Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me;
he fights and oppresses me all day long.
2 My adversaries trample me all day,
for many arrogantly fight against me.[a]3 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?5 They twist my words all day long;
all their thoughts against me are evil.
6 They stir up strife,[b] they lurk;
they watch my steps
while they wait to take my life.
7 Will they escape in spite of such sin?
God, bring down the nations in wrath.8 You yourself have recorded my wanderings.[c]
Put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
9 Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me.10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere humans do to me?12 I am obligated by vows[d] to you, God;
I will make my thank offerings to you.
13 For you rescued me from death,
even my feet from stumbling,
to walk before God in the light of life.
In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
2 “Lord, rescue me from lying lips
and a deceitful tongue.”3 What will he give you,
and what will he do to you,
you deceitful tongue?
4 A warrior’s sharp arrows
with burning charcoal![a]5 What misery that I have stayed in Meshech,[b]
that I have lived among the tents of Kedar![c]
6 I have dwelt too long
with those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace; but when I speak,
they are for war.
Rescue me, Lord, from evil men.
Keep me safe from violent men
2 who plan evil in their hearts.
They stir up wars all day long.
3 They make their tongues
as sharp as a snake’s bite;
viper’s venom is under their lips.Selah4 Protect me, Lord,
from the power of the wicked.
Keep me safe from violent men
who plan to make me stumble.[a]
5 The proud hide a trap with ropes for me;
they spread a net along the path
and set snares for me.Selah6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
Listen, Lord, to my cry for help.
7 Lord, my Lord, my strong Savior,
you shield my head on the day of battle.
8 Lord, do not grant the desires of the wicked;
do not let them achieve their goals.
Otherwise, they will become proud.Selah9 When those who surround me rise up,[b]
may the trouble their lips cause overwhelm them.
10 Let hot coals fall on them.
Let them be thrown into the fire,
into the abyss, never again to rise.
11 Do not let a slanderer stay in the land.
Let evil relentlessly[c] hunt down a violent man.12 I[d] know that the Lord upholds
the just cause of the poor,
justice for the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name;
the upright will live in your presence.
Protection from Sin and Sinners
A psalm of David.
1 Lord, I call on you; hurry to help me.
Listen to my voice when I call on you.
2 May my prayer be set before you as incense,
the raising of my hands as the evening offering.3 Lord, set up a guard for my mouth;
keep watch at the door of my lips.
4 Do not let my heart turn to any evil thing
or perform wicked acts
with men who commit sin.
Do not let me feast on their delicacies.
5 Let the righteous one strike me—
it is an act of faithful love;
let him rebuke me—
it is oil for my head;
let me[e] not refuse it.
Even now my prayer is against
the evil acts of the wicked.[f]
6 When their rulers[g] will be thrown off
the sides of a cliff,
the people[h] will listen to my words,
for they are pleasing.7 As when one plows and breaks up the soil,
turning up rocks,
so our[i] bones have been scattered
at the mouth of Sheol.8 But my eyes look to you, Lord, my Lord.
I seek refuge in you; do not let me die.[j]
9 Protect me from the trap they have set for me,
and from the snares of evildoers.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by safely.
A Cry of Distress
A Maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.
1 I cry aloud to the Lord;
I plead aloud to the Lord for mercy.
2 I pour out my complaint before him;
I reveal my trouble to him.
3 Although my spirit is weak within me,
you know my way.
Along this path I travel
they have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see:[k]
no one stands up for me;
there is no refuge for me;
no one cares about me.5 I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my shelter,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am very weak.
Rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Free me from prison
so that I can praise your name.
The righteous will gather around me
because you deal generously with me.
In today’s scripture readings there is a common theme of the hurtful power in words. Psalm 56:5 teaches us that others will use our words against us while Psalm 120:1 says that God will deliver us from lying lips. King David in Psalm 141:3 asks that God would place a guard on his lips. To have “a guard placed upon our lips” is a good thought for today. The guards of David’s day would be set at the city gates and no one would pass through the gates unless they were approved. Ask God today that He would place a guard around your lips so that the words that come out would only be those that He approves of. It is better to keep those hurtful words within than to spend our days trying to repair the damage done.