Plea for Relief from Oppressors
A Psalm of Asaph.
1Truly God is good to the upright,
to those who are pure in heart.2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
my steps had nearly slipped.3For I was envious of the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4For they have no pain;
their bodies are sound and sleek.5They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not plagued like other people.6Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them like a garment.7Their eyes swell out with fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.8They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.9They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues range over the earth.
10Therefore the people turn and praise them,
and find no fault in them.11And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”12Such are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.13All in vain I have kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.14For all day long I have been plagued,
and am punished every morning.
15If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”
I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.16But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,17until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I perceived their end.18Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.19How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!20They are like a dream when one awakes;
on awaking you despise their phantoms.
21When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,22I was stupid and ignorant;
I was like a brute beast toward you.23Nevertheless I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.24You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me with honor.25Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
you put an end to those who are false to you.28But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
to tell of all your works.