For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 God, I praise you.
Don’t remain silent.
2 Sinful people who lie and cheat have spoken against me.
They have used their tongues to tell lies about me.
3 They gather all around me with their words of hatred.
They attack me without any reason.
4 They bring charges against me,
even though I love them
and pray for them.
5 They pay me back with evil for the good things I do.
They pay back my love with hatred.
6 Appoint an evil person to take my enemies to court.
Let him stand at their right hand and bring charges against them.
7 When they are tried, let them be found guilty.
May even their prayers judge them.
8 May their days be few.
Let others take their places as leaders.
9 May their children’s fathers die.
May their wives become widows.
10 May their children be driven from their destroyed homes.
May they wander around like beggars.
11 May everything those people own be taken away to pay for what they owe.
May strangers rob them of everything they’ve worked for.
12 May no one be kind to them
or take pity on the children they leave behind.
13 May their family line come to an end.
May their names be forgotten by those who live after them.
14 May the Lord remember the evil things their fathers have done.
May he never erase the sins of their mothers.
15 May the Lord never forget their sins.
Then he won’t let people remember the names of my enemies anymore.
16 They never thought about doing anything kind.
Instead, they drove those who were poor and needy to their deaths.
They did the same thing to those whose hearts were broken.
17 They loved to curse others.
May their curses come back on them.
They didn’t find any pleasure in giving anyone their blessing.
May no blessing ever come to them.
18 They cursed others as easily as they put on clothes.
Cursing was as natural to them as getting a drink of water
or putting olive oil on their bodies.
19 May their curses cover them like coats.
May their curses be wrapped around them like a belt forever.
20 May that be the Lord’s way of paying back
those who bring charges against me.
May it happen to those who say
evil things about me.
21 But Lord and King,
help me so that you bring honor to yourself.
Because your love is so good, save me.
22 I am poor and needy.
My heart is wounded deep down inside me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow.
I’m like a locust that someone brushes off.
24 My knees are weak because I’ve gone without food.
My body is very thin.
25 Those who bring charges against me laugh at me.
When they see me, they shake their heads at me.
26 Lord my God, help me.
Save me because of your faithful love.
27 Lord, let my enemies know that you yourself have saved me.
You have done it with your own hand.
28 They may curse me.
But may you bless me.
May those who attack me be put to shame.
But may I be filled with joy.
29 May those who bring charges against me be clothed with dishonor.
May they be wrapped in shame as if it were a coat.
30 With my mouth I will continually praise the Lord.
I will praise him when all his people gather for worship.
31 He stands ready to help those who need it.
He saves them from those who are ready to sentence them to death.
A David Prayer
11-5 My God, don’t turn a deaf ear to my hallelujah prayer.
Liars are pouring out invective on me;
Their lying tongues are like a pack of dogs out to get me,
barking their hate, nipping my heels—and for no reason!
I loved them and now they slander me—yes, me!—
and treat my prayer like a crime;
They return my good with evil,
they return my love with hate.
6-20 Send the Evil One to accuse my accusing judge;
dispatch Satan to prosecute him.
When he’s judged, let the verdict be “Guilty,”
and when he prays, let his prayer turn to sin.
Give him a short life,
and give his job to somebody else.
Make orphans of his children,
dress his wife in widow’s weeds;
Turn his children into begging street urchins,
evicted from their homes—homeless.
May the bank foreclose and wipe him out,
and strangers, like vultures, pick him clean.
May there be no one around to help him out,
no one willing to give his orphans a break.
Chop down his family tree
so that nobody even remembers his name.
But erect a memorial to the sin of his father,
and make sure his mother’s name is there, too—
Their sins recorded forever before God,
but they themselves sunk in oblivion.
That’s all he deserves since he was never once kind,
hounded the afflicted and heartbroken to their graves.
Since he loved cursing so much,
let curses rain down;
Since he had no taste for blessing,
let blessings flee far from him.
He dressed up in curses like a fine suit of clothes;
he drank curses, took his baths in curses.
So give him a gift—a costume of curses;
he can wear curses every day of the week!
That’s what they’ll get, those out to get me—
an avalanche of just deserts from God.
21-25 Oh, God, my Lord, step in;
work a miracle for me—you can do it!
Get me out of here—your love is so great!—
I’m at the end of my rope, my life in ruins.
I’m fading away to nothing, passing away,
my youth gone, old before my time.
I’m weak from hunger and can hardly stand up,
my body a rack of skin and bones.
I’m a joke in poor taste to those who see me;
they take one look and shake their heads.
26-29 Help me, oh help me, God, my God,
save me through your wonderful love;
Then they’ll know that your hand is in this,
that you, God, have been at work.
Let them curse all they want;
you do the blessing.
Let them be jeered by the crowd when they stand up,
followed by cheers for me, your servant.
Dress my accusers in clothes dirty with shame,
discarded and humiliating old ragbag clothes.
30-31 My mouth’s full of great praise for God,
I’m singing his hallelujahs surrounded by crowds,
For he’s always at hand to take the side of the needy,
to rescue a life from the unjust judge.