Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 217

Psalms 87–89 & 91–92

Bible text(s)

In Praise of Jerusalem

1The LORD built his city on the sacred hill;

2more than any other place in Israel

he loves the city of Jerusalem.

3Listen, city of God,

to the wonderful things he says about you:

4“I will include Egypt and Babylonia

when I list the nations that obey me;

I will number among the inhabitants of Jerusalem

the people of Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia.”

5Of Zion it will be said

that all nations belong there

and that the Almighty will make her strong.

6The LORD will write a list of the peoples

and include them all as citizens of Jerusalem.

7They dance and sing,

“In Zion is the source of all our blessings.”

A Cry for Help

1LORD God, my saviour, I cry out all day,

and at night I come before you.

2Hear my prayer;

listen to my cry for help!

3So many troubles have fallen on me

that I am close to death.

4I am like all others who are about to die;

all my strength is gone.

5I am abandoned among the dead;

I am like the slain lying in their graves,

those you have forgotten completely,

who are beyond your help.

6You have thrown me into the depths of the tomb,

into the darkest and deepest pit.

7Your anger lies heavy on me,

and I am crushed beneath its waves.

8You have caused my friends to abandon me;

you have made me repulsive to them.

I am closed in and cannot escape;

9my eyes are weak from suffering.

LORD, every day I call to you

and lift my hands to you in prayer.

10Do you perform miracles for the dead?

Do they rise up and praise you?

11Is your constant love spoken of in the grave

or your faithfulness in the place of destruction?

12Are your miracles seen in that place of darkness

or your goodness in the land of the forgotten?

13LORD, I call to you for help;

every morning I pray to you.

14Why do you reject me, LORD?

Why do you turn away from me?

15Ever since I was young, I have suffered and been near death;

I am worn out from the burden of your punishments.

16Your furious anger crushes me;

your terrible attacks destroy me.

17All day long they surround me like a flood;

they close in on me from every side.

18You have made even my closest friends abandon me,

and darkness is my only companion.

A Hymn in Time of National Trouble

1O LORD, I will always sing of your constant love;

I will proclaim your faithfulness for ever.

2I know that your love will last for all time,

that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky.

3You said, “I have made a covenant with the man I chose;

I have promised my servant David,

4‘A descendant of yours will always be king;

I will preserve your dynasty for ever.’ ”

5The heavens sing of the wonderful things you do;

the holy ones sing of your faithfulness, LORD.

6No one in heaven is like you, LORD;

none of the heavenly beings is your equal.

7You are feared in the council of the holy ones;

and all of them stand in awe of you.

8LORD God Almighty, none is as mighty as you;

in all things you are faithful, O LORD.

9You rule over the powerful sea;

you calm its angry waves.

10You crushed the monster Rahab and killed it;

with your mighty strength you defeated your enemies.

11Heaven is yours, the earth also;

you made the world and everything in it.

12You created the north and the south;

Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon sing to you for joy.

13How powerful you are!

How great is your strength!

14Your kingdom is founded on righteousness and justice;

love and faithfulness are shown in all you do.

15How happy are the people who worship you with songs,

who live in the light of your kindness!

16Because of you they rejoice all day long,

and they praise you for your goodness.

17You give us great victories;

in your love you make us triumphant.

18You, O LORD, chose our protector;

you, the Holy God of Israel, gave us our king.

God's Promise to David

19In a vision long ago you said to your faithful servants,

“I have given help to a famous soldier;

I have given the throne to one I chose from the people.

20I have made my servant David king

by anointing him with holy oil.

21My strength will always be with him,

my power will make him strong.

22His enemies will never succeed against him;

the wicked will not defeat him.

23I will crush his foes

and kill everyone who hates him.

24I will love him and be loyal to him;

I will make him always victorious.

25I will extend his kingdom

from the Mediterranean to the River Euphrates.

26He will say to me,

‘You are my father and my God;

you are my protector and saviour.’

27I will make him my firstborn son,

the greatest of all kings.

28I will always keep my promise to him,

and my covenant with him will last for ever.

29His dynasty will be as permanent as the sky;

a descendant of his will always be king.

30“But if his descendants disobey my law

and do not live according to my commands,

31if they disregard my instructions

and do not keep my commandments,

32then I will punish them for their sins;

I will make them suffer for their wrongs.

33But I will not stop loving David

or fail to keep my promise to him.

34I will not break my covenant with him

or take back even one promise I made him.

35“Once and for all I have promised by my holy name:

I will never lie to David.

36He will always have descendants,

and I will watch over his kingdom as long as the sun shines.

37It will be as permanent as the moon,

that faithful witness in the sky.”

Lament over the Defeat of the King

38But you are angry with your chosen king;

you have deserted and rejected him.

39You have broken your covenant with your servant

and thrown his crown in the mud.

40You have torn down the walls of his city

and left his forts in ruins.

41All who pass by steal his belongings;

all his neighbours laugh at him.

42You have given the victory to his enemies;

you have made them all happy.

43You have made his weapons useless

and let him be defeated in battle.

44You have taken away his royal sceptre

and hurled his throne to the ground.

45You have made him old before his time

and covered him with disgrace.

A Prayer for Deliverance

46LORD, will you hide yourself for ever?

How long will your anger burn like fire?

47Remember how short my life is;

remember that you created all of us mortal!

48Who can live and never die?

How can human beings keep themselves from the grave?

49Lord, where are the former proofs of your love?

Where are the promises you made to David?

50Don't forget how I, your servant, am insulted,

how I endure all the curses of the heathen.

51Your enemies insult your chosen king, O LORD!

They insult him wherever he goes.

52Praise the LORD for ever!

Amen! Amen!

God our Protector

1Whoever goes to the LORD for safety,

whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty,

2can say to him,

“You are my defender and protector.

You are my God; in you I trust.”

3He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers

and from all deadly diseases.

4He will cover you with his wings;

you will be safe in his care;

his faithfulness will protect and defend you.

5You need not fear any dangers at night

or sudden attacks during the day

6or the plagues that strike in the dark

or the evils that kill in daylight.

7A thousand may fall dead beside you,

10,000 all round you,

but you will not be harmed.

8You will look and see

how the wicked are punished.

9You have made the LORD your defender,

the Most High your protector,

10and so no disaster will strike you,

no violence will come near your home.

11God will put his angels in charge of you

to protect you wherever you go.

12They will hold you up with their hands

to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones.

13You will trample down lions and snakes,

fierce lions and poisonous snakes.

14God says, “I will save those who love me

and will protect those who acknowledge me as LORD.

15When they call to me, I will answer them;

when they are in trouble, I will be with them.

I will rescue them and honour them.

16I will reward them with long life;

I will save them.”

A Song of Praise

1How good it is to give thanks to you, O LORD,

to sing in your honour, O Most High God,

2to proclaim your constant love every morning

and your faithfulness every night,

3with the music of stringed instruments

and with melody on the harp.

4Your mighty deeds, O LORD, make me glad;

because of what you have done, I sing for joy.

5How great are your actions, LORD!

How deep are your thoughts!

6This is something a fool cannot know;

a stupid person cannot understand:

7the wicked may grow like weeds,

those who do wrong may prosper;

yet they will be totally destroyed,

8because you, LORD, are supreme for ever.

9We know that your enemies will die,

and all the wicked will be defeated.

10You have made me as strong as a wild ox;

you have blessed me with happiness.

11I have seen the defeat of my enemies

and heard the cries of the wicked.

12The righteous will flourish like palm trees;

they will grow like the cedars of Lebanon.

13They are like trees planted in the house of the LORD,

that flourish in the Temple of our God,

14that still bear fruit in old age

and are always green and strong.

15This shows that the LORD is just,

that there is no wrong in my protector.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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