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Prayer of a Suffering Penitent.
A Psalm of David, for a memorial.38:1 O LORD, rebuke me not in Your wrath, And chasten me not in Your burning anger.
2 For Your arrows have sunk deep into me, And Your hand has pressed down on me.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation; There is no health in my bones because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.
5 My wounds grow foul and fester Because of my folly.
6 I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long.
7 For my loins are filled with burning, And there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am benumbed and badly crushed; I groan because of the agitation of my heart.
9 Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart throbs, my strength fails me; And the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me.
11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off.
12 Those who seek my life lay snares for me; And those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, And they devise treachery all day long.
13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; And I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14 Yes, I am like a man who does not hear, And in whose mouth are no arguments.
15 For I hope in You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “May they not rejoice over me, Who, when my foot slips, would magnify themselves against me.”
17 For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous and strong, And many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 And those who repay evil for good, They oppose me, because I follow what is good.
21 Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, do not be far from me!
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
The Vanity of Life.
For the choir director, for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle While the wicked are in my presence.”
2 I was mute and silent, I refrained even from good, And my sorrow grew worse.
3 My heart was hot within me, While I was musing the fire burned; Then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.
5 “Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
6 “Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.
7 “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.
8 “Deliver me from all my transgressions; Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
9 “I have become mute, I do not open my mouth, Because it is You who have done it.
10 “Remove Your plague from me; Because of the opposition of Your hand I am perishing.
11 “With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity; You consume as a moth what is precious to him; Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.
12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner like all my fathers.
13 “Turn Your gaze away from me, that I may smile again Before I depart and am no more.”
God Sustains His Servant.
For the choir director. A Psalm of David.40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD.
4 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.
6 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, You know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
11 You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head, And my heart has failed me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; Make haste, O LORD, to help me.
14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together Who seek my life to destroy it; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!”
17 Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.
The Psalmist in Sickness Complains of Enemies and False Friends.
For the choir director. A Psalm of David.41:1 How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble.
2 The LORD will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called blessed upon the earth; And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
3 The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health.
4 As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
5 My enemies speak evil against me, “When will he die, and his name perish?”
6 And when he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood; His heart gathers wickedness to itself; When he goes outside, he tells it.
7 All who hate me whisper together against me; Against me they devise my hurt, saying,
8 “A wicked thing is poured out upon him, That when he lies down, he will not rise up again.”
9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
10 But You, O LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up, That I may repay them.
11 By this I know that You are pleased with me, Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And You set me in Your presence forever.
13 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.
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