The Message

Psalm 55

A David Psalm

11-3 Open your ears, God, to my prayer;
    don’t pretend you don’t hear me knocking.
Come close and whisper your answer.
    I really need you.
I shudder at the mean voice,
    quail before the evil eye,
As they pile on the guilt,
    stockpile angry slander.

4-8 My insides are turned inside out;
    specters of death have me down.
I shake with fear,
    I shudder from head to foot.
“Who will give me wings,” I ask—
    “wings like a dove?”
Get me out of here on dove wings;
    I want some peace and quiet.
I want a walk in the country,
    I want a cabin in the woods.
I’m desperate for a change
    from rage and stormy weather.

9-11 Come down hard, Lord—slit their tongues.
    I’m appalled how they’ve split the city
Into rival gangs
    prowling the alleys
Day and night spoiling for a fight,
    trash piled in the streets,
Even shopkeepers gouging and cheating
    in broad daylight.

12-14 This isn’t the neighborhood bully
    mocking me—I could take that.
This isn’t a foreign devil spitting
    invective—I could tune that out.
It’s you! We grew up together!
    You! My best friend!
Those long hours of leisure as we walked
    arm in arm, God a third party to our conversation.

15 Haul my betrayers off alive to hell—let them
    experience the horror, let them
    feel every desolate detail of a damned life.

16-19 I call to God;
    God will help me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh
    deep sighs—he hears, he rescues.
My life is well and whole, secure
    in the middle of danger
Even while thousands
    are lined up against me.
God hears it all, and from his judge’s bench
    puts them in their place.
But, set in their ways, they won’t change;
    they pay him no mind.

20-21 And this, my best friend, betrayed his best friends;
    his life betrayed his word.
All my life I’ve been charmed by his speech,
    never dreaming he’d turn on me.
His words, which were music to my ears,
    turned to daggers in my heart.

22-23 Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—
    he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.
He’ll never let good people
    topple into ruin.
But you, God, will throw the others
    into a muddy bog,
Cut the lifespan of assassins
    and traitors in half.

And I trust in you.

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 55

Psalm 55

For the director of music. A maskil of David to be played on stringed instruments.

God, listen to my prayer.
    Pay attention to my cry for help.
    Hear me and answer me.
My thoughts upset me. I’m very troubled.
    I’m troubled by what my enemies say about me.
    I’m upset because they say they will harm me.
They cause me all kinds of suffering.
    When they are angry, they attack me with their words.

I feel great pain deep down inside me.
    The terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have taken hold of me.
    Panic has overpowered me.
I said, “I wish I had wings like a dove!
    Then I would fly away and be at rest.
I would escape to a place far away.
    I would stay out in the desert.
I would hurry to my place of safety.
    It would be far away from the winds and storms I’m facing.”

Lord, confuse the sinners and keep them from understanding one another.
    I see people destroying things and fighting in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl around on top of its walls.
    The city is full of crime and trouble.
11 Forces that destroy are at work inside it.
    Its streets are full of people who cheat others and take advantage of them.

12 If an enemy were making fun of me,
    I could stand it.
If he were getting ready to oppose me,
    I could hide.
13 But it’s you, someone like myself.
    It’s my companion, my close friend.
14 We used to enjoy good friendship at the house of God.
    We used to walk together among those who came to worship.

15 Let death take my enemies by surprise.
    Let them be buried alive,
    because their hearts and homes are full of evil.

16 But I call out to God.
    And the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
    I groan and cry out.
    And he hears my voice.
18 Even though many enemies are fighting against me,
    he brings me safely back from the battle.
19 God has been on his throne since ancient times and does not change.
    He will hear my enemies and make them humble.
    That’s because they have no respect for God.

20 My companion attacks his friends.
    He breaks his promise.
21 His talk is as smooth as butter.
    But he has war in his heart.
His words flow like olive oil.
    But they are like swords ready for battle.

22 Turn your worries over to the Lord.
    He will keep you going.
    He will never let godly people be shaken.
23 God, you will bring sinners
    down to the grave.
Murderers and liars
    won’t live out even half of their lives.

But I trust in you.