Praise for Deliverance from the Enemy
21 1 Your strength, God, is the king's strength. Helped, he's hollering Hosannas. 2 You gave him exactly what he wanted; you didn't hold back. 3 You filled his arms with gifts; you gave him a right royal welcome. 4 He wanted a good life; you gave it to him, and then made it a long life as a bonus. 5 You lifted him high and bright as a cumulus cloud, then dressed him in rainbow colors. 6 You pile blessings on him; you make him glad when you smile.
7 Is it any wonder the king loves God? that he's sticking with the Best? 8 With a fistful of enemies in one hand and a fistful of haters in the other, 9 You radiate with such brilliance that they cringe as before a furnace. Now the furnace swallows them whole, the fire eats them alive! 10 You purge the earth of their progeny, you wipe the slate clean. 11 All their evil schemes, the plots they cook up, have fizzled - every one. 12 You sent them packing; they couldn't face you. 13 Show your strength, God, so no one can miss it. We are out singing the good news!
A Cry of Anguish and Song of Praise
22 1 God, God . . . my God! Why did you dump me miles from nowhere? 2 Doubled up with pain, I call to God all the day long. No answer. Nothing. I keep at it all night, tossing and turning. 3 And you! Are you indifferent, above it all, leaning back on the cushions of Israel's praise? 4 We know you were there for our parents: 5 they cried for your help and you gave it; they trusted and lived a good life. 6 And here I am, a nothing - an earthworm, something to step on, to squash. 7 Everyone pokes fun at me; they make faces at me, they shake their heads: 8 "Let's see how God handles this one; since God likes him so much, let him help him!" 9 And to think you were midwife at my birth, setting me at my mother's breasts! 10 When I left the womb you cradled me; since the moment of birth you've been my God.
11 Then you moved far away and trouble moved in next-door. I need a neighbor. 12 Herds of bulls come at me, the raging bulls stampede, 13 Horns lowered, nostrils flaring, like a herd of buffalo on the move. 14 I'm a bucket kicked over and spilled, every joint in my body has been pulled apart. My heart is a blob of melted wax in my gut. 15 I'm dry as a bone, my tongue black and swollen. They have laid me out for burial in the dirt. 16 Now packs of wild dogs come at me; thugs gang up on me. They pin me down hand and foot, 17 and lock me in a cage - a bag Of bones in a cage, stared at by every passerby. 18 They take my wallet and the shirt off my back, and then throw dice for my clothes. 19 You, God - don't put off my rescue! Hurry and help me! 20 Don't let them cut my throat; don't let those mongrels devour me. 21 If you don't show up soon, I'm done for - gored by the bulls, meat for the lions.
22 Here's the story I'll tell my friends when they come to worship, and punctuate it with Hallelujahs: 23 Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel. 24 He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening. 25 Here in this great gathering for worship I have discovered this praise-life. And I'll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers. 26 Down-and-outers sit at God's table and eat their fill. Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him. "Live it up, from head to toe. Don't ever quit!" 27 From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, are running back to God. Long-lost families are falling on their faces before him. 28 God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word. 29 All the power-mongers are before him - worshiping! All the poor and powerless, too - worshiping! Along with those who never got it together - worshiping! 30 Our children and their children will get in on this As the word is passed along from parent to child. 31 Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news - that God does what he says.
The LORD Is My Shepherd
23 1 God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. 2 You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. 3 True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. 4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure 5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. 6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
The King of Glory
3 Who can climb Mount God? Who can scale the holy north-face? 4 Only the clean-handed, only the pure-hearted; Men who won't cheat, women who won't seduce. 5 God is at their side; with God's help they make it. 6 This, Jacob, is what happens to God-seekers, God-questers.
7 Wake up, you sleepyhead city! Wake up, you sleepyhead people! King-Glory is ready to enter. 8 Who is this King-Glory? God, armed and battle-ready. 9 Wake up, you sleepyhead city! Wake up, you sleepyhead people! King-Glory is ready to enter. 10 Who is this King-Glory? God of the angel armies: he is King-Glory.
A Prayer for Guidance, Pardon and Protection
25 1 My head is high, God, held high; 2 I'm looking to you, God; No hangdog skulking for me. 3 I've thrown in my lot with you; You won't embarrass me, will you? Or let my enemies get the best of me? Don't embarrass any of us Who went out on a limb for you. It's the traitors who should be humiliated. 4 Show me how you work, God; School me in your ways. 5 Take me by the hand; Lead me down the path of truth. You are my Savior, aren't you? 6 Mark the milestones of your mercy and love, God; Rebuild the ancient landmarks! 7 Forget that I sowed wild oats; Mark me with your sign of love. Plan only the best for me, God!
8 God is fair and just; He corrects the misdirected, Sends them in the right direction. 9 He gives the rejects his hand, And leads them step-by-step. 10 From now on every road you travel Will take you to God. Follow the Covenant signs; Read the charted directions. 11 Keep up your reputation, God; Forgive my bad life; It's been a very bad life. 12 My question: What are God-worshipers like? Your answer: Arrows aimed at God's bull's-eye. 13 They settle down in a promising place; Their kids inherit a prosperous farm. 14 God-friendship is for God-worshipers; They are the ones he confides in.
15 If I keep my eyes on God, I won't trip over my own feet. 16 Look at me and help me! I'm all alone and in big trouble. 17 My heart and kidneys are fighting each other; Call a truce to this civil war. 18 Take a hard look at my life of hard labor, Then lift this ton of sin. 19 Do you see how many people Have it in for me? How viciously they hate me? 20 Keep watch over me and keep me out of trouble; Don't let me down when I run to you. 21 Use all your skill to put me together; I wait to see your finished product. 22 God, give your people a break From this run of bad luck.