Psalms  ◦   Chapter 55

1As I talk to you, O God, take seriously what I say
and consider earnestly my plea;

2take to heart what I am saying and give me your best answer.
I am restless, uneasy; with my mind unable to relax, I am in agony of thought

3because the words of the enemies echo in my head.
The selfish glare at me
and seek to bring evil down upon me;
they hate me and are bitter toward me.

4My heart is pounding in my chest;
I am terrified — I feel like I am going to die.

5Panic-stricken I shake uncontrollably;
I feel like I am drowning — it is horrible!

6I cry, "Oh, if I only had wings like a dove!
I could escape; I could fly away and be safe —

7I would fly far away
and rest in a quiet place free of people;

8I would swoop down quickly to my safe haven,
far from the blowhards and the rages and tempests of life."

9Destroy their wicked words and silence their speech,
for I have seen violence and fighting inhabit their city.

10Day and night hostility prowls its walls;
selfishness, hatred and abuse live within it.

11Destruction is everywhere;
fraud and extortion are rampant in its streets.

12If it was only an enemy that was insulting me,
I could handle it;
if it was only someone who hated me that was against me,
I could avoid them;

13but it is you — my counselors,
my confidants, my dear friends!

14We had such a good friendship, sharing our hearts with each other; we even worshipped together in God’s Temple.

15Desolation swirls round about them;
may death take them quickly,
for evil and selfishness are permanent residents in their hearts.

16But I will call to God for help,
and the Lord will heal me.

17No matter when it is — morning, noon or night —
that I voice my concerns,
he hears me.

18He restores my inner self to his perfect design,
healing all the damage from the war
despite all those who opposed me.

19God, who has ruled in love for all eternity,
will proclaim their accurate diagnosis
that they are hardened in selfishness beyond change —
they have no respect for God.

20My former friends attack those with whom they have agreements;
they betray their trust.

21They speak smooth words to butter a person up,
but in their hearts, they plot their attack;
their words are like oil, intended to soften a person up
as they seek to stab them in the back.

22Pour all your worries, frustrations and burdens on the Lord
and he will care for you;
he never allows those restored to his design to be lost.

23But you, O God, will not prevent the wicked from going down
into decay in the grave —
murderers and liars
will die young.
But as for me, I trust in you.