A Prayer for Vindication and Deliverance
43 1 Be my judge, O God, supporting my cause against a nation without religion; O keep me from the false and evil man. 2 You are the God of my strength; why have you put me from you? why do I go in sorrow because of the attacks of my haters? 3 O send out your light and your true word; let them be my guide: let them take me to your holy hill, and to your tents. 4 Then I will go up to the altar of God, to the God of my joy; I will be glad and give praise to you on an instrument of music, O God, my God. 5 Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God, for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.
Former Deliverances and Present Troubles
44 1 It has come to our ears, O God, our fathers have given us the story, of the works which you did in their days, in the old times, 2 Uprooting the nations with your hand, and planting our fathers in their place; cutting down the nations, but increasing the growth of your people. 3 For they did not make the land theirs by their swords, and it was not their arms which kept them safe; but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your face, because you had pleasure in them. 4 You are my King and my God; ordering salvation for Jacob. 5 Through you will we overcome our haters; by your name will they be crushed under our feet who are violent against us. 6 I will not put faith in my bow, my sword will not be my salvation. 7 But it is you who have been our saviour from those who were against us, and have put to shame those who had hate for us. 8 Our pride is in God at all times, to his name we give praise for ever. (Selah.)
9 But now you have sent us away from you, and put us to shame; you do not go out with our armies. 10 Because of this we are turned back by the attacker: those who have hate for us take our goods for themselves. 11 You have made us like sheep which are taken for meat; we are put to flight among the nations. 12 You let your people go for nothing; your wealth is not increased by their price. 13 You have made us to be looked down on by our neighbours, we are laughed at and shamed by those who are round about us. 14 Our name is a word of shame among the nations, a sign for the shaking of heads among the peoples. 15 My downfall is ever before me, and I am covered with the shame of my face; 16 Because of the voice of him who says sharp and bitter words; because of the hater and him who is the instrument of punishment.
17 All this has come on us, but still we have kept you in our memory; and we have not been false to your word. 18 Our hearts have not gone back, and our steps have not been turned out of your way; 19 Though you have let us be crushed in the place of jackals, though we are covered with darkest shade. 20 If the name of our God has gone out of our minds, or if our hands have been stretched out to a strange god, 21 Will not God make search for it? for he sees the secrets of the heart. 22 Truly, because of you we are put to death every day; we are numbered like sheep for destruction. 23 Why are you sleeping, O Lord? awake! and come to our help, do not give us up for ever. 24 Why is your face covered, and why do you give no thought to our trouble and our cruel fate? 25 For our souls are crushed down to the dust: our bodies are stretched out on the earth. 26 Up! and come to our help, and give us salvation because of your mercy.
A Song for the King's Marriage
45 1 My heart is flowing over with good things; my words are of that which I have made for a king; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. 2 You are fairer than the children of men; grace is flowing through your lips; for this cause the blessing of God is with you for ever. 3 Put on your sword, make it ready at your side, O strong chief, with your glory and power. 4 And go nobly on in your power, because you are good and true and without pride; and your right hand will be teaching you things of fear. 5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's haters; because of them the peoples are falling under you.
6 Your seat of power, O God, is for ever and ever; the rod of your kingdom is a rod of honour. 7 You have been a lover of righteousness and a hater of evil: and so God, your God, has put the oil of joy on your head, lifting you high over all other kings. 8 Your robes are full of the smell of all sorts of perfumes and spices; music from the king's ivory houses has made you glad. 9 Kings' daughters are among your noble women: on your right is the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 O daughter, give thought and attention, and let your ear be open; no longer keep in mind your people, and your father's house; 11 So will the king have a great desire for you, seeing how beautiful you are; because he is your lord, give him honour. 12 And the daughters of Tyre will be there with an offering; those who have wealth among the people will be looking for your approval. 13 In the great house the king's daughter is all shining: her clothing is worked with gold. 14 She will come before the king in robes of needlework; the virgins in her train will come before you. 15 With joy and rapture will they come; they will go into the king's house. 16 Your children will take the place of your fathers; so that you may make them rulers over all the earth. 17 I will keep the memory of your name living through all generations; and because of this the people will give you praise for ever.
The Folly of Trusting in Riches
49 1 Give attention to this, all you peoples; let your ears be open, all you who are living in the world. 2 High and low together, the poor, and those who have wealth. 3 From my mouth will come words of wisdom; and in the thoughts of my heart will be knowledge. 4 I will put my teaching into a story; I will make my dark sayings clear with music. 5 What cause have I for fear in the days of evil, when the evil-doing of those who are working for my downfall is round about me?
6 Even of those whose faith is in their wealth, and whose hearts are lifted up because of their stores. 7 Truly, no man may get back his soul for a price, or give to God the payment for himself; 8 (Because it takes a great price to keep his soul from death, and man is not able to give it.) 9 So that he might have eternal life, and never see the underworld. 10 For he sees that wise men come to their end, and foolish persons of low behaviour come to destruction together, letting their wealth go to others. 11 The place of the dead is their house for ever, and their resting-place through all generations; those who come after them give their names to their lands. 12 But man, like the animals, does not go on for ever; he comes to an end like the beasts. 13 This is the way of the foolish; their silver is for those who come after them, and their children get the pleasure of their gold. (Selah.) 14 Death will give them their food like sheep; the underworld is their fate and they will go down into it; their flesh is food for worms; their form is wasted away; the underworld is their resting-place for ever.
15 But God will get back my soul; for he will take me from the power of death. (Selah.) 16 Have no fear when wealth comes to a man, and the glory of his house is increased; 17 For at his death, he will take nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18 Though he might have pride in his soul in his life-time, and men will give you praise if you do well for yourself, 19 He will go to the generation of his fathers; he will not see the light again. 20 Man, like the animals, does not go on for ever; he comes to an end like the beasts.
Longing for God's House
84 1 How dear are your tents, O Lord of armies! 2 The passion of my soul's desire is for the house of the Lord; my heart and my flesh are crying out for the living God. 3 The little birds have places for themselves, where they may put their young, even your altars, O Lord of armies, my King and my God. 4 Happy are they whose resting-place is in your house: they will still be praising you. (Selah.) 5 Happy is the man whose strength is in you; in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6 Going through the valley of balsam-trees, they make it a place of springs; it is clothed with blessings by the early rain. 7 They go from strength to strength; every one of them comes before God in Zion.
8 O Lord God of armies, let my prayer come to you: give ear, O God of Jacob. (Selah.) 9 O God, let your eyes be on him who is our safe cover, and let your heart be turned to your king. 10 For a day in your house is better than a thousand. It is better to be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to be living in the tents of sin. 11 The Lord God is our sun and our strength: the Lord will give grace and glory: he will not keep back any good thing from those whose ways are upright. 12 O Lord of armies, happy is the man whose hope is in you.
A Prayer for God's Mercy on Israel
85 1 Lord, you were good to your land: changing the fate of Jacob. 2 The wrongdoing of your people had forgiveness; all their sin had been covered. (Selah.) 3 You were no longer angry: you were turned from the heat of your wrath. 4 Come back to us, O God of our salvation, and be angry with us no longer. 5 Will you go on being angry with us for ever? will you keep your wrath against us through all the long generations? 6 Will you not give us life again, so that your people may be glad in you? 7 Let us see your mercy, O Lord, and give us your salvation.
8 I will give ear to the voice of the Lord; for he will say words of peace to his people and to his saints; but let them not go back to their foolish ways. 9 Truly, his salvation is near to his worshippers; so that glory may be in our land. 10 Mercy and faith have come together; righteousness and peace have given one another a kiss. 11 Faith comes up from the earth like a plant; righteousness is looking down from heaven. 12 The Lord will give what is good; and our land will give its increase. 13 Righteousness will go before him, making a way for his footsteps.
The Privileges of Dwelling in Zion
4 Rahab and Babylon will be named among those who have knowledge of me; see, Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man had his birth there. 5 And of Zion it will be said, This or that man had his birth there; and the Most High will make her strong. 6 The Lord will keep in mind, when he is writing the records of the people, that this man had his birth there. (Selah.) 7 The players on instruments will be there, and the dancers will say, All my springs are in you.