A Cry for Help
1 Save me, O God!
The water is up to my neck;
2 I am sinking in deep mud,
and there is no solid ground;
I am out in deep water,
and the waves are about to drown me.
3 I am worn out from calling for help,
and my throat is aching.
I have strained my eyes,
looking for your help.

4 Those who hate me for no reason
are more numerous than the hairs of my head.
My enemies tell lies against me;
they are strong and want to kill me.
They made me give back things I did not steal.
5 My sins, O God, are not hidden from you;
you know how foolish I have been.
6 Don't let me bring shame on those who trust in you,
Sovereign Lord Almighty!
Don't let me bring disgrace to those who worship you,
O God of Israel!
7 It is for your sake that I have been insulted
and that I am covered with shame.
8 I am like a stranger to my relatives,
like a foreigner to my family.

9 My devotion to your Temple burns in me like a fire;
the insults which are hurled at you fall on me.
10 I humble myself by fasting,
and people insult me;
11 I dress myself in clothes of mourning,
and they laugh at me.
12 They talk about me in the streets,
and drunkards make up songs about me.

13 But as for me, I will pray to you, Lord;
answer me, God, at a time you choose.
Answer me because of your great love,
because you keep your promise to save.
14 Save me from sinking in the mud;
keep me safe from my enemies,
safe from the deep water.
15 Don't let the flood come over me;
don't let me drown in the depths
or sink into the grave.

16 Answer me, Lord, in the goodness of your constant love;
in your great compassion turn to me!
17 Don't hide yourself from your servant;
I am in great trouble—answer me now!
18 Come to me and save me;
rescue me from my enemies.

19 You know how I am insulted,
how I am disgraced and dishonored;
you see all my enemies.
20 Insults have broken my heart,
and I am in despair.
I had hoped for sympathy, but there was none;
for comfort, but I found none.
21 When I was hungry, they gave me poison;
when I was thirsty, they offered me vinegar.

22 May their banquets cause their ruin;
may their sacred feasts cause their downfall.
23 Strike them with blindness!
Make their backs always weak!
24 Pour out your anger on them;
let your indignation overtake them.
25 May their camps be left deserted;
may no one be left alive in their tents.
26 They persecute those whom you have punished;
they talk about the sufferings of those you have wounded.
27 Keep a record of all their sins;
don't let them have any part in your salvation.
28 May their names be erased from the book of the living;
may they not be included in the list of your people.

29 But I am in pain and despair;
lift me up, O God, and save me!

30 I will praise God with a song;
I will proclaim his greatness by giving him thanks.
31 This will please the Lord more than offering him cattle,
more than sacrificing a full-grown bull.
32 When the oppressed see this, they will be glad;
those who worship God will be encouraged.
33 The Lord listens to those in need
and does not forget his people in prison.

34 Praise God, O heaven and earth,
seas and all creatures in them.
35 He will save Jerusalem
and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there and possess the land;
36 the descendants of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love him will live there.