5 Psalms a Day: Psalm 11-15

photo credit:
Bruce Guenter

Psalm 11

Song of Trust in God

To the leader. Of David.
In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
   ‘Flee like a bird to the mountains;
for look, the wicked bend the bow,
   they have fitted their arrow to the string,
   to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
   what can the righteous do?’


The Lord is in his holy temple;
   the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
   His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
   and his soul hates the lover of violence.
On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulphur;
   a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
   the upright shall behold his face.

Psalm 12

Plea for Help in Evil Times

To the leader: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.
Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
   the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
   with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.


May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
   the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, ‘With our tongues we will prevail;
   our lips are our own—who is our master?’


‘Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
   I will now rise up,’ says the Lord;
   ‘I will place them in the safety for which they long.’
The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
   silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
   purified seven times.


You, O Lord, will protect us;
   you will guard us from this generation for ever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
   as vileness is exalted among humankind.

Psalm 13

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
   How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
   and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?


Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
   Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, ‘I have prevailed’;
   my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.


But I trusted in your steadfast love;
   my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
   because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 14

Denunciation of Godlessness

To the leader. Of David.
Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.’
   They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
   there is no one who does good.


The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
   to see if there are any who are wise,
   who seek after God.


They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
   there is no one who does good,
   no, not one.


Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
   who eat up my people as they eat bread,
   and do not call upon the Lord?


There they shall be in great terror,
   for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
   but the Lord is their refuge.


O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
   When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

Psalm 15

Who Shall Abide in God’s Sanctuary?

A Psalm of David.
O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
   Who may dwell on your holy hill?


Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
   and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
   and do no evil to their friends,
   nor take up a reproach against their neighbours;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
   but who honour those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
   and do not take a bribe against the innocent.


Those who do these things shall never be moved.


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