The Blessings of Brotherly Unity
133 1 How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! 2 It's like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, Flowing down Aaron's beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes. 3 It's like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that's where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.
Exhortation to the Night-watchers
134 1 Come, bless God, all you servants of God! You priests of God, posted to the nightwatch in God's shrine, 2 Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place, and bless God. 3 In turn, may God of Zion bless you - God who made heaven and earth!
The Greatness of the LORD and the Vanity of Idols
135 1 Hallelujah! Praise the name of God, praise the works of God. 2 All you priests on duty in God's temple, serving in the sacred halls of our God, 3 Shout "Hallelujah!" because God's so good, sing anthems to his beautiful name. 4 And why? Because God chose Jacob, embraced Israel as a prize possession.
5 I too give witness to the greatness of God, our Lord, high above all other gods. 6 He does just as he pleases - however, wherever, whenever. 7 He makes the weather - clouds and thunder, lightning and rain, wind pouring out of the north. 8 He struck down the Egyptian firstborn, both human and animal firstborn. 9 He made Egypt sit up and take notice, confronted Pharaoh and his servants with miracles. 10 Yes, he struck down great nations, he slew mighty kings - 11 Sihon king of the Amorites, also Og of Bashan - every last one of the Canaanite kings! 12 Then he turned their land over to Israel, a gift of good land to his people. 13 God, your name is eternal, God, you'll never be out-of-date. 14 God stands up for his people, God holds the hands of his people.
15 The gods of the godless nations are mere trinkets, made for quick sale in the markets: 16 Chiseled mouths that can't talk, painted eyes that can't see, 17 Carved ears that can't hear - dead wood! cold metal! 18 Those who make and trust them become like them. 19 Family of Israel, bless God! Family of Aaron, bless God! 20 Family of Levi, bless God! You who fear God, bless God! 21 Oh, blessed be God of Zion, First Citizen of Jerusalem! Hallelujah!
Praise for the LORD's Everlasting Mercy
136 1 Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. 2 Thank the God of all gods, His love never quits. 3 Thank the Lord of all lords. His love never quits. 4 Thank the miracle-working God, His love never quits. 5 The God whose skill formed the cosmos, His love never quits. 6 The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations, His love never quits. 7 The God who filled the skies with light, His love never quits. 8 The sun to watch over the day, His love never quits. 9 Moon and stars as guardians of the night, His love never quits.
10 The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn, His love never quits. 11 And rescued Israel from Egypt's oppression, His love never quits. 12 Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand, His love never quits. 13 Split the Red Sea right in half, His love never quits. 14 Led Israel right through the middle, His love never quits. 15 Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea, His love never quits. 16 The God who marched his people through the desert, His love never quits. 17 Smashed huge kingdoms right and left, His love never quits. 18 Struck down the famous kings, His love never quits. 19 Struck Sihon the Amorite king, His love never quits. 20 Struck Og the Bashanite king, His love never quits. 21 Then distributed their land as booty, His love never quits. 22 Handed the land over to Israel. His love never quits.
23 God remembered us when we were down, His love never quits. 24 Rescued us from the trampling boot, His love never quits. 25 Takes care of everyone in time of need. His love never quits. 26 Thank God, who did it all! His love never quits!
The Mourning of the Exiles in Babylon
137 1 Alongside Babylon's rivers we sat on the banks; we cried and cried, remembering the good old days in Zion. 2 Alongside the quaking aspens we stacked our unplayed harps; 3 That's where our captors demanded songs, sarcastic and mocking: "Sing us a happy Zion song!" 4 Oh, how could we ever sing God's song in this wasteland? 5 If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my fingers wither and fall off like leaves. 6 Let my tongue swell and turn black if I fail to remember you, If I fail, O dear Jerusalem, to honor you as my greatest.
7 God, remember those Edomites, and remember the ruin of Jerusalem, That day they yelled out, "Wreck it, smash it to bits!" 8 And you, Babylonians - ravagers! A reward to whoever gets back at you for all you've done to us; 9 Yes, a reward to the one who grabs your babies and smashes their heads on the rocks!
Thanksgiving for the LORD's Favor
138 1 Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!" Angels listen as I sing my thanks. 2 I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: "Thank you!" Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. 3 The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength. 4 When they hear what you have to say, God, all earth's kings will say "Thank you." 5 They'll sing of what you've done: "How great the glory of God!"
6 And here's why: God, high above, sees far below; no matter the distance, he knows everything about us. 7 When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, With your other hand save me. 8 Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal - don't quit on me now.
God's Omnipresence and Omniscience
139 1 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. 2 I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. 3 You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. 4 You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. 5 I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too - your reassuring presence, coming and going. 6 This is too much, too wonderful - I can't take it all in!
7 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? 8 If I climb to the sky, you're there! If I go underground, you're there! 9 If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon, 10 You'd find me in a minute - you're already there waiting! 11 Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I'm immersed in the light!" 12 It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you. 13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. 14 I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration - what a creation! 15 You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.
17 Your thoughts - how rare, how beautiful! God, I'll never comprehend them! 18 I couldn't even begin to count them - any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! 19 And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers - out of here! - 20 all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. 21 See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; 22 I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies! 23 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; 24 See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong - then guide me on the road to eternal life.