God Is Our Refuge and Strength
46 1 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. 2 We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, 3 Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God of angel armies protects us. 4 River fountains splash joy, cooling God's city, this sacred haunt of the Most High. 5 God lives here, the streets are safe, God at your service from crack of dawn.
6 Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten, but Earth does anything he says. 7 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God of angel armies protects us. 8 Attention, all! See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth, 9 Bans war from pole to pole, breaks all the weapons across his knee. 10 "Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything." 11 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God of angel armies protects us.
God Is the King of All the Earth
47 1 Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo! Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs! 2 God Most High is stunning, astride land and ocean. 3 He crushes hostile people, puts nations at our feet. 4 He set us at the head of the line, prize-winning Jacob, his favorite.
5 Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain, a ram's horn blast at the summit. 6 Sing songs to God, sing out! Sing to our King, sing praise! 7 He's Lord over earth, so sing your best songs to God. 8 God is Lord of godless nations - sovereign, he's King of the mountain. 9 Princes from all over are gathered, people of Abraham's God. The powers of earth are God's - he soars over all.
The Beauty and Glory of Zion
48 1 God majestic, praise abounds in our God-city! His sacred mountain, 2 breathtaking in its heights - earth's joy. Zion Mountain looms in the North, city of the world-King. 3 God in his citadel peaks impregnable. 4 The kings got together, they united and came. 5 They took one look and shook their heads, they scattered and ran away. 6 They doubled up in pain like a woman having a baby. 7 You smashed the ships of Tarshish with a storm out of the East.
8 We heard about it, then we saw it with our eyes - In God's city of angel armies, in the city our God Set on firm foundations, firm forever. 9 We pondered your love-in-action, God, waiting in your temple: 10 Your name, God, evokes a train of Hallelujahs wherever It is spoken, near and far; your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action. 11 Be glad, Zion Mountain; Dance, Judah's daughters! He does what he said he'd do! 12 Circle Zion, take her measure, count her fortress peaks, 13 Gaze long at her sloping bulwark, climb her citadel heights - Then you can tell the next generation detail by detail the story of God, 14 Our God forever, who guides us till the end of time.
The Folly of Trusting in Riches
49 1 Listen, everyone, listen - earth-dwellers, don't miss this. 2 All you haves and have-nots, All together now: listen. 3 I set plainspoken wisdom before you, my heart-seasoned understandings of life. 4 I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise, I solve life's riddle with the help of a harp. 5 So why should I fear in bad times, hemmed in by enemy malice,
6 Shoved around by bullies, demeaned by the arrogant rich? 7 Really! There's no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. 8 The cost of rescue is beyond our means, and even then it doesn't guarantee 9 Life forever, or insurance against the Black Hole. 10 Anyone can see that the brightest and best die, wiped out right along with fools and dunces. 11 They leave all their prowess behind, move into their new home, The Coffin, The cemetery their permanent address. And to think they named counties after themselves! 12 We aren't immortal. We don't last long. Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die. 13 This is what happens to those who live for the moment, who only look out for themselves: 14 Death herds them like sheep straight to hell; they disappear down the gullet of the grave; They waste away to nothing - nothing left but a marker in a cemetery.
15 But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death, he reaches down and grabs me. 16 So don't be impressed with those who get rich and pile up fame and fortune. 17 They can't take it with them; fame and fortune all get left behind. 18 Just when they think they've arrived and folks praise them because they've made good, 19 They enter the family burial plot where they'll never see sunshine again. 20 We aren't immortal. We don't last long. Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.
God Is the Judge
50 1 The God of gods - it's God! - speaks out, shouts, "Earth!" welcomes the sun in the east, farewells the disappearing sun in the west. 2 From the dazzle of Zion, God blazes into view. 3 Our God makes his entrance, he's not shy in his coming. Starbursts of fireworks precede him. 4 He summons heaven and earth as a jury, he's taking his people to court: 5 "Round up my saints who swore on the Bible their loyalty to me." 6 The whole cosmos attests to the fairness of this court, that here God is judge.
7 "Are you listening, dear people? I'm getting ready to speak; Israel, I'm about ready to bring you to trial. This is God, your God, speaking to you. 8 I don't find fault with your acts of worship, the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer. 9 But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull, or more and more goats from your herds? 10 Every creature in the forest is mine, the wild animals on all the mountains. 11 I know every mountain bird by name; the scampering field mice are my friends. 12 If I get hungry, do you think I'd tell you? All creation and its bounty are mine. 13 Do you think I feast on venison? or drink draughts of goats' blood? 14 Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, 15 And call for help when you're in trouble - I'll help you, and you'll honor me."
16 Next, God calls up the wicked: "What are you up to, quoting my laws, talking like we are good friends? 17 You never answer the door when I call; you treat my words like garbage. 18 If you find a thief, you make him your buddy; adulterers are your friends of choice. 19 Your mouth drools filth; lying is a serious art form with you. 20 You stab your own brother in the back, rip off your little sister. 21 I kept a quiet patience while you did these things; you thought I went along with your game. I'm calling you on the carpet, now, laying your wickedness out in plain sight. 22 "Time's up for playing fast and loose with me. I'm ready to pass sentence, and there's no help in sight! 23 It's the praising life that honors me. As soon as you set your foot on the Way, I'll show you my salvation."