The Message

Psalm 17

A David Prayer

11-2 Listen while I build my case, God,
    the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
Show the world I’m innocent—
    in your heart you know I am.

Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
    surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
    My words don’t run loose.

4-5 I’m not trying to get my way
    in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
    your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
    I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
    I’m not giving up.

6-7 I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
    So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
    take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
    straight to you.

8-9 Keep your eye on me;
    hide me under your cool wing feathers
From the wicked who are out to get me,
    from mortal enemies closing in.

10-14 Their hearts are hard as nails,
    their mouths blast hot air.
They are after me, nipping my heels,
    determined to bring me down,
Lions ready to rip me apart,
    young lions poised to pounce.
Up, God: beard them! break them!
    By your sword, free me from their clutches;
Barehanded, God, break these mortals,
    these flat-earth people who can’t think beyond today.

I’d like to see their bellies
    swollen with famine food,
The weeds they’ve sown
    harvested and baked into famine bread,
With second helpings for their children
    and crusts for their babies to chew on.

15 And me? I plan on looking
    you full in the face. When I get up,
I’ll see your full stature
    and live heaven on earth.

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 17

Psalm 17

A prayer of David.

Lord, hear me, because I ask for what is right.
    Listen to my cry for help.
Hear my prayer.
    It doesn’t come from lips that tell lies.
When you hand down your sentence, may it be in my favor.
    May your eyes see what is right.

Look deep down into my heart.
    Study me carefully at night and test me.
    You won’t find anything wrong.
I have planned nothing evil.
    My mouth has not said sinful things.
Though evil people tried to pay me to do wrong,
    I have not done what they wanted.
Instead I have done what you commanded.
My steps have stayed on your paths.
    My feet have not slipped.

My God, I call out to you because you will answer me.
    Listen to me. Hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love.
    By using your great power,
    you save those who go to you for safety from their enemies.
Take good care of me, just as you would take care of your own eyes.
    Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Save me from the sinful people who want to destroy me.
    Save me from my deadly enemies who are all around me.

10 They make their hearts hard and stubborn.
    Their mouths speak with pride.
11 They have tracked me down. They are all around me.
    Their eyes watch for a chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a hungry lion, waiting to attack.
    They are like a powerful lion, hiding in the bushes.

13 Lord, rise up. Oppose them and bring them down.
    With your sword, save me from those evil people.
14 Lord, by your power save me from people like that.
    They belong to this world. They get their reward in this life.

May what you have stored up for evil people fill their bellies.
    May their children’s stomachs be filled with it.
    And may there even be leftovers for their little ones.
15 You will show that I am right; I will enjoy your blessing.
    When I wake up, I will be satisfied because I will see you.