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Lament in Persecution.  Psalm 55(v54)

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

1Give ear to my prayer, O God;
and hide not thyself from my supplication!
2Attend to me, and answer me;
I am overcome by my trouble. I am distraught
3by the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me, and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

4My heart is in anguish within me,
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
6And I say, "O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
7yea, I would wander afar,
I would lodge in the wilderness, Selah
8I would haste to find me a shelter from the raging wind and tempest."

9Destroy their plans, O Lord, confuse their tongues;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10Day and night they go around it on its walls;
and mischief and trouble are within it,
11ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud do not depart from its market place.

12It is not an enemy who taunts me - then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me -
then I could hide from him.
13But it is you,
my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.
14We used to hold sweet converse together;
within God's house we walked in fellowship.
15Let death come upon them;
let them go down to Sheol alive;
let them go away in terror into their graves.

16But I call upon God;
and the LORD will save me.
17Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he will hear my voice.
18He will deliver my soul in safety from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
19God will give ear, and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old;
because they keep no law, and do not fear God. Selah

20My companion stretched out his hand against his friends,
he violated his covenant.
21His speech was smoother than butter, yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
22Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

23But thou, O God, wilt cast them down into the lowest pit;
men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in thee.

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Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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