Showing posts from March, 2019

Psalm 101 - I will sing of loyalty and justice

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Of David. A psalm.
1) I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
to you, O Lord, I will sing.
2) I will study the way that is blameless.
When shall I attain it?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
3) I will not set before my eyes
anything that is base.

I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
4) Perverseness of heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.
5) One who secretly slanders a neighbor
I will destroy.
A haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not tolerate.
6) I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
so that they may live with me;
whoever walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.
7) No one who practices deceit
shall remain in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue in my presence.

8) Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all evildoers
from the city of the Lord.

Psalm …

Psalm 120 - Deliver me from lying lips

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A Song of Ascents.
1) In my distress I cry to the Lord,
that he may answer me:
2) “Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.”

3) What shall be given to you?
And what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
4) A warrior’s sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!

5) Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech,
that I must live among the tents of Kedar.[1]

6) Too long have I had my dwelling
among those who hate peace.
7) I am for peace;
but when I speak,
they are for war.

Psalm 120 (NRSV*)
Not included in the Revised Common Lectionary.

This is one of those short, "simple" psalms, yet it says a lot in seven verses. We all know about lying lips.

I do not know if lying is relatively constant across time. I do know that we are presented daily with falsehood presented as truth. Swimming in a sea of lies, the ripples and eddies and whirlpools threatening to suck us under may make it very hard to s…

Psalm 50 - Gather to me my faithful ones

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A Psalm of Asaph.
1) The mighty one, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2) Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
3) Our God comes and does not keep silence,
before him is a devouring fire,
and a mighty tempest all around him.
4) He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5) "Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"
6) The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge.

7) “Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
8) Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9) I will not accept a bull from your house,
or goats from your folds.
10) For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11) I know all the birds of the air,
and all that mo…

Psalm 109 - Do not be silent, O God of my praise

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To the leader. Of David. A Psalm
1) Do not be silent, O God of my praise.
2) For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
speaking against me with lying tongues.
3) They beset me with words of hate,
and attack me without cause.
4) In return for my love they accuse me,
even while I make prayer for them.
5) So they reward me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.

6) They say, "Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser stand on his right.
7) When he is tried, let him be found guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin.
8) May his days be few;
may another seize his position.
9) May his children be orphans,
and his wife a widow.
10) May his children wander about and beg;
may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit.
11) May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil.
12) May there be no one to do him a kindness,
nor anyone to pity his orphaned children.
13) May his posterity be …

Psalm 81 - I hear a voice I had not known

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To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.
1) Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
2) Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
3) Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our festal day.
4) For it is a statute for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5) He made it a decree in Joseph,
when he went out over the land of Egypt.

I hear a voice I had not known:
6) "I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
7) In distress you called, and I rescued you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
8) Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9) There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10) I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I w…

Psalm 49 - The ransom of life is costly

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To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.
1) Hear this, all you peoples;
give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2) both low and high,
rich and poor together.
3) My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4) I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.

5) Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6) those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7) Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,
there is no price one can give to God for it.
8) For the ransom of life is costly,
and can never suffice,
9) that one should live on forever
and never see the grave.

10) When we look at the wise, they die;
fool and dolt perish together
and leave their wealth to others.
11) Their graves are their homes forever,
their dwelling places to all generations,
though they named lands their own.
12) Mo…

Psalm 107 - Some were sick

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To the leader: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1) O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2) Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
3) and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
4) Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to an inhabited town;
5) hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6) Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
7) he led them by a straight way,
until they reached an inhabited town.
8) Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
9) For he satisfies the thirsty,
and the hungry he fills with good things.

10) Some sat in darkness and in gloom,
prisoners in misery and in irons,
11)for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
12) Their hearts…

Psalm 138 - Whole-hearted thanks

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Of David.
1) I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2) I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word
above everything.
3) On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

4) All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5) They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
6) For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7) Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
8) The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138 (NRSV*)
5th Sunda…

Psalm 139 - You have searched me and known me

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To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1) O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2) You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3) You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4) Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5) You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

7) Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8) If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9) If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10) even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11) If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,"
12) even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as …

Psalm 39 - I will guard my ways

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To the leader: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1) I said, "I will guard my ways
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence."
2) I was silent and still;
I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
3) my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:

4) "Lord, let me know my end,
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5) You have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath.
6) Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
they heap up, and do not know who will gather.

7) "And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
8) Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
9) I am silent; I do no…

Psalm 73 - I was envious of the arrogant

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A Psalm of Asaph.1) Truly God is good to the upright,
to those who are pure in heart.
2) But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
my steps had nearly slipped.
3) For I was envious of the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4) For they have no pain;
their bodies are sound and sleek.
5) They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not plagued like other people.
6) Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them like a garment.
7) Their eyes swell out with fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
8) They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
9) They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues range over the earth.

10) Therefore the people turn and praise them,
and find no fault in them.
11) And they say, "How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12) Such are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
13) All in vain…

Psalm 52 - The righteous will see

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"To the leader. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came to Saul and said to him, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech."
1) Why do you boast, O mighty one,
of mischief done against the godly?
All day long 2) you are plotting destruction.
Your tongue is like a sharp razor,
you worker of treachery.
3) You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking the truth.
4) You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.

5) But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6) The righteous will see, and fear,
and will laugh at the evildoer, saying,
7) "See the one who would not take
refuge in God,
but trusted in abundant riches,
and sought refuge in wealth!"
8) But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9) I will thank you foreve…

Psalm 66 - Come and see what God has done

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To the leader. A Song. A Psalm.
1) Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2) sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise.
3) Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
4) All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.”

5) Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
6) He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
7) who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let the rebellious not exalt themselves.

8) Bless our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard,
9) who has kept us among the living,
and has not let our feet slip.
10) For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11) You brought us into the net;
you laid burdens on our backs;
12) you let people ride over our h…

Psalm 38 - Do not rebuke me in your anger

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A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.
1) O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
or discipline me in your wrath.
2) For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.

3) There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
4) For my iniquities have gone over my head;
they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
5) My wounds grow foul and fester
because of my foolishness;
6) I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all day long I go around mourning.
7) For my loins are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8) I am utterly spent and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

9) O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10) My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11) My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
and my n…

Psalm 82 - Give justice to the weak

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A Psalm of Asaph.
1) God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2) "How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?
3) Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
4) Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
5) They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk around in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6) I say, "You are gods,
children of the Most High, all of you;
7) nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince."
8) Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!

Psalm 82 (NRSV*)
Proper 10, Sunday between July 10 and July 16, Year C
Proper 15, Sunday between August 14 and August 20, Year C

Perhaps you've seen a "justice system" dispensing a different kind of justice than you might want…

Psalm 108 - My heart is steadfast

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A Song. A Psalm of David.
1) My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make melody.
Awake, my soul!
2) Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn.
3) I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,
and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4) For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

5) Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and let your glory be over all the earth.
6) Give victory with your right hand, and answer me,
so that those whom you love may be rescued.

7) God has promised in his sanctuary:
"With exultation I will divide up Shechem,
and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
8) Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet;
Judah is my scepter.
9) Moab is my washbasin;
on Edom I hurl my shoe;
over Philistia I shout in triumph."

10) Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11) Ha…