For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
1Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
2Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
3My enemies shout at me,
making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me
and angrily hunt me down.
4My heart pounds in my chest.
The terror of death assaults me.
5Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
and I can’t stop shaking.
6Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
7I would fly far away
to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude
8How quickly I would escape—
far from this wild storm of hatred.
9Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans,
for I see violence and conflict in the city.
10Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,
but the real danger is wickedness within the city.
11Everything is falling apart;
threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.
12It is not an enemy who taunts me—
I could bear that.
It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—
I could have hidden from them.
13Instead, it is you—my equal,
my companion and close friend.
14What good fellowship we once enjoyed
as we walked together to the house of God.
15Let death stalk my enemies;
let the grave swallow them alive,
for evil makes its home within them.
16But I will call on God,
and the Lord will rescue me.
17Morning, noon, and night
I cry out in my distress,
and the Lord hears my voice.
18He ransoms me and keeps me safe
from the battle waged against me,
though many still oppose me.
19God, who has ruled forever,
will hear me and humble them. Interlude
For my enemies refuse to change their ways;
they do not fear God.
20As for my companion, he betrayed his friends;
he broke his promises.
21His words are as smooth as butter,
but in his heart is war.
His words are as soothing as lotion,
but underneath are daggers!
22Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
23But you, O God, will send the wicked
down to the pit of destruction.
Murderers and liars will die young,
but I am trusting you to save me.