Praise for Deliverance
40 1 When I was waiting quietly for the Lord, his heart was turned to me, and he gave ear to my cry. 2 He took me up out of a deep waste place, out of the soft and sticky earth; he put my feet on a rock, and made my steps certain. 3 And he put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God; numbers have seen it with fear, and put their faith in the Lord. 4 Happy is the man who has faith in the Lord, and does not give honour to the men of pride or to those who are turned away to deceit. 5 O Lord my God, great are the wonders which you have done in your thought for us; it is not possible to put them out in order before you; when I would give an account of them, their number is greater than I may say.
6 You had no desire for offerings of beasts or fruits of the earth; ears you made for me: for burned offerings and sin offerings you made no request. 7 Then I said, See, I come; it is recorded of me in the roll of the book, 8 My delight is to do your pleasure, O my God; truly, your law is in my heart. 9 I have given news of righteousness in the great meeting; O Lord, you have knowledge that I have not kept back my words. 10 Your righteousness has not been folded away in my heart; I have made clear your true word and your salvation; I have not kept secret your mercy or your faith from the great meeting.
11 Take not away your gentle mercies from me, O Lord; let your mercy and your faith keep me safe for ever. 12 For unnumbered evils are round about me; my sins have overtaken me, so that I am bent down with their weight; they are more than the hairs of my head, my strength is gone because of them. 13 Be pleased, O Lord, to take me out of danger; O Lord, come quickly and give me help. 14 Let those who go after my soul for its destruction have shame and trouble together; let them be turned back and made foolish who take pleasure in my trouble. 15 Let those who say to me, Aha, aha! be surprised because of their shame. 16 Let all those who are looking for you be glad and have joy in you; let the lovers of your salvation ever say, May the Lord be great. 17 Though I am poor and in need, the Lord has me in mind; you are my help and my saviour; let there be no waiting, O my God.
A Prayer for Healing
41 1 Happy is the man who gives thought to the poor; the Lord will be his saviour in the time of trouble. 2 The Lord will keep him safe, and give him life; the Lord will let him be a blessing on the earth, and will not give him into the hand of his haters. 3 The Lord will be his support on his bed of pain: by you will all his grief be turned to strength. 4 I said, Lord, have mercy on me; make my soul well, because my faith is in you.
5 My haters say evil against me, When will he be dead, and his name come to an end? 6 If one comes to see me, deceit is in his heart; he keeps a store of evil, which he makes public in every place. 7 All my haters are talking secretly together against me; they are designing my downfall. 8 They say, He has an evil disease, which will not let him go: and now that he is down he will not get up again. 9 Even my dearest friend, in whom I had faith, who took bread with me, is turned against me. 10 But you, O Lord, have mercy on me, lifting me up, so that I may give them their punishment. 11 By this I see that you have pleasure in me, because my hater does not overcome me. 12 And as for me, you are my support in my righteousness, giving me a place before your face for ever. 13 May the Lord God of Israel be praised, through eternal days and for ever. So be it. So be it.
Thirsting for God
42 1 Like the desire of the roe for the water-streams, so is my soul's desire for you, O God. 2 My soul is dry for need of God, the living God; when may I come and see the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they keep saying to me, Where is your God? 4 Let my soul be overflowing with grief when these things come back to my mind, how I went in company to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with the song of those who were keeping the feast. 5 Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God; for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.
6 My soul is crushed down in me, so I will keep you in mind; from the land of Jordan and of the Hermons, from the hill Mizar. 7 Deep is sounding to deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your waves have gone rolling over me. 8 But the Lord will send his mercy in the daytime, and in the night his song will be with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my Rock, Why have you let me go from your memory? why do I go in sorrow because of the attacks of my haters? 10 The cruel words of my haters are like a crushing of my bones; when they say to me every day, Where is your God? 11 Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God; for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.
A Prayer for Vindication and Deliverance
43 1 Be my judge, O God, supporting my cause against a nation without religion; O keep me from the false and evil man. 2 You are the God of my strength; why have you put me from you? why do I go in sorrow because of the attacks of my haters? 3 O send out your light and your true word; let them be my guide: let them take me to your holy hill, and to your tents. 4 Then I will go up to the altar of God, to the God of my joy; I will be glad and give praise to you on an instrument of music, O God, my God. 5 Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God, for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.
Former Deliverances and Present Troubles
44 1 It has come to our ears, O God, our fathers have given us the story, of the works which you did in their days, in the old times, 2 Uprooting the nations with your hand, and planting our fathers in their place; cutting down the nations, but increasing the growth of your people. 3 For they did not make the land theirs by their swords, and it was not their arms which kept them safe; but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your face, because you had pleasure in them. 4 You are my King and my God; ordering salvation for Jacob. 5 Through you will we overcome our haters; by your name will they be crushed under our feet who are violent against us. 6 I will not put faith in my bow, my sword will not be my salvation. 7 But it is you who have been our saviour from those who were against us, and have put to shame those who had hate for us. 8 Our pride is in God at all times, to his name we give praise for ever. (Selah.)
9 But now you have sent us away from you, and put us to shame; you do not go out with our armies. 10 Because of this we are turned back by the attacker: those who have hate for us take our goods for themselves. 11 You have made us like sheep which are taken for meat; we are put to flight among the nations. 12 You let your people go for nothing; your wealth is not increased by their price. 13 You have made us to be looked down on by our neighbours, we are laughed at and shamed by those who are round about us. 14 Our name is a word of shame among the nations, a sign for the shaking of heads among the peoples. 15 My downfall is ever before me, and I am covered with the shame of my face; 16 Because of the voice of him who says sharp and bitter words; because of the hater and him who is the instrument of punishment.
17 All this has come on us, but still we have kept you in our memory; and we have not been false to your word. 18 Our hearts have not gone back, and our steps have not been turned out of your way; 19 Though you have let us be crushed in the place of jackals, though we are covered with darkest shade. 20 If the name of our God has gone out of our minds, or if our hands have been stretched out to a strange god, 21 Will not God make search for it? for he sees the secrets of the heart. 22 Truly, because of you we are put to death every day; we are numbered like sheep for destruction. 23 Why are you sleeping, O Lord? awake! and come to our help, do not give us up for ever. 24 Why is your face covered, and why do you give no thought to our trouble and our cruel fate? 25 For our souls are crushed down to the dust: our bodies are stretched out on the earth. 26 Up! and come to our help, and give us salvation because of your mercy.
A Song for the King's Marriage
45 1 My heart is flowing over with good things; my words are of that which I have made for a king; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. 2 You are fairer than the children of men; grace is flowing through your lips; for this cause the blessing of God is with you for ever. 3 Put on your sword, make it ready at your side, O strong chief, with your glory and power. 4 And go nobly on in your power, because you are good and true and without pride; and your right hand will be teaching you things of fear. 5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's haters; because of them the peoples are falling under you.
6 Your seat of power, O God, is for ever and ever; the rod of your kingdom is a rod of honour. 7 You have been a lover of righteousness and a hater of evil: and so God, your God, has put the oil of joy on your head, lifting you high over all other kings. 8 Your robes are full of the smell of all sorts of perfumes and spices; music from the king's ivory houses has made you glad. 9 Kings' daughters are among your noble women: on your right is the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 O daughter, give thought and attention, and let your ear be open; no longer keep in mind your people, and your father's house; 11 So will the king have a great desire for you, seeing how beautiful you are; because he is your lord, give him honour. 12 And the daughters of Tyre will be there with an offering; those who have wealth among the people will be looking for your approval. 13 In the great house the king's daughter is all shining: her clothing is worked with gold. 14 She will come before the king in robes of needlework; the virgins in her train will come before you. 15 With joy and rapture will they come; they will go into the king's house. 16 Your children will take the place of your fathers; so that you may make them rulers over all the earth. 17 I will keep the memory of your name living through all generations; and because of this the people will give you praise for ever.