Psalm 5; Psalm 38; Psalm 41; Psalm 42

1 Listen, God! Please, pay attention! Can you make sense of these ramblings, 2 my groans and cries? King-God, I need your help. 3 Every morning you'll hear me at it again. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend. 4 You don't socialize with Wicked, or invite Evil over as your houseguest. 5 Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front of you; you shake your head over Mischief-Maker. 6 God destroys Lie-Speaker; Blood-Thirsty and Truth-Bender disgust you. 7 And here I am, your invited guest - it's incredible! I enter your house; here I am, prostrate in your inner sanctum, 8 Waiting for directions to get me safely through enemy lines. 9 Every word they speak is a land mine; their lungs breathe out poison gas. Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mudslides. 10 Pile on the guilt, God! Let their so-called wisdom wreck them. Kick them out! They've had their chance. 11 But you'll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration. 12 You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers, for decking us out in delight.
1 Take a deep breath, God; calm down - don't be so hasty with your punishing rod. 2 Your sharp-pointed arrows of rebuke draw blood; my backside smarts from your caning. 3 I've lost twenty pounds in two months because of your accusation. My bones are brittle as dry sticks because of my sin. 4 I'm swamped by my bad behavior, collapsed under gunnysacks of guilt. 5 The cuts in my flesh stink and grow maggots because I've lived so badly. 6 And now I'm flat on my face feeling sorry for myself morning to night. 7 All my insides are on fire, my body is a wreck. 8 I'm on my last legs; I've had it - my life is a vomit of groans. 9 Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight, my groans an old story to you. 10 My heart's about to break; I'm a burned-out case. Cataracts blind me to God and good; 11 old friends avoid me like the plague. My cousins never visit, my neighbors stab me in the back. 12 My competitors blacken my name, devoutly they pray for my ruin. 13 But I'm deaf and mute to it all, ears shut, mouth shut. 14 I don't hear a word they say, don't speak a word in response. 15 What I do, God, is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God - you will answer! 16 I wait and pray so they won't laugh me off, won't smugly strut off when I stumble. 17 I'm on the edge of losing it - the pain in my gut keeps burning. 18 I'm ready to tell my story of failure, I'm no longer smug in my sin. 19 My enemies are alive and in action, a lynch mob after my neck. 20 I give out good and get back evil from God-haters who can't stand a God-lover. 21 Don't dump me, God; my God, don't stand me up. 22 Hurry and help me; I want some wide-open space in my life!
1 Dignify those who are down on their luck; you'll feel good - that's what God does. 2 God looks after us all, makes us robust with life - Lucky to be in the land, we're free from enemy worries. 3 Whenever we're sick and in bed, God becomes our nurse, nurses us back to health. 4 I said, "God, be gracious! Put me together again - my sins have torn me to pieces." 5 My enemies are wishing the worst for me; they make bets on what day I will die. 6 If someone comes to see me, he mouths empty platitudes, All the while gathering gossip about me to entertain the street-corner crowd. 7 These "friends" who hate me whisper slanders all over town. They form committees to plan misery for me. 8 The rumor goes out, "He's got some dirty, deadly disease. The doctors have given up on him." 9 Even my best friend, the one I always told everything - he ate meals at my house all the time! - has bitten my hand. 10 God, give grace, get me up on my feet. I'll show them a thing or two. 11 Meanwhile, I'm sure you're on my side - no victory shouts yet from the enemy camp! 12 You know me inside and out, you hold me together, you never fail to stand me tall in your presence so I can look you in the eye. 13 Blessed is God, Israel's God, always, always, always. Yes. Yes. Yes.
1 A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. 2 I'm thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, "Will I ever make it - arrive and drink in God's presence?" 3 I'm on a diet of tears - tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, Pestering, "Where is this God of yours?" 4 These are the things I go over and over, emptying out the pockets of my life. I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd, right out in front, Leading them all, eager to arrive and worship, Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving - celebrating, all of us, God's feast! 5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God. 6 When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. 7 Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. 8 Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God's prayer. 9 Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God, "Why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears, harassed by enemies?" 10 They're out for the kill, these tormentors with their obscenities, Taunting day after day, "Where is this God of yours?" 11 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God.