A psalm of Asaph.
1Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
5They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
8They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
11They say, ‘How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?’
12This is what the wicked are like –
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
15If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
18Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
19How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.
21When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24You guide me with your counsel,
and afterwards you will take me into glory.
25Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion for ever.
27Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.