A David Psalm
1God, God, save me!
I’m in over my head,
2Quicksand under me, swamp water over me;
I’m going down for the third time.
3I’m hoarse from calling for help,
Bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God.
4I’ve got more enemies than hairs on my head;
Sneaks and liars are out to knife me in the back.
What I never stole
Must I now give back?
5God, you know every sin I’ve committed;
My life’s a wide-open book before you.
6Don’t let those who look to you in hope
Be discouraged by what happens to me,
Dear Lord! God of the armies!
Don’t let those out looking for you
Come to a dead end by following me—
Please, dear God of Israel!
7Because of you I look like an idiot,
I walk around ashamed to show my face.
8My brothers shun me like a bum off the street;
My family treats me like an unwanted guest.
9I love you more than I can say.
Because I’m madly in love with you,
They blame me for everything they dislike about you.
10When I poured myself out in prayer and fasting,
All it got me was more contempt.
11When I put on a sad face,
They treated me like a clown.
12Now drunks and gluttons
Make up drinking songs about me.
13And me? I pray.
God, it’s time for a break!
God, answer in love!
Answer with your sure salvation!
14Rescue me from the swamp,
Don’t let me go under for good,
Pull me out of the clutch of the enemy;
This whirlpool is sucking me down.
15Don’t let the swamp be my grave, the Black Hole
Swallow me, its jaws clenched around me.
16Now answer me, God, because you love me;
Let me see your great mercy full-face.
17Don’t look the other way; your servant can’t take it.
I’m in trouble. Answer right now!
18Come close, God; get me out of here.
Rescue me from this deathtrap.
19You know how they kick me around—
Pin on me the donkey’s ears, the dunce’s cap.
20I’m broken by their taunts,
Flat on my face, reduced to a nothing.
I looked in vain for one friendly face. Not one.
I couldn’t find one shoulder to cry on.
21They put poison in my soup,
Vinegar in my drink.
22Let their supper be bait in a trap that snaps shut;
May their best friends be trappers who’ll skin them alive.
23Make them become blind as bats,
Give them the shakes from morning to night.
24Let them know what you think of them,
Blast them with your red-hot anger.
25Burn down their houses,
Leave them desolate with nobody at home.
26They gossiped about the one you disciplined,
Made up stories about anyone wounded by God.
27Pile on the guilt,
Don’t let them off the hook.
28Strike their names from the list of the living;
No rock-carved honor for them among the righteous.
29I’m hurt and in pain;
Give me space for healing, and mountain air.
30Let me shout God’s name with a praising song,
Let me tell his greatness in a prayer of thanks.
31For God, this is better than oxen on the altar,
Far better than blue-ribbon bulls.
32The poor in spirit see and are glad—
Oh, you God-seekers, take heart!
33For God listens to the poor,
He doesn’t walk out on the wretched.
34You heavens, praise him; praise him, earth;
Also ocean and all things that swim in it.
35For God is out to help Zion,
Rebuilding the wrecked towns of Judah.
Guess who will live there—
The proud owners of the land?
36No, the children of his servants will get it,
The lovers of his name will live in it.
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1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Eugene H. Peterson by NavPress Publishing