- A psalm of David.1 For the music leader.
God loves compassionate people
- 1 It’ll be a happy life and sunny days
For people who keep the poor in mind.
Then when problems come
The LORD comes, too, as problem-solver.
- 2 The LORD protects compassionate folks.
He keeps them alive.
He blesses them.
He won’t let their enemies have them.
- 3 When they get sick,
The LORD keeps them alive.
Then he makes them stronger,
Healthier, and well.
- 4 As for me, however, I said,
“LORD, lay some kindness on me.
I’ve sinned against you.
So, I need you to make me right again.”
Enemies trash my name
- 5 People who hate me
Say hateful things about me.
“When will he drop dead,
So we can forget he ever lived?”
- 6 Some pay me a visit and tell me lies.
They come for just one reason:
To leave with nasty gossip about me,
Which they broadcast as breaking news.
- 7 They gather in cliques to badmouth me
And to wonder how much worse I could get.
- 8 They say, “Something bad got hold of him.
Soon enough, he’ll wake up dead.”
- 9 Even a buddy I trusted
Turned against me.
Someone who ate my food
Now stomps my good name.
- 10 LORD, I’m asking you
To treat me kindly.
Lift me out of this mess
And let me give those people some payback.
- 11 Then I’ll know we’re on good terms
Because you didn’t let my enemies win.
- 12 Because I have kept my integrity,
I know I can count on your help,
Trusting you’re always close by.
- 13 LORD, God of Israel,
You deserve non-stop praise
From eternity past to forever.
And that’s the truth. Absolutely.2
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.
This fourth line is literally, in the original Hebrew, “Amen and amen.” The word, in Hebrew and in English, works a bit like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence. It’s a shout