A Commemorative Psalm

Last week as we celebrated our anniversary one of the things Rachelle and I discussed was which Bible verse had become our motto in our first nine years of marriage. We wondered what tomorrow will bring for our next chapter in life, which verses would we turn to for strength, comfort, guidance, wisdom, instruction, disciplining, rebuking, edification and the maturing process in general. It will be fun in ten years to turn again and consider the landscape. But for now I offer a psalm (which we did not discuss) that gives me great comfort as I consider the last mountain range of our life. I wonder why God doesn’t just call it “Israel & Rachelle’s biography.” Of course I know the answer. The answer is it is every Christian’s biography.

So with my precious lady primarily in mind I translated this psalm and edited it in a way that reflects the poetic nature of wisdom literature. Unfortunately, WordPress is not letting me insert all my formatting wants, but for what it is – Enjoy!

Psalm 31

1To the director, a melody of David.

2In You, O LORD, I seek refuge.
Never let me be ashamed;
in Your blameless ways deliver me.
3Turn Your ear toward me!
Quickly rescue me!
Be to me –
– a boulder of refuge
– a mountain fortress
to save me!
4For You are my rock
and my fortress so that for Your Name You lead me,
and  You  guide me.
5 You bring me out from the net they hid for me
for You are my refuge.
6Into your hand I entrust my spirit;
You ransomed me, O LORD God of truth.
7 I hate those who regard empty vanities,
But I trust in the LORD.

8I will shout
And rejoice in Your faithful love for You see my affliction
And You know the distress of my soul.
9 You have not delivered me to the hand of my enemy;
You set my feet in open spaces.
10Show me unearned favor, O LORD, for I am hard pressed;
I am weak from grief –
– my eye
– my spirit
– and my bosom.
11 For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years in sighing,
my strength staggers because of my guilt,
and my bones waste away.

12Due to all my enemies I have become
a reproach even to my neighbor,
A great dread even to my friends,
Passersby on the street flee from me,
13 I am forgotten,
Like I am dead,
Out of thought,
I am a ruined vessel.
14For I hear the malicious whispers of many,
terror all around,
as they sit united against me.
as they purpose to take my life.

15But I, I trust in You, O LORD.
I say, “You are my God.”
16In Your hand are my times.
Snatch me from the hand of my enemies
and from my persecutors!
17 Cause Your face to shine upon your slave!
Deliver me by Your faithful love!
18O LORD, let me not be ashamed for I call upon You!
Let the wicked be ashamed!
Let them be struck silent in Sheol!
19 Let the lying lips be mute of those who speak arrogantly against the righteous in pride and contempt.
20How great is Your goodness which You stockpile for those who fear You.
And You work for the refugees who come to you,
which the children of man witness.
21 You hide them with the covering of your face from the plots of man.
You store them in shelter away from the strife of tongues.

22 Blessed be the LORD for He wondrously displays His faithful love to me while in a city under siege.
23I had said in my alarm “I am cut from Your presence.”
But you heard the sound of my supplication when I cried out to you.
24Love the LORD all you His saints!
For the LORD preserves the faithful ones
but he repays in abundance the one who acts in pride.
25 Be strong! Let your hearts be bold, all you who wait upon the LORD!

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