Psalms  ◦   Chapter 35

1Neutralize all agents of selfishness that assail me;
attack and destroy the evil that infects me.

2Reinforce your breastplate of righteousness and your shield of love
and rise up to my defense.

3Wield your spearhead and piercing weapons
to pierce the hearts and cut through the hatred of those who pursue me.
Let me hear you say,
"I will surely save you."

4May those who seek to ravage my soul
be convicted with guilt and shame;
may those who plot to destroy me
be ashamed and turn their lives around.

5Let their plans be empty like husks blown away by the wind,
dispersed by the angel of the Lord;

6their methods are dark and slickly presented,
yet the angel of the Lord runs after them.

7Because they have laid traps for me without cause,
and without cause sought to trip me up,

8they will be ruined and never see it coming;
they entangle themselves in webs of their own deceit,
they fall to their ruin in the pit they have dug.

9But I will rejoice in the Lord
and celebrate his deliverance.

10With all my being I will proclaim:
"There is no one like you, O Lord!
You rescue the humble from the rulers of this selfish world —
the oppressed and coerced from their abuser."

11Malicious people make false allegations against me;
they accuse me of things I know nothing about.

12They return evil for good
and it breaks my heart.

13When they were wounded, my heart ached for them;
I empathized with fasting,
I prayed over and over again from my heart.

14I was weighed down with concern
as for my friends and family.
I broke down in sorrow,
weeping as if it were my mother.

15But when I was suffering, they got together to laugh;
they met in secret to plot their attacks —
they tore me down, constantly slandering me.

16Full of selfishness, they taunted me without mercy;
they snarled with hate in their eyes.

17O Lord, what you’ve seen — is it enough?
Bring back my life from their destruction,
your one and only from these beastly people.

18I will glorify you in the great cosmic assembly;
among the mighty throng I will praise you.

19Don’t let my enemies — all of whom have no reason to be —
triumph over me;
don’t let those who hate me without cause
succeed in their wicked schemes.

20They do not speak as friends;
no, they speak words to deceive
the peace-lovers on the earth.

21They open their mouths wide against me and say,
"Ha! We see how wrong you are."

22But Lord, you see the truth; don’t remain silent.
Do not stay away from me, O Lord!

23Act now and proclaim your verdict;
fight for me, O Lord my God.

24Vindicate me, O Lord my God, as your righteousness;
don’t let my enemies gloat over me.

25Don’t let them think, "We did it! We won!"
Don’t let them say, "We have destroyed him."

26Those who rejoice at my suffering
will be ashamed and know how wrong they have been;
those who exalt themselves over me
will cover themselves in disgrace and humiliation.

27Those who celebrate my victory of righteousness
will shout with overwhelming joy and gladness;
they will never doubt again and they will say forever, "Praise be to God
who delights in the success of his emissary!"

28I will tell others of your character and methods of love
and praise you forevermore.