Passage: Psalms 17, 35 (RSV)

Psalms 17

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

1Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
2From thee let my vindication come! Let thy eyes see the right!
3If thou triest my heart, if thou visitest me by night, if thou testest me, thou wilt find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.
4With regard to the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5My steps have held fast to thy paths, my feet have not slipped.
6I call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me, O God; incline thy ear to me, hear my words.
7Wondrously show thy steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at thy right hand.
8Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of thy wings,
9from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.
10They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11They track me down; now they surround me; they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.
12They are like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush.
13Arise, O LORD! confront them, overthrow them! Deliver my life from the wicked by thy sword,
14from men by thy hand, O LORD, from men whose portion in life is of the world. May their belly be filled with what thou hast stored up for them; may their children have more than enough; may they leave something over to their babes.
15As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with beholding thy form.

Psalms 35

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD.

1Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!
2Take hold of shield and buckler, and rise for my help!
3Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers! Say to my soul, "I am your deliverance!"
4Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and confounded who devise evil against me!
5Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them on!
6Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them!
7For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life.
8Let ruin come upon them unawares! And let the net which they hid ensnare them; let them fall therein to ruin!
9Then my soul shall rejoice in the LORD, exulting in his deliverance.
10All my bones shall say, "O LORD, who is like thee, thou who deliverest the weak from him who is too strong for him, the weak and needy from him who despoils him?"
11Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I know not.
12They requite me evil for good; my soul is forlorn.
13But I, when they were sick -- I wore sackcloth, I afflicted myself with fasting. I prayed with head bowed on my bosom,
14as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; I went about as one who laments his mother, bowed down and in mourning.
15But at my stumbling they gathered in glee, they gathered together against me; cripples whom I knew not slandered me without ceasing;
16they impiously mocked more and more, gnashing at me with their teeth.
17How long, O LORD, wilt thou look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my life from the lions!
18Then I will thank thee in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise thee.
19Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause.
20For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they conceive words of deceit.
21They open wide their mouths against me; they say, "Aha, Aha! our eyes have seen it!"
22Thou hast seen, O LORD; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me!
23Bestir thyself, and awake for my right, for my cause, my God and my Lord!
24Vindicate me, O LORD, my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me!
25Let them not say to themselves, "Aha, we have our heart's desire!" Let them not say, "We have swallowed him up."
26Let them be put to shame and confusion altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me!
27Let those who desire my vindication shout for joy and be glad, and say evermore, "Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!"
28Then my tongue shall tell of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

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