Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 107

Bible text(s)

The Confession of a Sufferer

1I said, “I will be careful what I do

and will not let my tongue make me sin;

I will not say anything

while evil people are near.”

2I kept quiet, not saying a word,

not even about anything good!

But my suffering only grew worse,

3and I was overcome with anxiety.

The more I thought, the more troubled I became;

I could not keep from asking:

4LORD, how long will I live?

When will I die?

Tell me how soon my life will end.”

5How short you have made my life!

In your sight my lifetime seems nothing.

Indeed every living being is no more than a puff of wind,

6no more than a shadow.

All they do is for nothing;

they gather wealth, but don't know who will get it.

7What, then, can I hope for, Lord?

I put my hope in you.

8Save me from all my sins,

and don't let fools laugh at me.

9I will keep quiet, I will not say a word,

for you are the one who made me suffer like this.

10Don't punish me any more!

I am about to die from your blows.

11You punish our sins by your rebukes,

and like a moth you destroy what we love.

Indeed we are no more than a puff of wind!

12Hear my prayer, LORD,

and listen to my cry;

come to my aid when I weep.

Like all my ancestors

I am only your guest for a little while.

13Leave me alone so that I may have some happiness

before I go away and am no more.

A Song of Praise

1I waited patiently for the LORD's help;

then he listened to me and heard my cry.

2He pulled me out of a dangerous pit,

out of the deadly quicksand.

He set me safely on a rock

and made me secure.

3He taught me to sing a new song,

a song of praise to our God.

Many who see this will take warning

and will put their trust in the LORD.

4Happy are those who trust the LORD,

who do not turn to idols

or join those who worship false gods.

5You have done many things for us, O LORD our God;

there is no one like you!

You have made many wonderful plans for us.

I could never speak of them all —

their number is so great!

6You do not want sacrifices and offerings;

you do not ask for animals burnt whole on the altar

or for sacrifices to take away sins.

Instead, you have given me ears to hear you,

7and so I answered, “Here I am;

your instructions for me are in the book of the Law.

8How I love to do your will, my God!

I keep your teaching in my heart.”

9In the assembly of all your people, LORD,

I told the good news that you save us.

You know that I will never stop telling it.

10I have not kept the news of salvation to myself;

I have always spoken of your faithfulness and help.

In the assembly of all your people I have not been silent

about your loyalty and constant love.

11LORD, I know you will never stop being merciful to me.

Your love and loyalty will always keep me safe.

A Prayer for Help

(Ps 70)

12I am surrounded by many troubles —

too many to count!

My sins have caught up with me,

and I can no longer see;

they are more than the hairs of my head,

and I have lost my courage.

13Save me, LORD! Help me now!

14May those who try to kill me

be completely defeated and confused.

May those who are happy because of my troubles

be turned back and disgraced.

15May those who jeer at me

be dismayed by their defeat.

16May all who come to you

be glad and joyful.

May all who are thankful for your salvation

always say, “How great is the LORD!”

17I am weak and poor, O Lord,

but you have not forgotten me.

You are my saviour and my God —

hurry to my aid!

A Prayer in Sickness

1Happy are those who are concerned for the poor;

the LORD will help them when they are in trouble.

2The LORD will protect them and preserve their lives;

he will make them happy in the land;

he will not abandon them to the power of their enemies.

3The LORD will help them when they are sick

and will restore them to health.

4I said, “I have sinned against you, LORD;

be merciful to me and heal me.”

5My enemies say cruel things about me.

They want me to die and be forgotten.

6Those who come to see me are not sincere;

they gather bad news about me

and then go out and tell it everywhere.

7All who hate me whisper to each other about me,

they imagine the worst about me.

8They say, “He is fatally ill;

he will never leave his bed again.”

9Even my best friend, the one I trusted most,

the one who shared my food,

has turned against me.

10Be merciful to me, LORD, and restore my health,

and I will pay my enemies back.

11They will not triumph over me,

and I will know that you are pleased with me.

12You will help me, because I do what is right;

you will keep me in your presence for ever.

13Praise the LORD, the God of Israel!

Praise him now and for ever!

Amen! Amen!

Book Two

Psalms 42—72

The Prayer of Someone in Exile

1As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,

so I long for you, O God.

2I thirst for you, the living God;

when can I go and worship in your presence?

3Day and night I cry,

and tears are my only food;

all the time my enemies ask me,

“Where is your God?”

4My heart breaks when I remember the past,

when I went with the crowds to the house of God

and led them as they walked along,

a happy crowd, singing and shouting praise to God.

5Why am I so sad?

Why am I so troubled?

I will put my hope in God,

and once again I will praise him,

my saviour and my God.

6-7Here in exile my heart is breaking,

and so I turn my thoughts to him.

He has sent waves of sorrow over my soul;

chaos roars at me like a flood,

like waterfalls thundering down to the Jordan

from Mount Hermon and Mount Mizar.

8May the LORD show his constant love during the day,

so that I may have a song at night,

a prayer to the God of my life.

9To God, my defender, I say,

“Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I go on suffering

from the cruelty of my enemies?”

10I am crushed by their insults,

as they keep on asking me,

“Where is your God?”

11Why am I so sad?

Why am I so troubled?

I will put my hope in God,

and once again I will praise him,

my saviour and my God.

The Prayer of Someone in Exile

(Continuation of Ps 42)

1O God, declare me innocent,

and defend my cause against the ungodly;

deliver me from lying and evil people!

2You are my protector;

why have you abandoned me?

Why must I go on suffering

from the cruelty of my enemies?

3Send your light and your truth;

may they lead me

and bring me back to Zion, your sacred hill,

and to your Temple, where you live.

4Then I will go to your altar, O God;

you are the source of my happiness.

I will play my harp and sing praise to you,

O God, my God.

5Why am I so sad?

Why am I so troubled?

I will put my hope in God,

and once again I will praise him,

my saviour and my God.

A Prayer for Protection

1With our own ears we have heard it, O God —

our ancestors have told us about it,

about the great things you did in their time,

in the days of long ago:

2how you yourself drove out the heathen

and established your people in their land;

how you punished the other nations

and caused your own to prosper.

3Your people did not conquer the land with their swords;

they did not win it by their own power;

it was by your power and your strength,

by the assurance of your presence,

which showed that you loved them.

4You are my king and my God;

you give victory to your people,

5and by your power we defeat our enemies.

6I do not trust in my bow

or in my sword to save me;

7but you have saved us from our enemies

and defeated those who hate us.

8We will always praise you

and give thanks to you for ever.

9But now you have rejected us and let us be defeated;

you no longer march out with our armies.

10You made us run from our enemies,

and they took for themselves what was ours.

11You allowed us to be slaughtered like sheep;

you scattered us in foreign countries.

12You sold your own people for a small price

as though they had little value.

13Our neighbours see what you did to us,

and they mock us and laugh at us.

14You have made us an object of contempt among the nations;

they shake their heads at us in scorn.

15I am always in disgrace;

I am covered with shame

16from hearing the sneers and insults

of my enemies and those who hate me.

17All this has happened to us,

even though we have not forgotten you

or broken the covenant you made with us.

18We have not been disloyal to you;

we have not disobeyed your commands.

19Yet you left us helpless among wild animals;

you abandoned us in deepest darkness.

20If we had stopped worshipping our God

and prayed to a foreign god,

21you would surely have discovered it,

because you know our secret thoughts.

22But it is on your account that we are being killed all the time,

that we are treated like sheep to be slaughtered.

23Wake up, Lord! Why are you asleep?

Rouse yourself! Don't reject us for ever!

24Why are you hiding from us?

Don't forget our suffering and trouble!

25We fall crushed to the ground;

we lie defeated in the dust.

26Come to our aid!

Because of your constant love save us!

Psalms 39:1-44:26GNBOpen in Bible reader
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