I’ve got trouble
Get me out of here
Note to music leader: accompanied on strings. A psalm of David. An enlightening psalm.1Please God, I need you to hear me.
Don’t ignore me.
2Please listen. I need your help.
I can’t take it anymore. I can’t focus.
3I’ve got people angry at me
They won’t let up.
They stalk me and terrorize me.
4My heart feels like it’s beating itself to death.
This is killing me.
5I’m terrified. Literally, I’m shaking.
I’m living a horror story.
6I’ll tell you this,
“If I could rent wings
I’d be somewhere relaxing now.
7I wouldn’t stop flying
Until I got so far away
You’d need a tracker to find me.”
Lord, mess them up8Wings roaring,
I would fly to my safe house.
Away from this storm,
Away from these treacherous winds.
9Please Lord, mess them up.
Get them to arguing with each other.
Chaos and fighting,
That’s all I see in the city now.
Day and night they circle the city along the walls,
Stirring up trouble wherever they go.
11The city lies in ruins,
Consumed by exploitation and fraud.
Fake friend12Here’s the thing, it’s not an enemy who badmouths me.
I could take that.
I’d just stay away from that person.
13No, it’s someone close to me.
My friend. My good friend.
14We had a sweet bond of friendship.
We walked together to worship at God’s house.
15I hope death sneaks in on all of them.
I hope they drop dead in their tracks.
They’re full of nothing but evil.
Complain, complain16I’m asking God for help.
I know the LORD will save me.
17Morning, noon, and night
I complain, gripe, and groan.
He listens as I speak. 18As the battle rages against me,
He keeps me safe, at peace.
His presence is like a mighty army.
19God hears those who diss him.
His reply will humiliate them.
He is God who has always reigned
And who never changes.
Instruments20My friend turned traitor on me.
He broke our bond of friendship.
21He spoke words smooth as butter.
But war was in his heart.
His presentation was a soft sell, and well-oiled.
Then he drew his sword.
Give your troubles to God22Toss your troubles to the LORD.
He’s got your back.
He won’t let good people down.
23Here’s what God will do.
He will send evil people to the grave.
Liars and killers won’t live half a lifetime.
LORD, I’m putting my trust in you.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
“An enlightening psalm” is a guess. The original Hebrew word is maskil (mass-KEEL). Scholars say they aren’t sure what it means. They say they don’t even know if the word refers to the lyrics or the music. Maskil sounds a bit like another Hebrew word, askilkha, which means “let me enlighten you.” Some scholars associate maskil with a root word, sakal, which generates a lot of words with various meanings such as: thoughtful, instructive, wise, and proper. One theory is that the word relates to both lyrics and music. It could, for example, describe the lyrics as “thoughtful” and the music as a harmony fit for that theme.
The word in the original language of Hebrew is selah. Bible scholars haven’t figured out what it means yet, so all we can do is guess. It could mean “pause for effect,” “instrumental interlude,” or “choir singing ‘Amen.’” We’re offering a guess instead of selah. Though selah might be the better way to go because it’s always correct, it’s also always incomprehensible. “Instruments” has a good chance of being wrong, but at least we convey the idea that the Hebrew word behind it probably has something to do with enhancing the song.
Literally, “Let them go down to Sheol alive.” Sheol is a word Old Testament writers used to describe the place of the dead. It is a kind of underworld where the dead are cut off from the living—and from God—and there is no coming back.
Scholars have to guess who “never changes.” Some Bible translations say it’s God. Others say it’s the songwriter’s enemies who refuse to change their disrespectful attitude toward God.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.