pleasure in my trouble. 15 Let those who say to me, Aha, aha! be surprised because of their shame. 16 Let all those who are looking for you be glad and have joy in you; let the lovers of your salvation ever say, May the Lord be great. 17 Though I am poor and in need, the Lord has me in mind; you are my help and my saviour; let there be no waiting, O my God.
A Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked
58 1 Is there righteousness in your mouths, O you gods? are you upright judges, O you sons of men? 2 The purposes of your hearts are evil; your hands are full of cruel doings on the earth. 3 The evil-doers are strange from the first; from the hour of their birth they go out of the true way, saying false words. 4 Their poison is like the poison of a snake; they are like the adder, whose ears are shut; 5 Who will not be moved by the voice of the wonder-worker, however great are his powers.
6 O God, let their teeth be broken in their mouths; let the great teeth of the young lions be pulled out, O Lord. 7 Let them be turned to liquid like the ever-flowing waters; let them be cut off like the grass by the way. 8 Let them be like an after-birth which is turned to water and comes to an end; like the fruit of a woman who gives birth before her time, let them not see the sun. 9 Before they are conscious of it, let them be cut down like thorns; let a strong wind take them away like waste growth. 10 The upright man will be glad when he sees their punishment; his feet will be washed in the blood of the evil-doer. 11 So that men will say, Truly there is a reward for righteousness; truly there is a God who is judge on the earth.
Confidence in God's Protection
61 1 Let my cry come to you, O God; let your ears be open to my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I send up my cry to you, when my heart is overcome: take me to the rock which is over-high for me. 3 For you have been my secret place, and my high tower from those who made war on me. 4 I will make your tent my resting-place for ever: I will keep myself under the cover of your wings. (Selah.)
5 For you, O God, have made answer to my prayers; you have given me the heritage of those who give honour to your name. 6 You will give the king long life; and make his years go on through the generations. 7 May the seat of his authority be before God for ever; may mercy and righteousness keep him safe. 8 So will I make songs in praise of your name for ever, giving to God that which is right day by day.
God the Only Refuge
62 1 My soul, put all your faith in God; for from him comes my salvation. 2 He only is my Rock and my salvation; he is my high tower; I will not be greatly moved. 3 How long will you go on designing evil against a man? running against him as against a broken wall, which is on the point of falling? 4 Their only thought is to put him down from his place of honour; their delight is in deceit: blessing is in their mouths but cursing in their hearts. (Selah.) 5 My soul, put all your faith in God; for from him comes my hope. 6 He only is my Rock and my salvation; he is my high tower; I will not be greatly moved. 7 In God is my salvation, and my glory; the Rock of my strength, and my safe place.
8 Have faith in him at all times, you people; let your hearts go flowing out before him: God is our safe place. (Selah.) 9 Truly men of low birth are nothing, and men of high position are not what they seem; if they are put in the scales together they are less than a breath. 10 Have no faith in the rewards of evil-doing, or in profits wrongly made: if your wealth is increased, do not put your hopes on it. 11 Once has God said, twice has it come to my ears, that power is God's: 12 And mercy, O Lord, is yours, for you give to every man the reward of his work.
A Prayer for Protection from Hidden Enemies
64 1 O God, let the voice of my grief come to your ear: keep my life from the fear of those who are against me. 2 Keep me safe from the secret purpose of wrongdoers; from the band of the workers of evil; 3 Who make their tongues sharp like a sword, and whose arrows are pointed, even bitter words; 4 So that in secret they may let loose their arrows at the upright, suddenly and unseen. 5 They make themselves strong in an evil purpose; they make holes for secret nets; they say, Who will see it, 6 Or make discovery of our secret purpose? The design is framed with care; and the inner thought of a man, and his heart, is deep.
7 But God sends out an arrow against them; suddenly they are wounded. 8 The evil of their tongues is the cause of their fall; all those who see them are shaking their heads at them. 9 And in fear men make public the works of God; and giving thought to his acts they get wisdom. 10 The upright will be glad in the Lord and have hope in him; and all the lovers of righteousness will give him glory.