Psalm 7; Psalm 27; Psalm 31; Psalm 34; Psalm 52

1 God! God! I am running to you for dear life; the chase is wild. 2 If they catch me, I'm finished: ripped to shreds by foes fierce as lions, dragged into the forest and left unlooked for, unremembered. 3 God, if I've done what they say - 4 betrayed my friends, ripped off my enemies - If my hands are really that dirty, 5 let them get me, walk all over me, leave me flat on my face in the dirt. 6 Stand up, God; pit your holy fury against my furious enemies. 7 My accusers have packed the courtroom; it's judgment time. 8 Take your place on the bench, reach for your gavel, throw out the false charges against me. I'm ready, confident in your verdict: "Innocent." 9 Close the book on Evil, God, but publish your mandate for us. You get us ready for life: you probe for our soft spots, you knock off our rough edges. 10 And I'm feeling so fit, so safe: made right, kept right. 11 God in solemn honor does things right, but his nerves are sandpapered raw. Nobody gets by with anything. 12 God is already in action - Sword honed on his whetstone, bow strung, arrow on the string, 13 Lethal weapons in hand, each arrow a flaming missile. 14 Look at that guy! He had sex with sin, he's pregnant with evil. Oh, look! He's having the baby - a Lie-Baby! 15 See that man shoveling day after day, digging, then concealing, his man-trap down that lonely stretch of road? Go back and look again - you'll see him in it headfirst, legs waving in the breeze. 16 That's what happens: mischief backfires; violence boomerangs. 17 I'm thanking God, who makes things right. I'm singing the fame of heaven-high God.
1 Light, space, zest - that's God! So, with him on my side I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. 2 When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, Those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. 3 When besieged, I'm calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I'm collected and cool. 4 I'm asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I'll contemplate his beauty; I'll study at his feet. 5 That's the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. 6 God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I'm headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I'm singing God-songs; I'm making music to God. 7 Listen, God, I'm calling at the top of my lungs: "Be good to me! Answer me!" 8 When my heart whispered, "Seek God," my whole being replied, "I'm seeking him!" 9 Don't hide from me now! You've always been right there for me; don't turn your back on me now. Don't throw me out, don't abandon me; you've always kept the door open. 10 My father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in. 11 Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you're on. 12 Don't throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filling the air with their threats. 13 I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness in the exuberant earth. 14 Stay with God! Take heart. Don't quit. I'll say it again: Stay with God.
1 I run to you, God; I run for dear life. Don't let me down! Take me seriously this time! 2 Get down on my level and listen, and please - no procrastination! Your granite cave a hiding place, your high cliff aerie a place of safety. 3 You're my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide. 4 Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you. 5 I've put my life in your hands. You won't drop me, you'll never let me down. 6 I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. 7 I'm leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, 8 You didn't leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe. 9 Be kind to me, God - I'm in deep, deep trouble again. I've cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. 10 My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs. My troubles have worn me out, turned my bones to powder. 11 To my enemies I'm a monster; I'm ridiculed by the neighbors. My friends are horrified; they cross the street to avoid me. 12 They want to blot me from memory, forget me like a corpse in a grave, discard me like a broken dish in the trash. 13 The street-talk gossip has me "criminally insane"! Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good. 14 Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! 15 Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me. 16 Warm me, your servant, with a smile; save me because you love me. 17 Don't embarrass me by not showing up; I've given you plenty of notice. Embarrass the wicked, stand them up, leave them stupidly shaking their heads as they drift down to hell. 18 Gag those loudmouthed liars who heckle me, your follower, with jeers and catcalls. 19 What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. 20 You hide them safely away from the opposition. As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces, you silence the poisonous gossip. 21 Blessed God! His love is the wonder of the world. 22 I panicked. "Out of sight, out of mind," I said. But you heard me say it, you heard and listened. 23 Love God, all you saints; God takes care of all who stay close to him, But he pays back in full those arrogant enough to go it alone. 24 Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up. Expect God to get here soon.
1 I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. 2 I live and breathe God; if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy: 3 Join me in spreading the news; together let's get the word out. 4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. 5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. 6 When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. 7 God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. 8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see - how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. 9 Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness. 10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but God-seekers are full of God. 11 Come, children, listen closely; I'll give you a lesson in God worship. 12 Who out there has a lust for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty? 13 Guard your tongue from profanity, and no more lying through your teeth. 14 Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace - don't let it get away! 15 God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan. 16 God won't put up with rebels; he'll cull them from the pack. 17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. 18 If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. 19 Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time. 20 He's your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken. 21 The wicked commit slow suicide; they waste their lives hating the good. 22 God pays for each slave's freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.
1 Why do you brag of evil, "Big Man"? God's mercy carries the day. 2 You scheme catastrophe; your tongue cuts razor-sharp, artisan in lies. 3 You love evil more than good, you call black white. 4 You love malicious gossip, you foul-mouth. 5 God will tear you limb from limb, sweep you up and throw you out, Pull you up by the roots from the land of life. 6 Good people will watch and worship. They'll laugh in relief: 7 "Big Man bet on the wrong horse, trusted in big money, made his living from catastrophe." 8 And I'm an olive tree, growing green in God's house. I trusted in the generous mercy of God then and now. 9 I thank you always that you went into action. And I'll stay right here, your good name my hope, in company with your faithful friends.