- A psalm of David. Note to music leader: use the tune “The Son is Dead.”1
My enemies will die where they fall
- 1 LORD, thank you. With all my heart, thank you.
I’m telling everyone what you’ve done for me—every wonderful thing you’ve done.
- 2 I’ll keep on being happy. And I owe it all to you.
I’ll keep on singing songs. And I’ll sing them all to you,
To you, Oh God, Above All.
- 3 When my enemies turn tail and run
They’ll be running into you,
And they’ll be dying where they fall.
- 4 You judged my case from your throne,
And declared me in the right.
- 5 You condemned the nations and destroyed the wicked.
You erased them from the world map.
- 6 My enemies are gone for good.
You tore their cities right off the map.
People have already forgotten those nations ever existed.
- 7 But the LORD lives, and he’ll live forever.
He’s the judge, seated and ready to hear the cases.
- 8 He’ll judge the world, and he’ll get it right.
He’ll see to it that everyone gets a fair judgment.
- 9 The LORD is a safehouse for people threatened and oppressed.
He’s a bunker of protection in troubled times.
- 10 People who know you trust you, LORD.
It’s because you never abandon people who want you near.
The bad get what they gave
- 11 Sing songs honoring the LORD who lives on Zion.2
Spread the word about the good things he has done.
- 12 But the LORD, as the Avenger of Blood, remembers those murdered.
He won’t forget those cries he heard from the dying.
- 13 I need mercy and kindness from you, LORD.
Look at how I’ve been hurt by those who hate me.
I’m calling on you who will snatch me from the jaws of death.
- 14 Then I’ll shout your praises, safe inside Zion walls,
And cheer that I’m alive only because you saved me.
- 15 These nations have sunk to a new low—lower than dirt, deep as a pit.
They set traps to catch me, but caught themselves instead.
- 16 The LORD reveals himself in the judgment calls he makes.
Wicked people get what they give, caught in their own traps.
Sing softly.4 Instruments.5
- 17 Wicked folks are headed back6 to where they belong, the Home of the Dead.7
Nations of the world that forgot God are going, too.
- 18 Poor folks won’t always be forgotten.
Hope of the hopeless won’t stay dead and buried forever.
- 19 Rise and shine, LORD. Don’t let the bad guys win.
Judge the nations as they stand in front of you. Let them have it.
- 20 Put the fear of God in them, LORD.
Let the world discover the difference between a human and God.
This is a guess. The Hebrew words are Muth Labben, literally “death to the son.” The writer uses this song to thank God for rescuing him. For David, perhaps the biggest rescue of his life was during a coup led by his son Absalom. The threat ended when, in a battle between the two armies, some of King David’s soldiers caught up with Absalom and stabbed him to death (2 Samuel 18:14-15).
“Zion” is a term of endearment, and another name for Jerusalem. It’s a bit like “The Big Apple” for New York City, “The City of Love” for Paris, and “Sin City” for Las Vegas, though some wouldn’t call that a term of endearment.