Psalms 119

1 You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
2 You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.
3 That's right - you don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.
4 You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it.
5 Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set;
6 Then I'd never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.
7 I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
8 I'm going to do what you tell me to do; don't ever walk off and leave me.
9 How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word.
10 I'm single-minded in pursuit of you; don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.
11 I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt.
12 Be blessed, God; train me in your ways of wise living.
13 I'll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
14 I delight far more in what you tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches.
15 I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you've done it.
16 I relish everything you've told me of life, I won't forget a word of it.
17 Be generous with me and I'll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
18 Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders.
19 I'm a stranger in these parts; give me clear directions.
20 My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous! - insatiable for your nourishing commands.
21 And those who think they know so much, ignoring everything you tell them - let them have it!
22 Don't let them mock and humiliate me; I've been careful to do just what you said.
23 While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me, I'm absorbed in pondering your wise counsel.
24 Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight; I listen to them as to good neighbors!
25 I'm feeling terrible - I couldn't feel worse! Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
26 When I told my story, you responded; train me well in your deep wisdom.
27 Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.
28 My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word.
29 Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; grace me with your clear revelation.
30 I choose the true road to Somewhere, I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
31 I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; God, don't let me down!
32 I'll run the course you lay out for me if you'll just show me how.
33 God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.
34 Give me insight so I can do what you tell me - my whole life one long, obedient response.
35 Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway!
36 Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot.
37 Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
38 Affirm your promises to me - promises made to all who fear you.
39 Deflect the harsh words of my critics - but what you say is always so good.
40 See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways!
41 Let your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised;
42 Then I'll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word.
43 Don't ever deprive me of truth, not ever - your commandments are what I depend on.
44 Oh, I'll guard with my life what you've revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever;
45 And I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom;
46 Then I'll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.
47 I cherish your commandments - oh, how I love them! -
48 relishing every fragment of your counsel.
49 Remember what you said to me, your servant - I hang on to these words for dear life!
50 These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me.
51 The insolent ridicule me without mercy, but I don't budge from your revelation.
52 I watch for your ancient landmark words, and know I'm on the right track.
53 But when I see the wicked ignore your directions, I'm beside myself with anger.
54 I set your instructions to music and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way.
55 I meditate on your name all night, God, treasuring your revelation, O God.
56 Still, I walk through a rain of derision because I live by your Word and counsel.
57 Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise to do everything you say.
58 I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised.
59 When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.
60 I was up at once, didn't drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders.
61 The wicked hemmed me in - there was no way out - but not for a minute did I forget your plan for me.
62 I get up in the middle of the night to thank you; your decisions are so right, so true - I can't wait till morning!
63 I'm a friend and companion of all who fear you, of those committed to living by your rules.
64 Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by your counsel.
65 Be good to your servant, God; be as good as your Word.
66 Train me in good common sense; I'm thoroughly committed to living your way.
67 Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I'm in step with your Word.
68 You are good, and the source of good; train me in your goodness.
69 The godless spread lies about me, but I focus my attention on what you are saying;
70 They're bland as a bucket of lard, while I dance to the tune of your revelation.
71 My troubles turned out all for the best - they forced me to learn from your textbook.
72 Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine.
73 With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.
74 When they see me waiting, expecting your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad.
75 I can see now, God, that your decisions are right; your testing has taught me what's true and right.
76 Oh, love me - and right now! - hold me tight! just the way you promised.
77 Now comfort me so I can live, really live; your revelation is the tune I dance to.
78 Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds; they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me for evidence of your wise guidance.
80 And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high.
81 I'm homesick - longing for your salvation; I'm waiting for your word of hope.
82 My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign of your promise; how long must I wait for your comfort?
83 There's smoke in my eyes - they burn and water, but I keep a steady gaze on the instructions you post.
84 How long do I have to put up with all this? How long till you haul my tormentors into court?
85 The arrogant godless try to throw me off track, ignorant as they are of God and his ways.
86 Everything you command is a sure thing, but they harass me with lies. Help!
87 They've pushed and pushed - they never let up - but I haven't relaxed my grip on your counsel.
88 In your great love revive me so I can alertly obey your every word.
89 What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens.
90 Your truth never goes out of fashion; it's as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.
91 Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that's what you ordered - you set the earth going.
92 If your revelation hadn't delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came.
93 But I'll never forget the advice you gave me; you saved my life with those wise words.
94 Save me! I'm all yours. I look high and low for your words of wisdom.
95 The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me, but I'm only concerned with your plans for me.
96 I see the limits to everything human, but the horizons can't contain your commands!
97 Oh, how I love all you've revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long.
98 Your commands give me an edge on my enemies; they never become obsolete.
99 I've even become smarter than my teachers since I've pondered and absorbed your counsel.
100 I've become wiser than the wise old sages simply by doing what you tell me.
101 I watch my step, avoiding the ditches and ruts of evil so I can spend all my time keeping your Word.
102 I never make detours from the route you laid out; you gave me such good directions.
103 Your words are so choice, so tasty; I prefer them to the best home cooking.
104 With your instruction, I understand life; that's why I hate false propaganda.
105 By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
106 I've committed myself and I'll never turn back from living by your righteous order.
107 Everything's falling apart on me, God; put me together again with your Word.
108 Festoon me with your finest sayings, God; teach me your holy rules.
109 My life is as close as my own hands, but I don't forget what you have revealed.
110 The wicked do their best to throw me off track, but I don't swerve an inch from your course.
111 I inherited your book on living; it's mine forever - what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
112 I concentrate on doing exactly what you say - I always have and always will.
113 I hate the two-faced, but I love your clear-cut revelation.
114 You're my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.
115 Get out of my life, evildoers, so I can keep my God's commands.
116 Take my side as you promised; I'll live then for sure. Don't disappoint all my grand hopes.
117 Stick with me and I'll be all right; I'll give total allegiance to your definitions of life.
118 Expose all who drift away from your sayings; their casual idolatry is lethal.
119 You reject earth's wicked as so much rubbish; therefore I lovingly embrace everything you say.
120 I shiver in awe before you; your decisions leave me speechless with reverence.
121 I stood up for justice and the right; don't leave me to the mercy of my oppressors.
122 Take the side of your servant, good God; don't let the godless take advantage of me.
123 I can't keep my eyes open any longer, waiting for you to keep your promise to set everything right.
124 Let your love dictate how you deal with me; teach me from your textbook on life.
125 I'm your servant - help me understand what that means, the inner meaning of your instructions.
126 It's time to act, God; they've made a shambles of your revelation!
127 Yea-Saying God, I love what you command, I love it better than gold and gemstones;
128 Yea-Saying God, I honor everything you tell me, I despise every deceitful detour.
129 Every word you give me is a miracle word - how could I help but obey?
130 Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.
131 Mouth open and panting, I wanted your commands more than anything.
132 Turn my way, look kindly on me, as you always do to those who personally love you.
133 Steady my steps with your Word of promise so nothing malign gets the better of me.
134 Rescue me from the grip of bad men and women so I can live life your way.
135 Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live.
136 I cry rivers of tears because nobody's living by your book!
137 You are right and you do right, God; your decisions are right on target.
138 You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to you.
139 My rivals nearly did me in, they persistently ignored your commandments.
140 Your promise has been tested through and through, and I, your servant, love it dearly.
141 I'm too young to be important, but I don't forget what you tell me.
142 Your righteousness is eternally right, your revelation is the only truth.
143 Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands always gave me delight.
144 The way you tell me to live is always right; help me understand it so I can live to the fullest.
145 I call out at the top of my lungs, "God! Answer! I'll do whatever you say."
146 I called to you, "Save me so I can carry out all your instructions."
147 I was up before sunrise, crying for help, hoping for a word from you.
148 I stayed awake all night, prayerfully pondering your promise.
149 In your love, listen to me; in your justice, God, keep me alive.
150 As those out to get me come closer and closer, they go farther and farther from the truth you reveal;
151 But you're the closest of all to me, God, and all your judgments true.
152 I've known all along from the evidence of your words that you meant them to last forever.
153 Take a good look at my trouble, and help me - I haven't forgotten your revelation.
154 Take my side and get me out of this; give me back my life, just as you promised.
155 "Salvation" is only gibberish to the wicked because they've never looked it up in your dictionary.
156 Your mercies, God, run into the billions; following your guidelines, revive me.
157 My antagonists are too many to count, but I don't swerve from the directions you gave.
158 I took one look at the quitters and was filled with loathing; they walked away from your promises so casually!
159 Take note of how I love what you tell me; out of your life of love, prolong my life.
160 Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth. Your righteous decisions are eternal.
161 I've been slandered unmercifully by the politicians, but my awe at your words keeps me stable.
162 I'm ecstatic over what you say, like one who strikes it rich.
163 I hate lies - can't stand them! - but I love what you have revealed.
164 Seven times each day I stop and shout praises for the way you keep everything running right.
165 For those who love what you reveal, everything fits - no stumbling around in the dark for them.
166 I wait expectantly for your salvation; God, I do what you tell me.
167 My soul guards and keeps all your instructions - oh, how much I love them!
168 I follow your directions, abide by your counsel; my life's an open book before you.
169 Let my cry come right into your presence, God; provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.
170 Give my request your personal attention, rescue me on the terms of your promise.
171 Let praise cascade off my lips; after all, you've taught me the truth about life!
172 And let your promises ring from my tongue; every order you've given is right.
173 Put your hand out and steady me since I've chosen to live by your counsel.
174 I'm homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself!
175 Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul.
176 And should I wander off like a lost sheep - seek me! I'll recognize the sound of your voice.

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Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.