New International Reader's Version

Psalm 35

Psalm 35

A psalm of David.

Lord, stand up against those who stand up against me.
    Fight against those who fight against me.
Pick up your shield and your armor.
    Rise up and help me.
Get your spear and javelin ready to fight
    against those who are chasing me.
    Say to me, “I will save you.”

Let those who are trying to kill me
    be brought down in dishonor.
Let those who plan to destroy me
    be turned back in terror.
Let them be like straw blowing in the wind,
    while the angel of the Lord drives them away.
Let their path be dark and slippery,
    while the angel of the Lord chases them.
They set a trap for me without any reason.
    Without any reason they dug a pit to catch me.
So let them be destroyed without warning.
    Let the trap they set for me catch them.
    Let them fall into the pit and be destroyed.
Then I will be full of joy because of what the Lord has done.
    I will be glad because he has saved me.
10 My whole being will cry out,
    “Who is like you, Lord?
You save poor people from those who are too strong for them.
    You save poor and needy people from those who rob them.”

11 Mean people come forward to speak against me.
    They ask me things I don’t know anything about.
12 They pay me back with evil, even though I was good to them.
    They leave me like someone who has lost a family member.
13 But when they were sick, I put on the clothing of sadness.
    I made myself humble by going without food.
My prayers for them weren’t always answered.
14     So I went around crying
    as if I were mourning over my friend or relative.
I bowed my head in sadness
    as if I were weeping over my mother.
15 But when I tripped and fell, they were all very happy.
    Attackers gathered against me when I didn’t even know it.
    They kept on telling lies about me.
16 Like ungodly people, they were mean and made fun of me.
    They ground their teeth at me in hate.
17 Lord, how much longer will you just look on?
    Save me from their deadly attacks.
Save the only life I have.
    Save me from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the whole community.
    Among all your people I will praise you.

19 Don’t let those who are my enemies without any reason
    laugh at me and make fun of me.
Don’t let those who hate me without any reason
    wink at me with an evil purpose.
20 They don’t speak words of peace.
    They make up false charges
    against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They make fun of me.
    They say, “With our own eyes we have seen what you did.”

22 Lord, you have seen this. Don’t be silent.
    Lord, don’t be far away from me.
23 Wake up! Rise up to help me!
    My God and Lord, stand up for me.
24 Lord my God, when you hand down your sentence, let it be in my favor.
    You always do what is right.
    Don’t let my enemies have the joy of seeing me fall.
25 Don’t let them think, “That’s exactly what we wanted!”
    Don’t let them say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 Let all those who laugh at me because I’m in trouble
    be ashamed and bewildered.
Let all who think they are better than I am
    put on shame and dishonor as if they were clothes.
27 Let those who are happy when my name is cleared
    shout with joy and gladness.
Let them always say, “May the Lord be honored.
    He is pleased when everything goes well with the one who serves him.”
28 You always do what is right. My tongue will speak about it
    and praise you all day long.

The Message

Psalm 35

A David Psalm

11-3 Harass these hecklers, God,
    punch these bullies in the nose.
Grab a weapon, anything at hand;
    stand up for me!
Get ready to throw the spear, aim the javelin,
    at the people who are out to get me.
Reassure me; let me hear you say,
    “I’ll save you.”

4-8 When those thugs try to knife me in the back,
    make them look foolish.
Frustrate all those
    who are plotting my downfall.
Make them like cinders in a high wind,
    with God’s angel working the bellows.
Make their road lightless and mud-slick,
    with God’s angel on their tails.
Out of sheer cussedness they set a trap to catch me;
    for no good reason they dug a ditch to stop me.
Surprise them with your ambush—
    catch them in the very trap they set,
    the disaster they planned for me.

9-10 But let me run loose and free,
    celebrating God’s great work,
Every bone in my body laughing, singing, “God,
    there’s no one like you.
You put the down-and-out on their feet
    and protect the unprotected from bullies!”

11-12 Hostile accusers appear out of nowhere,
    they stand up and badger me.
They pay me back misery for mercy,
    leaving my soul empty.

13-14 When they were sick, I dressed in black;
    instead of eating, I prayed.
My prayers were like lead in my gut,
    like I’d lost my best friend, my brother.
I paced, distraught as a motherless child,
    hunched and heavyhearted.

15-16 But when I was down
    they threw a party!
All the nameless riffraff of the town came
    chanting insults about me.
Like barbarians desecrating a shrine,
    they destroyed my reputation.

17-18 God, how long are you going
    to stand there doing nothing?
Save me from their brutalities;
    everything I’ve got is being thrown to the lions.
I will give you full credit
    when everyone gathers for worship;
When the people turn out in force
    I will say my Hallelujahs.

19-21 Don’t let these liars, my enemies,
    have a party at my expense,
Those who hate me for no reason,
    winking and rolling their eyes.
No good is going to come
    from that crowd;
They spend all their time cooking up gossip
    against those who mind their own business.
They open their mouths
    in ugly grins,
Mocking, “Ha-ha, ha-ha, thought you’d get away with it?
    We’ve caught you hands down!”

22 Don’t you see what they’re doing, God?
    You’re not going to let them
Get by with it, are you? Not going to walk off
    without doing something, are you?

23-26 Please get up—wake up! Tend to my case.
    My God, my Lord—my life is on the line.
Do what you think is right, God, my God,
    but don’t make me pay for their good time.
Don’t let them say to themselves,
    “Ha-ha, we got what we wanted.”
Don’t let them say,
    “We’ve chewed him up and spit him out.”
Let those who are being hilarious
    at my expense
Be made to look ridiculous.
    Make them wear donkey’s ears;
Pin them with the donkey’s tail,
    who made themselves so high and mighty!

27-28 But those who want
    the best for me,
Let them have the last word—a glad shout!—
    and say, over and over and over,
God is great—everything works
    together for good for his servant.”
I’ll tell the world how great and good you are,
    I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.