A Prayer for Deliverance
70 1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering. Be pleased, O God, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! 2 Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt! 3 Let them be appalled because of their shame who say, "Aha, Aha!" 4 May all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee! May those who love thy salvation say evermore, "God is great!" 5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! Thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry!
The Prayer of an Old Man
71 1 In thee, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! 2 In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me! 3 Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress. 4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. 5 For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6 Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of thee. 7 I have been as a portent to many; but thou art my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with thy praise, and with thy glory all the day. 9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. 10 For my enemies speak concerning me, those who watch for my life consult together, 11 and say, "God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him." 12 O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! 13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually, and will praise thee yet more and more. 15 My mouth will tell of thy righteous acts, of thy deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. 16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come, I will praise thy righteousness, thine alone. 17 O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds. 18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, till I proclaim thy might to all the generations to come. Thy power 19 and thy righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens. Thou who hast done great things, O God, who is like thee? 20 Thou who hast made me see many sore troubles wilt revive me again; from the depths of the earth thou wilt bring me up again. 21 Thou wilt increase my honor, and comfort me again. 22 I will also praise thee with the harp for thy faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to thee with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to thee; my soul also, which thou hast rescued. 24 And my tongue will talk of thy righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disgraced who sought to do me hurt.
The Reign of the Righteous King
72 1 A Psalm of Solomon. Give the king thy justice, O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice! 3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! 4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor! 5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! 6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! 7 In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! 8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! 9 May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! 10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! 11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! 12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight. 15 Long may he live, may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day! 16 May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may men blossom forth from the cities like the grass of the field! 17 May his name endure for ever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May men bless themselves by him, all nations call him blessed!
18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 19 Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen! 20 The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.
The Fate of the Wicked
73 1 A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pangs; their bodies are sound and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as other men are; they are not stricken like other men. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out with fatness, their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. 10 Therefore the people turn and praise them; and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken, and chastened every morning.
15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have been untrue to the generation of thy children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. 18 Truly thou dost set them in slippery places; thou dost make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes, on awaking you despise their phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was stupid and ignorant, I was like a beast toward thee. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou dost hold my right hand. 24 Thou dost guide me with thy counsel, and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. 27 For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish; thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.