A Cry in Distress
102 1 A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the Lord. Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to thee! 2 Do not hide thy face from me in the day of my distress! Incline thy ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! 3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. 4 My heart is smitten like grass, and withered; I forget to eat my bread. 5 Because of my loud groaning my bones cleave to my flesh. 6 I am like a vulture of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; 7 I lie awake, I am like a lonely bird on the housetop. 8 All the day my enemies taunt me, those who deride me use my name for a curse. 9 For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink, 10 because of thy indignation and anger; for thou hast taken me up and thrown me away. 11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
12 But thou, O Lord, art enthroned for ever; thy name endures to all generations. 13 Thou wilt arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come. 14 For thy servants hold her stones dear, and have pity on her dust. 15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 16 For the Lord will build up Zion, he will appear in his glory; 17 he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their supplication. 18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord: 19 that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die; 21 that men may declare in Zion the name of the Lord, and in Jerusalem his praise, 22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
23 He has broken my strength in mid-course; he has shortened my days. 24 "O my God," I say, "take me not hence in the midst of my days, thou whose years endure throughout all generations!" 25 Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26 They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like raiment, and they pass away; 27 but thou art the same, and thy years have no end. 28 The children of thy servants shall dwell secure; their posterity shall be established before thee.
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 iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove 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; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will! 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, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty, 2 who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent, 3 who hast laid the beams of thy chambers on the waters, who makest the clouds thy chariot, who ridest on the wings of the wind, 4 who makest the winds thy messengers, fire and flame thy ministers. 5 Thou didst set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken. 6 Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the sound of thy thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place which thou didst appoint for them. 9 Thou didst set a bound which they should not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
10 Thou makest springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, 11 they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst. 12 By them the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. 13 From thy lofty abode thou waterest the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy work. 14 Thou dost cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, 15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man's heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon which he planted. 17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. 18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the badgers.
19 Thou hast made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. 20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep forth. 21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they get them away and lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening. 24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy creatures. 25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, which teems with things innumerable, living things both small and great. 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan which thou didst form to sport in it. 27 These all look to thee, to give them their food in due season. 28 When thou givest to them, they gather it up; when thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good things. 29 When thou hidest thy face, they are dismayed; when thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure for ever, may the Lord rejoice in his works, 32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains 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 being. 34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. 35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!