Book III: Psalms 73–89
1A psalm of Asaf:
How good God is to Isra’el,
to those who are pure in heart!
2But as for me, I lost my balance,
my feet nearly slipped,
3when I grew envious of the arrogant
and saw how the wicked prosper.
4For when their death comes, it is painless;
and meanwhile, their bodies are healthy;
5they don’t have ordinary people’s troubles,
they aren’t plagued like others.
6So for them, pride is a necklace;
and violence clothes them like a robe.
7Their eyes peep out through folds of fat;
evil thoughts overflow from their hearts.
8They scoff and speak with malice,
they loftily utter threats.
9They set their mouths against heaven;
their tongues swagger through the earth.
10Therefore his people return here
and [thoughtlessly] suck up that whole cup of water.
11Then they ask, “How does God know?
Does the Most High really have knowledge?”
12Yes, this is what the wicked are like;
those free of misfortune keep increasing their wealth.
13It’s all for nothing that I’ve kept my heart clean
and washed my hands, staying free of guilt;
14for all day long I am plagued;
my punishment comes every morning.
15If I had said, “I will talk like them,”
I would have betrayed a generation of your children.
16When I tried to understand all this,
I found it too hard for me —
17until I went into the sanctuaries of God
and grasped what their destiny would be.
18Indeed, you place them on a slippery slope
and make them fall to their ruin.
19How suddenly they are destroyed,
swept away by terrors!
20They are like a dream when one awakens;
Adonai, when you rouse yourself,
you will despise their phantoms.
21When I had a sour attitude
and felt stung by pained emotions,
22I was too stupid to understand;
I was like a brute beast with you.
23Nevertheless, I am always with you;
you hold my right hand.
24You will guide me with your advice;
and afterwards, you will receive me with honor.
25Whom do I have in heaven but you?
And with you, I lack nothing on earth.
26My mind and body may fail; but God
is the rock for my mind and my portion forever.
27Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who adulterously leave you.
28But for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made Adonai Elohim my refuge,
so that I can tell of all your works.