The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh,
they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not be afraid,
and though there rise up war against me, yet will I put my trust in him.
One thing have I asked of the Lord and that alone I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the fair beauty of the Lord and to seek his will in his temple. For in the day of trouble he shall hide me in his shelter; in the secret place of his dwelling shall he hide me and set me high upon a rock.
And now shall he lift up my head above my enemies round about me; Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice, O Lord, when I call; have mercy upon me and answer me. My heart tells of your word, ‘Seek my face.’ Your face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not your face from me, nor cast your servant away in displeasure. You have been my helper; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. Though my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up. Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me on a level path, because of those who lie in wait for me.
Deliver me not into the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me, and those who breathe out violence.I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the Lord.
I will exalt you, O Lord, because you have raised me up and have not let my foes triumph over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to you and you have healed me. You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead; you restored me to life from among those that go down to the Pit.
Sing to the Lord, you servants of his; give thanks to his holy name. For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, his favour for a lifetime. Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
In my prosperity I said,
‘I shall never be moved. You, Lord, of your goodness, have made my hill so strong.’
Then you hid your face from me and I was utterly dismayed. To you, O Lord, I cried; to the Lord I made my supplication:
‘What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me; O Lord, be my helper.’
You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness; Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.
‘Look, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God.
As for you, you whitewash with lies; all of you are worthless physicians.
If you would only keep silent, that would be your wisdom!
Hear now my reasoning, and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak falsely for God, and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality towards him, will you plead the case for God?
Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another?
He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality.
Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you?
Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defences are defences of clay.
Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may.
I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand.
See, he will kill me; I have no hope; but I will defend my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him.
Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears.
I have indeed prepared my case; I know that I shall be vindicated.
Who is there that will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
Only grant two things to me, then I will not hide myself from your face:
withdraw your hand far from me, and do not let dread of you terrify me.
Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me.
How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
Why do you hide your face, and count me as your enemy?
Will you frighten a windblown leaf and pursue dry chaff?
For you write bitter things against me, and make me reap the iniquities of my youth.
You put my feet in the stocks, and watch all my paths;
you set a bound to the soles of my feet.
One wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress.
In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
God of truth, help us to keep your law of love and to walk in ways of wisdom, that we may find true life in Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.