on Psalm 51
O God, Your Word shows me my failure,
and your Spirit makes me feel
how appalling my behaviour, –
which I can’t from you conceal.
Cleanse in mercy, love and pity;
teach me wisdom in my heart,
inward truth, blot out iniquity;
do not cast me off, depart.
Those who’ve tasted precious kindness,
full forgiveness, guilt relieved,
fellowship with God, his goodness
felt, and mercy, joy received,
will delight to teach transgressors,
roused by God to give him praise:
Saviour, fill my lips with treasures,
turning sinners to your ways.
This will not be merely duty,
or attempt to gain reward,
but 0ne pardoned who was guilty
glad to humbly serve my Lord.
Build up Zion, make it prosper,
cleansed by mercy, your delight, –
filled with adoration, wonder,
worshipping through Christ aright!
on Psalm 52
A tongue that cuts,
and plots to hurt,
loves harmful words, and lies;
its owner strong
boasts all day long, –
disgraceful in God’s eyes.
But God will bring
you down for sin,
your wealth will soon be gone;
you trusted that,
your purse grew fat
destroying other men.
We’ll see his fall,
– he did not call
on God for his provision.
God does not fail,
I flourish still,
and trust in his salvation.
on Psalm 53
“There is no God”: the fool’s opinion.
But God observes to see if anyone
now understands, and seeks their Maker,
but none do good, they tempt each other,
consume, oppress God’s people precious,
and will not learn that that is useless.
They’re filled with dread unreal, unreasonable,
and will not call on God dependable,
despising him, so he despised them.
But soon there will be restoration:
be glad, rejoice in full salvation.
on Psalm 54
Remember to pray when the crises come;
remember to pray, not just talk or fret;
remember to detail in prayer, explain;
he’s glad to be told, and he won’t forget
to help and deliver his child, sustain:
our God and his truth will triumph again!
Their evil will slay them, the Lord must repay,
for slander and malice must not succeed.
Our Maker is good and he’s faithful, just.
They’r seeking my life, and they will not heed
God’s word, but in hatred attack, and thrust.
Surely God is my help: I will praise and trust.
on Psalm 55
They’re schemeing all around,
I’m full of troubled thought,
they cause me suffering, – terrors loom,
I’m fearful and distraught.
I’d like to fly away,
I’d like to hide and sleep,
far from the violent city where
destructive forces creep.
Confuse the wicked, Lord,
confound their speech, curtail
their threats and lies. On God I cast
my care – he will not fail.
But saddest far when friends
whose fellowship seemed sweet,
thrust deep with words as smooth as oil,
faithlessly wield deceit.
The wicked you will down;
the righteous will not fall.
So as for me, I, day and night
trust God, and on him call.
God reigns unchanged, and hears;
the godless have no fear,
or awe of God, and will not change, –
their judgement day is near.
on Psalm 56
They hotly pursue with slander and lies,
they press their attack, proud plottings devise.
When I am afraid.
In God I will trust.
For mercy I prayed –
he’s able and just.
They twist all my words, they lurk and they plan:
but fleeting the foulest schemings of man.
Record my lament, you know every tear;
my foes will withdraw: the Judge will appear.
Men’s schemes are cut short. God saves me from death,
and stumbling. With God, I’m walking in faith.
In God I will trust,
his Word I will praise.
He’s able and just,
I fear not men’s ways.
on Psalm 57
Their teeth and tongues like swords and spears,
these ravenous beasts pursue.
I hide in God, and call, – he hears,
and saves; – rebukes them too.
Have mercy, shelter me in love,
fulfil your plans for me,
O God, exalted high above, –
your faithfulness we’ll see.
They spread a net, I felt oppressed.
Themselves they hurt, not me.
No longer bowed, depressed, distressed,
I trust God steadfastly.
Awake, my soul, and sing his love,
make music, sing his praise.
O God, exalted high above, –
on earth your glory raise.
on Psalm 58
Responsibility is great
of those who rule, or judgements state,
but many think they can oppress,
deaf to their Judge, they cause distress.
O God, prevent their vicious bite,
their fangs remove, and out of sight
they’ll vanish quickly, disappear
– O, bring an end to their career!
Then men will see that God is just:
we’re glad he sweeps away as dust
all wicked mutinous life outpoured,
and righteousness receives reward.
on Psalm 59
Deliver, O God, from malicious attack.
It’s not for offence that they’re hitting me back.
Lord God, conquer wickedness, evil subdue.
You laugh at the folly that pride leads men to.
These dogs prowl at night, but their actions are seen.
I’ll sing in the morning, – you will intervene.
Their words spew like swords, and they snarl, howl with greed:
– O, show them your anger in ways that men heed.
on Psalm 60
You shake your people and your land,
but those you love are praying.
God builds his kingdom, – all the earth,
his ownership’s displaying.
Our victory must come from God,
man’s help is truly worthless.
(If you no longer go with us,
our efforts will be fruitless.)
on Psalm 61
O God, my refuge for so long,
my reverent vows you heard,
and covered with protection strong:
rich gospel grace outpoured.
But now my heart grows faint, I call
– I’m weak, but you are strong,
lead to my Rock, who’s over all,
for your embrace I long.
Increase my days of usefulness,
to heaven safely bring
by constant love and faithfulness, –
where I will serve and sing.
on Psalm 62
My soul finds rest in God alone,
my Rock, salvation, – on my own
I’m weak, – in him secure I’ll stand; –
with guile, my downfall they intend.
Pour out your hearts – your problems and your praise
to God your Refuge, trust in him always.
God spoke, and we can read, and read again
of grace and power, and justice to all men.
For men are faint, and fickle and unsure.
Don’t set your heart on riches insecure,
or take what others rightfully now own:
my soul find rest in God alone.
on Psalm 63
O God, my God, I seek, I thirst,
as in a desert place,
to feel again as seen at first,
your glory, power and grace.
Your love is more than life, I’ll sing
life-long in praise, and pray
in Christ; well-satisfied, I’ll cling,
upheld from day to day.
At night I’ll think of grace you’ve shown,
I will remember you,
my murderous foes will be cast down,
and liars silenced too.
on Psalm 64
They sharpen words to shoot,
snares cunningly conceal:
hide me from their conspiracies –
they boast, no fear feel.
Hear me, O God, protect,
and hide me from their noise,
so may the righteous praise the Lord,
take refuge and rejoice.
Then all mankind will see
God’s works, and think of him:
the wicked’s words will hurt themselves,
sharp judgements God will bring.
on Psalm 65
In Zion, you are truly praised,
and vows to you are made;
for you’re the God who always hears,
and knows what we have prayed.
From every country men will come,
to humbly make request,
– your Spirit’s sword reveals their need,
shows how they can be blessed.
Our sins are great and overwhelm,
but Christ atonement made
by dying. Cleanse us from our sin, –
your honour is displayed
in choosing, drawing men to come,
your gospel to believe.
So we are satisfied and filled
with blessings we receive!
Your deeds of righteousness bring awe,
O God our Saviour great, –
the hope of men on farthest sea
and every far-flung state.
You formed the mountains by your power.
Your might’s not laid aside,
but used in stilling waters, strife,
opposing human pride!
Men far apart hear startling news;
your awesome deeds cause fear;
but also, when your grace is known,
rich songs of joy we hear.
Despite the curse which sin procured,
you richly give the rain,
and all that’s needed to provide
abundant, fruitful grain.
Where farmers work and gardeners toil,
your bounty’s always seen,
and even on the open hills,
you make the pastures green;
and exclamations of delight
spring from our hearts; the earth
gives daily, yearly praise to God
for all that he brings forth.
Tune: CMD e.g. St Matthew by William Croft
on Psalm 66
All the earth should sing God’s glory,
praise with joy, his deeds make known.
Mighty power that stills the fury
of his enemies, they’ll own;
and he moulds us through affliction,
into such a rich salvation.
Come and see, – the sea was parted,
he is Ruler, and sees all.
Let no mutiny be started.
God has heard my vows and call.
Come and hear of grace astounding,
shunning evil, praise abounding.
Tune:87.87.88 eg Gounod by C F Gounod (87.87.77)
on Psalm 67
May God be gracious, smile and bless us:
so that the world may learn your ways,
your great salvation, rule and guidance.
May all the nations sing your praise,
with joyful reverence everywhere;
bring us in grace a harvest here:
our God will bless and hear our prayer!
on Psalm 68
May God now arise and his enemies scatter,
his foes flee, like smoke blown away,
like wax may they melt, at his might and his power;
but joy for the righteous we pray.
Sing to the Lord, King of heaven,
God of compassion and grace;
sinners persistent he’ll vanquish
(– they’d fed from a dry, desert place).
His is the Kingdom, eternal, supreme;
his power shook the earth, and made armies cower.
Our God is a God who will save from death;
he shepherds, with many a refreshing shower.
May the war-loving nations be scattered, gone,
and homage be brought to th’almighty King.
Returning, and leading his people home;
empowered and strengthened, your praises we sing.
on Psalm 69
You know my folly and my guilt,
I weep and fast – your wounds I’ve felt:
repentant, sorrowing, – you see;
– but some make fun, they slander me, –
false claims, and make life difficult.
In scorning me, they God insult.
I look for sympathy, concern,
but even relatives have gone.
I love your house, revere your name:
don’t let me cause confusion, shame.
I sink, and slide, and nearly drown,
but cry for help, in pain I groan.
I call, and call (so parched my throat);
the poor will see and gladly note
how you deliver, surely save
in mercy, faithful ones you love.
We praise: the needy’s call God hears;
he treasures all our trust and tears.
Judge evil, bring true justice soon,
and may their triumphs come to doom,
the traitor’s place be empty; fill
your church with those who love your will:
may heaven and earth praise as you build
your holy kingdom, all fulfilled.
on Psalm 70
Hasten, Lord, with my salvation.
I’m so needy, don’t delay.
Bring to shame, disgrace, confusion
those who seek my hurt today.
All who love you will rejoice,
exalting God with praising voice.
on Psalm 71
In you O LORD, I’ve refuge found,
do not abandon me to shame,
deliver me from men who hound,
and more and more I’ll praise your name.
O Sovereign LORD, you gave me birth
to life, and hope that will not cease:
you will lift up from pits of earth,
your saving power is fathomless.
I’m old and deeply troubled, weak, –
some think you’ve left me, but I seek
your help, – confound them; as for me,
secure in hope I’ll ever be.
With joy I will praise, and the things you have taught
I want to teach others, but need your support,
to tell of your splendour, instructing the youth
of the deeds of your might, and righteousness, truth.
on Psalm 72
The king of God’s people has need to be righteous,
with wisdom for justice, compassion and care,
defending the poor, and the nation will flourish, –
prosperity, godliness, fruitfulness share.
His name will endure, be honoured world-wide;
all nations through him will be blessed, and extol.
The LORD who alone does great wonders be praised
for ever, the earth with his glory be full.
on Psalm 73
Surely God is good to Israel,
to the purified in heart;
but I almost slipped, I’m feeble, –
thoughts confused by Satan’s art.
Sometimes things seem so perplexing –
flagrant sinners prosper well;
godly saints are tried, not lacking
what is good, but may feel ill.
Those, however, who are callous,
seem from struggles, burdens free;
healthy, clothed in pride and violence,
won’t believe that God can see.
Then I thought, ‘In vain my labour
to be holy’, ’til my eyes
cleared to see the rebels’ future, –
for the Judge will soon arise.
I’ve been foolish so to doubt you,
for you teach and hold my hand,
– it is always good so near you,
brought to glory in the end.
I desire nothing other, –
when my heart and flesh will fail,
God will be my portion ever,
strength of heart for one so frail.
on Psalm 74
Your people are crushed, and
your meeting-place burned,
instruction is hushed, and
your name has been scorned.
Why must we still suffer?
Your covenant remember:
How long must we mourn?
O King of creation,
of judgement, and deeds
that saved, blessed the nation
– observe our deep needs.
Rise up, LORD to action,
and do not ignore
the dark situation:
your honour restore.
on Psalm 75
Your Name is great, your Name is near,
your actions wonderful; we hear
with awe, and thanks, as many tell
of what you’ve done, and will do, well.
The LORD, our God, has firm control,
things shake and quake, but through it all,
the pillars are held firm, he reigns,
his judgement falls when he ordains.
Raise not your strength and pride in scorn,
or soon your downfall-day will dawn,
and you will drink what God serves up:
appropriate judgement, well-earned ‘cup’.
And those who righteousness embrace,
are justified by faith, – God’s grace
ignites their praise, and will adorn
with honour, strength, like crowning horn.
on Psalm 76
God’s place was attacked, –
the weapons he cracked.
Then who should we fear?
of whom be in awe?
Resplendent with light,
your anger is right:
which none can withstand,
your judgement’s pronouncement;
by just, fair command
you save the afflicted:
make warring to cease,
and evil restrained.
Bring gifts and make peace,
submit, own the LORD.
on Psalm 77
To God I cried for help,
sought him when in distress,
at night incessantly I prayed,
felt fully comfortless.
Remembering God, I groaned,
I mused, and grew more faint.
I could not sleep, and could not speak,
and questioned my complaint:
Will the Lord reject me, pass by me for ever?
Will he never mercy bestow again?
Has his love unfailing now vanished? – and never
may I plead his offer to sinful men?
Has that promise failed, am I really so hopeless?
Has the Lord forgotten his grace to show?
or in anger held back compassion and kindness?
Can I never comfort, acceptance know?
In anguish I remember
the powerful works of wonder
of God’s redemptive might,
his holiness incomparable,
unequalled, and unfathomable;
– though we don’t see the way he takes,
his flock he’ll lead aright.
on Psalm 78
We must to our children pass on
the laws and the ways of the LORD,
the wonderful things he has done,
the dangers of scorning his Word:
so they his commands will obey,
and faithfully trust him today.
Some saw his miraculous provisions,
yet doubted, demanded, did not
believe, nor in new situations
trust God to take care of their lot.
Returning when feeling his rod,
but still did not fully love God.
Full anger was often withheld,
but tasted to warn them, to sting,
pull back, – but they often rebelled:
frail flock of a wise Shepherd-King.
His temple and king set in place,
informed them of rule and of grace.
on Psalm 79
God let the nations invade,
his temple destroy,
but now his people have prayed,
the sins their fathers displayed –
for mercy they pray:
Forgive us, deliver,
repay those who slander
your name, and ignore you.
Our praise will outpour, through-
-out all generations.
Let all of the nations
observe God is living,
and gracious, forgiving,
but also omniscient,
and allocates punishment.
on Psalm 80
Great Shepherd, Leader of your flock,
and mercy’s King, we pray
stir up your might to save, restore,
look down with grace today.
We sense that you are grieved, and wait,
chastising, bringing tears.
Our enemies have mocked and scorned:
we cry to God, – who hears.
Your vine is ravaged, LORD, return,
look down, protect, restore,
revive us so we will not turn,
shine on us evermore.
on Psalm 81
Sing, shout for joy – his salvation recall:
remember his rescue, remember your prayer;
remember, take warning, from faith not to fall.
Now open your mouth to receive gracious care,
be filled with his Spirit, be careful to heed
instructions to listen and follow his ways
– your foes he’ll subdue, he will bless you and feed,
and satisfy richly:
obey him and praise.
on Psalm 82
God assesses and is just,
the Judge of every nation,
righteous and omniscient;
with perfect comprehension.
You who judge today, and rule, –
for truth you should be caring
(founding principles for earth) –
an awesome role you’re bearing.
Schemes against the poor, the weak:
defend them from oppression
by the wicked – don’t excuse
the cruel exploitation.
Soon, you too will die, and then,
like other men, appear
at God’s throne to give account:
seek wisdom, godly fear.
on Psalm 83
O God, don’t keep quiet;
O God, don’t be still:
Your foes are astir,
their heads boldly rear,
with cunning conspire, –
but you hold us dear.
They’re banding togther,
destruction their aim
– to blot altogether
from memory our name.
How futile and foolish –
now may it be seen
their schemes cannot flourish –
consumed as by flame.
Lord, bring them to shame,
your power display,
may men seek your name,
and worship today.
on Psalm 84
Blessèd state, to be with him
—near to you, my LORD and King;
and I yearn, athirst to be
in your presence constantly.
Sparrows have their temple nest:
there I too would come to rest.
On to praise you pilgrims press,
but through desert places pass,
– in you, strengthened and refreshed,
’til your presence they have reached.
LORD, look now upon our Shield,
anointed One, whom you’ve supplied.
Serving you is better far
than dwelling with the wicked here:
Sun and Shield to all who trust,
walking with you, cleansed and blest.
on Psalm 85
When in times past you were displeased,
we earned chastisement just,
but turned from fiernce wrath, forgave
our sin, renewed our trust,
restored and blessed, removed distress,
so now we pray, once more:
revive, in mercy turn from wrath, –
our Saviour God, restore!
His people, saints, have reverent fear,
receive his promised peace,
prosperity, a harvest good,
by righteous, faithful grace:
they listen to his gospel word,
with thanks, and warnings learn;
and in his love rejoice, but must
to folly not return.
And so he will be glorified, –
his love and righteousness,
his truth and peace, will meet in Christ,
on earth bring faithfulness.
on Psalm 86
O LORD, my God, my love is true,
your servant guard, I trust in you,
be merciful, bring joy anew:
hear, and protect my soul.
You are God, and you alone;
you are great, the gracious One;
doing wondrous things, O come,
teach me now your way.
Give me heart integrity,
great your mercy is to me,
may my foes be shamed to see
I am in your care.
on Psalm 87
God founded Zion on a hill;
his church is now secure.
The gates of hell will not prevail:
God works his purpose sure.
So many glorious things to say
about the church of God:
beloved, his people there display,
the glory of their LORD.
And those afar should view this grace,
with longing to become
a citizen of that blest place,
reborn a favoured one!
Some from those far-flung states of earth,
soon sing, rejoice, for now
they’re heaven’s people by new birth,
drink where his waters flow.
Overwhelmed and all alone,
eyes are dimmed by sorrows known,
wrath of God seems pressing down
into deepest, darkest tomb;
yet, O LORD, to you I cry, –
you’re the One who saves me, – why
don’t you come? I lift my prayer –
you’re not praised by black despair.
He who sang this Psalm came through,
so be sure that you will too,
if you have to pass this way,
struggling, sinking – always pray
even if you feel no hope,
and in gloomy thickets grope:
soon you will God’s faithfulness
feel, eternally confess. Tune:77 77 77 77
on Psalm 89
I must proclaim for ever
God’s faithfulness and love,
controlling all creation,
revered in heaven above.
You chose, anointed David
to serve, upheld, secure:
your covenant established,
as long as stars endure.
On righteousness and justice
your throne is founded, LORD;
and from you, love and faithfulness
are constantly outpoured.
How blest are those who know you,
who walk with you in light,
exalted in your righteousness,
protected by your might.
Their joy is in your honour,
your grace, and saving name;
their strength, their shield, their glory:
the LORD they now acclaim.
You chose, anointed David
to serve, upheld, secure,
establishing his kingly line
as long as stars endure.
Rebellious sons you’d punish,
but his descendant’s throne
would be preserved, enduring
by covenant divine.
But then there seemed a finish,
the enemies succeed.
No man from death can save himself:
your covenant we plead.
For faith is mocked and challenged:
but we will praise and sing –
the Son of David, Jesus,
has come, our saving King.
Tune: 76 76 76 76 (repeat 2nd half of tune for last verse)
on Psalm 90
The everlasting God: through all,
his people’s sure abode;
but mortal men have transient life,
and bear a guilty load.
You scan the generations, we
should think how brief our years,
and gain a heart of wisdom, ask
that joy replace our tears.
Relent, and have compassion, LORD,
you see each hidden sin,
and must afflict, rebuke, – in love
now peace and mercy bring.
Show us the splendour of your ways,
and teach us how to serve.
May others, through your work in us,
your beauty, grace observe.
A secret place which only those
of humble, contrite heart can know;
we’re held by God so very close,
through all the turmoils here below.
I need not fear disease, or pain,
traps, dangers night or day,
though many all around are slain,
kept for his will, I stay.
His angels guard those who abide
in him for shelter, though
they should not into dangers stride
his care to test and show.
Though problems fierce my come my way:
the serpent tempt, the lion roar,
I can be conqueror each day,
rise over all the problems sore.
I know his name, and love him so,
I ask his help, my Father, Lord;
he’ll sanctify and save I know:
in Christ, this sinner is restored.
on Psalm 92
Each Sabbath day – a time to praise,
sing to the LORD, Most High;
and think of all his work and ways,
which fill my heart with joy.
Your faithfulness I would make known
(your thoughts are so profound),
and tell of all the love you’ve shown;
but fools don’t understand:
the wicked will not flourish long,
God will defeat all sin.
Christ’s Spirit makes his people strong, –
they walk, by grace, with him.
Those rooted in his kingdom, grow
and flourish as a tree,
and when they’re old, fresh fruit still show, –
they’ll praise God constantly.
He reigns, the Lord Jehovah reigns,
unchallengeably always reigns,
his rule, his holy Word proclaims,
is universal, never wanes.
The waters churn, the powers of might
arise, present an awesome sight,
but he who rules is greater far
than all these things that frighten are.
The tides of circumstances turn,
and suddenly, the scriptures warn,
the trials may pile, the world may spite:
but One has all-victorious might.
The waters rise, my feet give way,
and I forget to trust and pray
to One almighty, good and wise
who knows no panic or surprise.
The waters churn and stir the sin
remaining squatting, but the King
now dwells within to help me fight
and reach that heavenly world of light.
Your Word stands firm and guides our ways;
and holiness, to endless days
surrounds our LORD, whose might is great:
his majesty now contemplate.
on Psalm 94
One day the Lord will judge
the earth in righteousness.
The evil-doers do not think
God sees their wickedness.
He hears, – he placed the ear;
he sees, – he formed the eye;
he teaches, and he punishes;
he knows man’s every lie.
If we by him are taught,
and chastened for our sin,
then we are blessed, and when the Judge
repays, we’re safe in him.
The Lord will not forsake
his people, nor reject.
I slip, but you bring comfort, joy; –
surround me, and protect.
on Psalm 95
If God’s almighty power you’ve known –
the great and gracious King,
Creator, owning all the world:
amazed, his greatness sing.
If we, our Maker love and know,
our God omnipotent,
good Shepherd of his chosen flock:
let’s worship and repent.
If our salvation’s Rock he is,
unceasingly let’s praise;
the Holy Spirit sets our hearts
with love and joy ablaze.
If you are blest to hear his Word,
then harden not your heart.
If unbelieving, in his rest
you will not have a part.
on Psalm 96
Sing to the LORD, sing with praise to his name;
make known his salvation, and always proclaim
his deeds and his glory, tell lands everywhere
he reigns: of his majesty, splendour declare.
Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise,
for he made the heavens, and earth, which displays
his might that upholds it (their idols are vain);
he’s holy, and judgment just, right will ordain.
Tell all the nations to honour his might,
in holiness worship, his grace their delight.
All earth will rejoice when he comes, and completes
his purpose in righteousness, evil defeats.
on Psalm 97
The Lord reigns, the world should rejoice,
respond to the witnessing voice:
his power is mysterious, but just,
and indicates who we can trust.
But idols bring shame, and they all
in worship before him should fall.
God’s people hear tell of their LORD,
rejoice in his reign and his Word;
they love him, and love what is right,
they’re guarded, and led in his light.
Be holy, hate evil, and praise,
rejoice in his excellent ways.
on Psalm 98
Sing, – the LORD has wrought salvation,
and revealed it – joyful song!
Loving, faithful, gracious, holy, –
soon injustice will be gone.
Sing and praise with jubilation,
what a wonderful salvation,
joyful, blest anticipation
of the imminent perfection.
on Psalm 99
The LORD sits enthroned,
where mercy is found;
his greatness and glory
the earth should astound.
Your name, great and awesome,
and actions amaze;
your holiness, justice,
cause trembling and praise.
The God who made known
his mercy and will,
– he’ll answer us still,
but punishes sin,
which must be abhorred.
Exalt God, and worship
the holy, just LORD.
on Psalm 100
Everywhere, all should acknowledge the LORD,
hail him, and worship, with gladness restored.
He’s our Creator, and we who belong
to such a Shepherd, will raise joyful song.
Draw near with gratitude, praising his name:
his goodness is perfect and always the same;
constant, unwavering, his love will endure,
through all generations, his faithfulness sure.