Monday, June 24, 2013

Psalm 31

This is my paraphrase of Psalm 31, to be said responsively.

Lord, I seek your protection – keep me from further humiliation.
I seek deliverance from the only One Who always does what is right!
Please hear me; please rescue me.
Be a rock solid safe house for me.
To me you are like an inaccessible summit, and for the sake of that irrefutable reputation please lead me and guide me.
Even though some seek to ensnare me in their web of deceit, you will untangle me and strengthen me. 
You hold my life in your hands, and so I am certain that you will intervene on my behalf, because you are and always will be the God of Truth.
And because you alone are the God of Truth, I will avoid those who deal in worthless falsehoods and I will put my trust in you.
I know that this momentary affliction will give way to rejoicing and praise because you are merciful.
Yes, indeed!  You are a God who is well acquainted with my pain and well aware of how deeply distressed I am.
You will never allow me to be tripped up by those who seek my harm because you enable me to stand firmly.
Even so, dear Lord, I am in distress right now and I am in need of your divine favor.
My eyes are swollen because of my grief and I am emotionally exhausted.
My life appears to be ending in pain, and my final years in groaning.
My past sins haunt me and make me feel feeble and frail.
Those who seek my harm have caused others to distrust me and to abhor me.
They have even managed to turn my friends against me, so that they now feel awkward in my presence and consequently seek to avoid me.
I feel so lonely.  It is as if I am being erased from people’s memories like someone who has been deceased for a long time.
It is as if people regard me as something to be discarded like a worthless broken jar.
I hear what they are saying about me, and their slanderous whisperings cause me great distress.
When they plot together against me, they try to figure out how to take away my life.
Nevertheless, in spite of all this, I still trust you, dear Lord.
I still declare openly that you alone are my God!
You alone are the one who determines my destiny.
They can plot all they like, but you will rescue me from their powerful schemes.
Please let me become aware of your comforting smile once more.
Deliver me because of your unceasing faithfulness.
Lord, they seek to humiliate me, but I have called out to you for help.
Do to them as they seek to do to me and make them as silent as the grave.  Indeed, let arrogant and contemptuous lips that spread poisonous falsehoods about the innocent be silenced!
I marvel at the greatness of your goodness toward those who remain loyal to you.
It is plainly evident to everyone by the way you openly favor those who hide in you.
You enfold them in your secret presence and keep them safe from the snares of the slanderer.
You conceal them in a shelter where they are safe from harmful gossip.
Lord, you are worthy of my praise, because you have demonstrated your wondrous faithfulness to me while my life was under siege.
I mistakenly jumped to the wrong conclusion!  You were watching over me all the time and you never once left my side!  You heard every plea when I cried out for your help!
And so I encourage every one of you who seek to live godly lives:  Love the Lord your God!  Follow Him even blindly because He is known to preserve the faithful and He will pay back in full the arrogant and prideful.
Be strong and unwaveringly confident as you patiently continue to wait on Him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

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