Psalm 26; Psalm 40; Psalm 58; Psalm 61; Psalm 62; Psalm 64

1 Clear my name, God; I've kept an honest shop. I've thrown in my lot with you, God, and I'm not budging. 2 Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I'm fit inside and out 3 So I never lose sight of your love, But keep in step with you, never missing a beat. 4 I don't hang out with tricksters, I don't pal around with thugs; 5 I hate that pack of gangsters, I don't deal with double-dealers. 6 I scrub my hands with purest soap, then join hands with the others in the great circle, dancing around your altar, God, 7 Singing God-songs at the top of my lungs, telling God-stories. 8 God, I love living with you; your house glows with your glory. 9 When it's time for spring cleaning, don't sweep me out with the quacks and crooks, 10 Men with bags of dirty tricks, women with purses stuffed with bribe-money. 11 You know I've been aboveboard with you; now be aboveboard with me. 12 I'm on the level with you, God; I bless you every chance I get.
1 I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. 2 He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn't slip. 3 He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God. 4 Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn your backs on the world's "sure thing," ignore what the world worships; 5 The world's a huge stockpile of God-wonders and God-thoughts. Nothing and no one comes close to you! I start talking about you, telling what I know, and quickly run out of words. Neither numbers nor words account for you. 6 Doing something for you, bringing something to you - that's not what you're after. Being religious, acting pious - that's not what you're asking for. You've opened my ears so I can listen. 7 So I answered, "I'm coming. I read in your letter what you wrote about me, 8 And I'm coming to the party you're throwing for me." That's when God's Word entered my life, became part of my very being. 9 I've preached you to the whole congregation, I've kept back nothing, God - you know that. 10 I didn't keep the news of your ways a secret, didn't keep it to myself. I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough. I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth For myself alone. I told it all, let the congregation know the whole story. 11 Now God, don't hold out on me, don't hold back your passion. Your love and truth are all that keeps me together. 12 When troubles ganged up on me, a mob of sins past counting, I was so swamped by guilt I couldn't see my way clear. More guilt in my heart than hair on my head, so heavy the guilt that my heart gave out. 13 Soften up, God, and intervene; hurry and get me some help, 14 So those who are trying to kidnap my soul will be embarrassed and lose face, So anyone who gets a kick out of making me miserable will be heckled and disgraced, 15 So those who pray for my ruin will be booed and jeered without mercy. 16 But all who are hunting for you - oh, let them sing and be happy. Let those who know what you're all about tell the world you're great and not quitting. 17 And me? I'm a mess. I'm nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you've got what it takes - but God, don't put it off.
1 Is this any way to run a country? Is there an honest politician in the house? 2 Behind the scenes you brew cauldrons of evil, behind closed doors you make deals with demons. 3 The wicked crawl from the wrong side of the cradle; their first words out of the womb are lies. 4 Poison, lethal rattlesnake poison, drips from their forked tongues - 5 Deaf to threats, deaf to charm, decades of wax built up in their ears. 6 God, smash their teeth to bits, leave them toothless tigers. 7 Let their lives be buckets of water spilled, all that's left, a damp stain in the sand. Let them be trampled grass worn smooth by the traffic. 8 Let them dissolve into snail slime, be a miscarried fetus that never sees sunlight. 9 Before what they cook up is half-done, God, throw it out with the garbage! 10 The righteous will call up their friends when they see the wicked get their reward, Serve up their blood in goblets as they toast one another, 11 Everyone cheering, "It's worth it to play by the rules! God's handing out trophies and tending the earth!"
1 God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer. 2 When I'm far from anywhere, down to my last gasp, I call out, "Guide me up High Rock Mountain!" 3 You've always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, 4 A lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest. 5 You've always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you. 6 Let the days of the king add up to years and years of good rule. 7 Set his throne in the full light of God; post Steady Love and Good Faith as lookouts, 8 And I'll be the poet who sings your glory - and live what I sing every day.
1 God, the one and only - I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? 2 He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I'm set for life. 3 How long will you gang up on me? How long will you run with the bullies? There's nothing to you, any of you - rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters, 4 Anthills plotting to bring down mountains, far gone in make-believe. You talk a good line, but every "blessing" breathes a curse. 5 God, the one and only - I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? 6 He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I'm set for life. 7 My help and glory are in God 8 So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be. 9 Man as such is smoke, woman as such, a mirage. Put them together, they're nothing; two times nothing is nothing. 10 And a windfall, if it comes - don't make too much of it. 11 God said this once and for all; how many times Have I heard it repeated? "Strength comes Straight from God." 12 Love to you, Lord God! You pay a fair wage for a good day's work!
1 Listen and help, O God. I'm reduced to a whine And a whimper, obsessed with feelings of doomsday. 2 Don't let them find me - the conspirators out to get me, 3 Using their tongues as weapons, flinging poison words, poison-tipped arrow-words. 4 They shoot from ambush, shoot without warning, not caring who they hit. 5 They keep fit doing calisthenics of evil purpose, They keep lists of the traps they've secretly set. They say to each other, "No one can catch us, 6 no one can detect our perfect crime." The Detective detects the mystery in the dark of the cellar heart. 7 The God of the Arrow shoots! They double up in pain, 8 Fall flat on their faces in full view of the grinning crowd. 9 Everyone sees it. God's work is the talk of the town. 10 Be glad, good people! Fly to God! Good-hearted people, make praise your habit.
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