A Protestation of Integrity
26 1 Clear my name, God; I've kept an honest shop. I've thrown in my lot with you, God, and I'm not budging. 2 Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I'm fit inside and out 3 So I never lose sight of your love, But keep in step with you, never missing a beat. 4 I don't hang out with tricksters, I don't pal around with thugs; 5 I hate that pack of gangsters, I don't deal with double-dealers.
6 I scrub my hands with purest soap, then join hands with the others in the great circle, dancing around your altar, God, 7 Singing God-songs at the top of my lungs, telling God-stories. 8 God, I love living with you; your house glows with your glory. 9 When it's time for spring cleaning, don't sweep me out with the quacks and crooks, 10 Men with bags of dirty tricks, women with purses stuffed with bribe-money. 11 You know I've been aboveboard with you; now be aboveboard with me. 12 I'm on the level with you, God; I bless you every chance I get.
The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation
27 1 Light, space, zest - that's God! So, with him on my side I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. 2 When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, Those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. 3 When besieged, I'm calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I'm collected and cool. 4 I'm asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I'll contemplate his beauty; I'll study at his feet. 5 That's the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. 6 God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I'm headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I'm singing God-songs; I'm making music to God.
7 Listen, God, I'm calling at the top of my lungs: "Be good to me! Answer me!" 8 When my heart whispered, "Seek God," my whole being replied, "I'm seeking him!" 9 Don't hide from me now! You've always been right there for me; don't turn your back on me now. Don't throw me out, don't abandon me; you've always kept the door open. 10 My father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in. 11 Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you're on. 12 Don't throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filling the air with their threats. 13 I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness in the exuberant earth. 14 Stay with God! Take heart. Don't quit. I'll say it again: Stay with God.
A Prayer for Help and Praise for Its Answer
28 1 Don't turn a deaf ear when I call you, God. If all I get from you is deafening silence, I'd be better off in the Black Hole. 2 I'm letting you know what I need, calling out for help And lifting my arms toward your inner sanctum. 3 Don't shove me into the same jail cell with those crooks, With those who are full-time employees of evil. 4 They talk a good line of "peace," then moonlight for the Devil. Pay them back for what they've done, for how bad they've been. Pay them back for their long hours in the Devil's workshop; Then cap it with a huge bonus. 5 Because they have no idea how God works or what he is up to, God will smash them to smithereens and walk away from the ruins.
6 Blessed be God - he heard me praying. 7 He proved he's on my side; I've thrown my lot in with him. Now I'm jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to him. 8 God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; 9 Save your people and bless your heritage. Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd.
The Voice of the LORD in the Storm
29 1 Bravo, God, bravo! Gods and all angels shout, "Encore!" 2 In awe before the glory, in awe before God's visible power. Stand at attention! Dress your best to honor him! 3 God thunders across the waters, Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness - God, across the flood waters. 4 God's thunder tympanic, God's thunder symphonic. 5 God's thunder smashes cedars, God topples the northern cedars. 6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts, The high ridges jump like wild kid goats. 7 God's thunder spits fire. 8 God thunders, the wilderness quakes; He makes the desert of Kadesh shake. 9 God's thunder sets the oak trees dancing A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches. We fall to our knees - we call out, "Glory!" 10 Above the floodwaters is God's throne from which his power flows, from which he rules the world. 11 God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace.
Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death
30 1 I give you all the credit, God - you got me out of that mess, you didn't let my foes gloat. 2 God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together. 3 God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out. 4 All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face! 5 He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.
6 When things were going great I crowed, "I've got it made. 7 I'm God's favorite. He made me king of the mountain." Then you looked the other way and I fell to pieces. 8 I called out to you, God; I laid my case before you: 9 "Can you sell me for a profit when I'm dead? auction me off at a cemetery yard sale? When I'm 'dust to dust' my songs and stories of you won't sell. 10 So listen! and be kind! Help me out of this!" 11 You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. 12 I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can't thank you enough.
A Profession of Trust
31 1 I run to you, God; I run for dear life. Don't let me down! Take me seriously this time! 2 Get down on my level and listen, and please - no procrastination! Your granite cave a hiding place, your high cliff aerie a place of safety. 3 You're my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide. 4 Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you. 5 I've put my life in your hands. You won't drop me, you'll never let me down. 6 I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. 7 I'm leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, 8 You didn't leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe.
9 Be kind to me, God - I'm in deep, deep trouble again. I've cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. 10 My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs. My troubles have worn me out, turned my bones to powder. 11 To my enemies I'm a monster; I'm ridiculed by the neighbors. My friends are horrified; they cross the street to avoid me. 12 They want to blot me from memory, forget me like a corpse in a grave, discard me like a broken dish in the trash. 13 The street-talk gossip has me "criminally insane"! Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good. 14 Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! 15 Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me. 16 Warm me, your servant, with a smile; save me because you love me. 17 Don't embarrass me by not showing up; I've given you plenty of notice. Embarrass the wicked, stand them up, leave them stupidly shaking their heads as they drift down to hell. 18 Gag those loudmouthed liars who heckle me, your follower, with jeers and catcalls.
19 What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. 20 You hide them safely away from the opposition. As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces, you silence the poisonous gossip. 21 Blessed God! His love is the wonder of the world. 22 I panicked. "Out of sight, out of mind," I said. But you heard me say it, you heard and listened. 23 Love God, all you saints; God takes care of all who stay close to him, But he pays back in full those arrogant enough to go it alone. 24 Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up. Expect God to get here soon.