Plea for Relief from Oppressors
A Psalm of Asaph.
1Truly God is good to the upright,
to those who are pure in heart.a
2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had well nigh slipped.
3For I was envious of the arrogant,
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4For they have no pangs;
their bodies are sound and sleek.
5They are not in trouble as other men are;
they are not stricken like other men.
6Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as 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 the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
10Therefore the people turn and praise them;b
and find no fault in them.c
11And they say, "How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
13All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
14For all the day long I have been stricken,
and chastened every morning.
15If I had said, "I will speak thus,"
I would have been untrue to the generation of thy 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 thou dost set them in slippery places;
thou dost make them fall to ruin.
19How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
20They ared 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 beast toward thee.
23Nevertheless I am continually with thee;
thou dost hold my right hand.
24Thou dost guide me with thy counsel,
and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory.e
25Whom have I in heaven but thee?
And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.
26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strengthf of my heart and my portion for ever.
27For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish;
thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee.
28But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all thy works.