5 Psalms a Day: Psalm 41-45

Photo credit: Chris Combe

Psalm 41

Assurance of God’s Help and a Plea for Healing

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

Happy are those who consider the poor;
   the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
   they are called happy in the land.
   You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
   in their illness you heal all their infirmities.


As for me, I said, ‘O Lord, be gracious to me;
   heal me, for I have sinned against you.’
My enemies wonder in malice
   when I will die, and my name perish.
And when they come to see me, they utter empty words,
   while their hearts gather mischief;
   when they go out, they tell it abroad.
All who hate me whisper together about me;
   they imagine the worst for me.


They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,
   that I will not rise again from where I lie.
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,
   who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.
But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,
   and raise me up, that I may repay them.


By this I know that you are pleased with me;
   because my enemy has not triumphed over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
   and set me in your presence for ever.


Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
   from everlasting to everlasting.Amen and Amen.


BOOK II

(Psalms 42-72)

Psalm 42

Longing for God and His Help in Distress

To the leader. A Maskil of the Korahites.
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
   so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
   for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
   the face of God?
My tears have been my food
   day and night,
while people say to me continually,
   ‘Where is your God?’


These things I remember,
   as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
   and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
   a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
   and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
   my help and my God.


My soul is cast down within me;
   therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
   from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
   at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
   have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
   and at night his song is with me,
   a prayer to the God of my life.


I say to God, my rock,
   ‘Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
   because the enemy oppresses me?’
As with a deadly wound in my body,
   my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
   ‘Where is your God?’


Why are you cast down, O my soul,
   and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
   my help and my God.

Psalm 43

Prayer to God in Time of Trouble


Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
   against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
   deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
   why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
   because of the oppression of the enemy?


O send out your light and your truth;
   let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
   and to your dwelling.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
   to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
   O God, my God.


Why are you cast down, O my soul,
   and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
   my help and my God.

Psalm 44

National Lament and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Maskil.
We have heard with our ears, O God,
   our ancestors have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
   in the days of old:
you with your own hand drove out the nations,
   but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
   but them you set free;
for not by their own sword did they win the land,
   nor did their own arm give them victory;
but your right hand, and your arm,
   and the light of your countenance,
   for you delighted in them.


You are my King and my God;
   you command victories for Jacob.
Through you we push down our foes;
   through your name we tread down our assailants.
For not in my bow do I trust,
   nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes,
   and have put to confusion those who hate us.
In God we have boasted continually,
   and we will give thanks to your name for ever.
          Selah


Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
   and have not gone out with our armies.
You made us turn back from the foe,
   and our enemies have taken spoil for themselves.
You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
   and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a trifle,
   demanding no high price for them.


You have made us the taunt of our neighbours,
   the derision and scorn of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations,
   a laughing-stock among the peoples.
All day long my disgrace is before me,
   and shame has covered my face
at the words of the taunters and revilers,
   at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.


All this has come upon us,
   yet we have not forgotten you,
   or been false to your covenant.
Our heart has not turned back,
   nor have our steps departed from your way,
yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
   and covered us with deep darkness.


If we had forgotten the name of our God,
   or spread out our hands to a strange god,
would not God discover this?
   For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Because of you we are being killed all day long,
   and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.


Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
   Awake, do not cast us off for ever!
Why do you hide your face?
   Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For we sink down to the dust;
   our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up, come to our help.
   Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

Psalm 45

Ode for a Royal Wedding

To the leader: according to Lilies. Of the Korahites. A Maskil. A love song.
My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
   I address my verses to the king;
   my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.


You are the most handsome of men;
   grace is poured upon your lips;
   therefore God has blessed you for ever.
Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
   in your glory and majesty.


In your majesty ride on victoriously
   for the cause of truth and to defend the right;
   let your right hand teach you dread deeds.
Your arrows are sharp
   in the heart of the king’s enemies;
   the peoples fall under you.


Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever.
   Your royal sceptre is a sceptre of equity;
   you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
   with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
   your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
   daughters of kings are among your ladies of honour;
   at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.


Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear;
   forget your people and your father’s house,
   and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him;
   the people of Tyre will seek your favour with gifts,
   the richest of the people with all kinds of wealth.


The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;
   in many-coloured robes she is led to the king;
   behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.
With joy and gladness they are led along
   as they enter the palace of the king.


In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons;
   you will make them princes in all the earth.
I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations;
   therefore the peoples will praise you for ever and ever.


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