Psalm 181I love you, GOD- you make me strong.
2GOD is bedrock under my feet,
the castle in which I live,
my rescuing knight.
My God--the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.
3I sing to GOD, the Praise-Lofty,
and find myself safe and saved.
4The hangman's noose was tight at my throat;
devil waters rushed over me.
5Hell's ropes cinched me tight;
death traps barred every exit.
6A hostile world! I call to GOD,
I cry to God to help me.
From his palace he hears my call;
my cry brings me right into his presence--
a private audience!
7Earth wobbles and lurches;
huge mountains shake like leaves,
Quake like aspen leaves
because of his rage.
8His nostrils flare, bellowing smoke;
his mouth spits fire.
Tongues of fire dart in and out;
9he lowers the sky.
He steps down;
under his feet an abyss opens up.
10He's riding a winged creature,
swift on wind--wings.
11Now he's wrapped himself
in a trenchcoat of black-cloud darkness.
12But his cloud-brightness bursts through,
spraying hailstones and fireballs.
13Then GOD thundered out of heaven;
the High God gave a great shout,
spraying hailstones and fireballs.
14God shoots his arrows--pandemonium!
He hurls his lightnings--a rout!
15The secret sources of ocean are exposed,
the hidden depths of earth lie uncovered
The moment you roar in protest,
let loose your hurricane anger.
16But me he caught--reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, 17that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
18They hit me when I was down,
but GOD stuck by me.
19He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved--surprised to be loved!
20GOD made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
21Now I'm alert to GOD's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
22Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
23I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
24GOD rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
25The good people taste your goodness,
The whole people taste your health,
26The true people taste your truth,
The bad ones can't figure you out.
27You take the side of the down--and-out,
But the stuck-up you take down a peg.
28Suddenly, GOD, you floodlight my life;
I'm blazing with glory, God's glory!
29I smash the bands of marauders,
I vault the highest fences.
30What a God! His road
stretches straight and smooth.
Every GOD-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
31Is there any god like GOD?
Are we not at bedrock?
32Is not this the God who armed me,
then aimed me in the right direction?
33Now I run like a deer;
I'm king of the mountain.
34He shows me how to fight;
I can bend a bronze bow!
35You protect me with salvation--armor;
you hold me up with a firm hand,
caress me with your gentle ways.
36You cleared the ground under me
so my footing was firm.
37When I chased my enemies I caught them;
I didn't let go till they were dead men.
38I nailed them; they were down for good;
then I walked all over them.
39You armed me well for this fight,
you smashed the upstarts.
40You made my enemies turn tail,
and I wiped out the haters.
41They cried "uncle"
but Uncle didn't come;
They yelled for GOD
and got no for an answer.
42I ground them to dust; they gusted in the wind.
I threw them out, like garbage in the gutter.
43You rescued me from a squabbling people;
you made me a leader of nations.
People I'd never heard of served me;
44the moment they got wind of me they listened.
The foreign devils gave up; 45they came
on their bellies, crawling from their hideouts.
46Live, GOD! Blessings from my Rock,
my free and freeing God, towering!
47This God set things right for me
and shut up the people who talked back.
48He rescued me from enemy anger,
he pulled me from the grip of upstarts,
He saved me from the bullies.
49That's why I'm thanking you, GOD,
all over the world.
That's why I'm singing songs
that rhyme your name.
50God's king takes the trophy;
God's chosen is beloved.
I mean David and all his children--
The Message (Eugene Peterson)
Rest well in the knowledge that He is Sovereign.
In case anyone else out there needs this tonight as much as I do...