Praise for God's Mighty Deeds
66 1 All together now - applause for God! 2 Sing songs to the tune of his glory, set glory to the rhythms of his praise. 3 Say of God, "We've never seen anything like him!" When your enemies see you in action, they slink off like scolded dogs. 4 The whole earth falls to its knees - it worships you, sings to you, can't stop enjoying your name and fame. 5 Take a good look at God's wonders - they'll take your breath away. 6 He converted sea to dry land; travelers crossed the river on foot. Now isn't that cause for a song? 7 Ever sovereign in his high tower, he keeps his eye on the godless nations. Rebels don't dare raise a finger against him.
8 Bless our God, O peoples! Give him a thunderous welcome! 9 Didn't he set us on the road to life? Didn't he keep us out of the ditch? 10 He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires, 11 Brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit, 12 Road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back; Finally he brought us to this well-watered place.
13 I'm bringing my prizes and presents to your house. I'm doing what I said I'd do, 14 What I solemnly swore I'd do that day when I was in so much trouble: 15 The choicest cuts of meat for the sacrificial meal; Even the fragrance of roasted lamb is like a meal! Or make it an ox garnished with goat meat! 16 All believers, come here and listen, let me tell you what God did for me. 17 I called out to him with my mouth, my tongue shaped the sounds of music. 18 If I had been cozy with evil, the Lord would never have listened. 19 But he most surely did listen, he came on the double when he heard my prayer. 20 Blessed be God: he didn't turn a deaf ear, he stayed with me, loyal in his love.
The Nations Exhorted to Praise God
67 1 God, mark us with grace and blessing! Smile! 2 The whole country will see how you work, all the godless nations see how you save. 3 God! Let people thank and enjoy you. Let all people thank and enjoy you. 4 Let all far-flung people become happy and shout their happiness because You judge them fair and square, you tend the far-flung peoples. 5 God! Let people thank and enjoy you. Let all people thank and enjoy you. 6 Earth, display your exuberance! You mark us with blessing, O God, our God. 7 You mark us with blessing, O God. Earth's four corners - honor him!
The God of Sinai and of the Sanctuary
68 1 Up with God! Down with his enemies! Adversaries, run for the hills! 2 Gone like a puff of smoke, like a blob of wax in the fire - one look at God and the wicked vanish. 3 When the righteous see God in action they'll laugh, they'll sing, they'll laugh and sing for joy. 4 Sing hymns to God; all heaven, sing out; clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider. Enjoy God, cheer when you see him! 5 Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. 6 God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom, but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
7 God, when you took the lead with your people, when you marched out into the wild, 8 Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat; God was on the march. Even Sinai trembled at the sight of God on the move, at the sight of Israel's God. 9 You pour out rain in buckets, O God; thorn and cactus become an oasis 10 For your people to camp in and enjoy. You set them up in business; they went from rags to riches. 11 The Lord gave the word; thousands called out the good news: 12 "Kings of the armies are on the run, on the run!" 13 While housewives, safe and sound back home, divide up the plunder, the plunder of Canaanite silver and gold. 14 On that day that Shaddai scattered the kings, snow fell on Black Mountain.
15 You huge mountains, Bashan mountains, mighty mountains, dragon mountains. 16 All you mountains not chosen, sulk now, and feel sorry for yourselves, For this is the mountain God has chosen to live on; he'll rule from this mountain forever. 17 The chariots of God, twice ten thousand, and thousands more besides, The Lord in the lead, riding down Sinai - straight to the Holy Place! 18 You climbed to the High Place, captives in tow, your arms full of booty from rebels, And now you sit there in state, God, sovereign God! 19 Blessed be the Lord - day after day he carries us along. 20 He's our Savior, our God, oh yes! He's God-for-us, he's God-who-saves-us. Lord God knows all death's ins and outs. 21 What's more, he made heads roll, split the skulls of the enemy As he marched out of heaven,
22 saying, "I tied up the Dragon in knots, put a muzzle on the Deep Blue Sea." 23 You can wade through your enemies' blood, and your dogs taste of your enemies from your boots. 24 See God on parade to the sanctuary, my God, my King on the march! 25 Singers out front, the band behind, maidens in the middle with castanets. 26 The whole choir blesses God. Like a fountain of praise, Israel blesses God. 27 Look - little Benjamin's out front and leading Princes of Judah in their royal robes, princes of Zebulon, princes of Naphtali. 28 Parade your power, O God, the power, O God, that made us what we are. 29 Your temple, High God, is Jerusalem; kings bring gifts to you. 30 Rebuke that old crocodile, Egypt, with her herd of wild bulls and calves, Rapacious in her lust for silver, crushing peoples, spoiling for a fight. 31 Let Egyptian traders bring blue cloth and Cush come running to God, her hands outstretched.
32 Sing, O kings of the earth! Sing praises to the Lord! 33 There he is: Sky-Rider, striding the ancient skies. Listen - he's calling in thunder, rumbling, rolling thunder. 34 Call out "Bravo!" to God, the High God of Israel. His splendor and strength rise huge as thunderheads. 35 A terrible beauty, O God, streams from your sanctuary. It's Israel's strong God! He gives power and might to his people! O you, his people - bless God!
A Cry of Distress
69 1 God, God, save me! I'm in over my head, 2 Quicksand under me, swamp water over me; I'm going down for the third time. 3 I'm hoarse from calling for help, Bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God. 4 I've got more enemies than hairs on my head; Sneaks and liars are out to knife me in the back. What I never stole Must I now give back? 5 God, you know every sin I've committed; My life's a wide-open book before you. 6 Don't let those who look to you in hope Be discouraged by what happens to me, Dear Lord! God of the armies! Don't let those out looking for you Come to a dead end by following me - Please, dear God of Israel! 7 Because of you I look like an idiot, I walk around ashamed to show my face. 8 My brothers shun me like a bum off the street; My family treats me like an unwanted guest. 9 I love you more than I can say. Because I'm madly in love with you, They blame me for everything they dislike about you. 10 When I poured myself out in prayer and fasting, All it got me was more contempt. 11 When I put on a sad face, They treated me like a clown. 12 Now drunks and gluttons Make up drinking songs about me.
13 And me? I pray. God, it's time for a break! God, answer in love! Answer with your sure salvation! 14 Rescue me from the swamp, Don't let me go under for good, Pull me out of the clutch of the enemy; This whirlpool is sucking me down. 15 Don't let the swamp be my grave, the Black Hole Swallow me, its jaws clenched around me. 16 Now answer me, God, because you love me; Let me see your great mercy full-face. 17 Don't look the other way; your servant can't take it. I'm in trouble. Answer right now! 18 Come close, God; get me out of here. Rescue me from this deathtrap. 19 You know how they kick me around - Pin on me the donkey's ears, the dunce's cap. 20 I'm broken by their taunts, Flat on my face, reduced to a nothing. I looked in vain for one friendly face. Not one. I couldn't find one shoulder to cry on. 21 They put poison in my soup, Vinegar in my drink.
22 Let their supper be bait in a trap that snaps shut; May their best friends be trappers who'll skin them alive. 23 Make them become blind as bats, Give them the shakes from morning to night. 24 Let them know what you think of them, Blast them with your red-hot anger. 25 Burn down their houses, Leave them desolate with nobody at home. 26 They gossiped about the one you disciplined, Made up stories about anyone wounded by God. 27 Pile on the guilt, Don't let them off the hook. 28 Strike their names from the list of the living; No rock-carved honor for them among the righteous. 29 I'm hurt and in pain; Give me space for healing, and mountain air.
30 Let me shout God's name with a praising song, Let me tell his greatness in a prayer of thanks. 31 For God, this is better than oxen on the altar, Far better than blue-ribbon bulls. 32 The poor in spirit see and are glad - Oh, you God-seekers, take heart! 33 For God listens to the poor, He doesn't walk out on the wretched. 34 You heavens, praise him; praise him, earth; Also ocean and all things that swim in it. 35 For God is out to help Zion, Rebuilding the wrecked towns of Judah. Guess who will live there - The proud owners of the land? 36 No, the children of his servants will get it, The lovers of his name will live in it.