For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1O God, whom I praise,
don’t stand silent and aloof
2while the wicked slander me
and tell lies about me.
3They surround me with hateful words
and fight against me for no reason.
4I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations
even as I am praying for them!
5They repay evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
6They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him.
Send an accuser to bring him to trial.
7When his case comes up for judgment,
let him be pronounced guilty.
Count his prayers as sins.
8Let his years be few;
let someone else take his position.
9May his children become fatherless,
and his wife a widow.
10May his children wander as beggars
and be driven from their ruined homes.
11May creditors seize his entire estate,
and strangers take all he has earned.
12Let no one be kind to him;
let no one pity his fatherless children.
13May all his offspring die.
May his family name be blotted out in the next generation.
14May the Lord never forget the sins of his fathers;
may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record.
15May the Lord always remember these sins,
and may his name disappear from human memory.
16For he refused all kindness to others;
he persecuted the poor and needy,
and he hounded the brokenhearted to death.
17He loved to curse others;
now you curse him.
He never blessed others;
now don’t you bless him.
18Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing,
or the water he drinks,
or the rich food he eats.
19Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing;
may they be tied around him like a belt.”
20May those curses become the Lord’s punishment
for my accusers who speak evil of me.
21But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord,
for the sake of your own reputation!
because you are so faithful and good.
22For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is full of pain.
23I am fading like a shadow at dusk;
I am brushed off like a locust.
24My knees are weak from fasting,
and I am skin and bones.
25I am a joke to people everywhere;
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
26Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me because of your unfailing love.
27Let them see that this is your doing,
that you yourself have done it, Lord.
28Then let them curse me if they like,
but you will bless me!
When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
29May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
30But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
praising him to everyone.
31For he stands beside the needy,
ready to save them from those who condemn them.