A Cry in Distress
102 1 A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the Lord. Hear my prayer, O Lord, And let my cry come to You. 2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; Incline Your ear to me; In the day that I call, answer me speedily. 3 For my days are consumed like smoke, And my bones are burned like a hearth. 4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass, So that I forget to eat my bread. 5 Because of the sound of my groaning My bones cling to my skin. 6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. 7 I lie awake, And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop. 8 My enemies reproach me all day long, Those who deride me swear an oath against me. 9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, And mingled my drink with weeping, 10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath; For You have lifted me up and cast me away. 11 My days are like a shadow that lengthens, And I wither away like grass.
12 But You, O Lord, shall endure forever, And the remembrance of Your name to all generations. 13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come. 14 For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, And show favor to her dust. 15 So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, And all the kings of the earth Your glory. 16 For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. 17 He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer. 18 This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. 19 For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; From heaven the Lord viewed the earth, 20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To release those appointed to death, 21 To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, And His praise in Jerusalem, 22 When the peoples are gathered together, And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.
23 He weakened my strength in the way; He shortened my days. 24 I said, "O my God, Do not take me away in the midst of my days; Your years are throughout all generations. 25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. 27 But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. 28 The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You."
Praise for the LORD's Benefits
103 1 A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
The LORD's Care for His Creation
104 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, 4 Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. 5 You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever, 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains. 7 At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. 8 They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them. 9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth.
10 He sends the springs into the valleys, They flow among the hills. 11 They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. 13 He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. 14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, 15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man's heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, 17 Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees. 18 The high hills are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19 He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, In which all the beasts of the forest creep about. 21 The young lions roar after their prey, And seek their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they gather together And lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening. 24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions-- 25 This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great. 26 There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there. 27 These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. 28 What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29 You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works. 32 He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke. 33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord. 35 May sinners be consumed from the earth, And the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!