A Prayer for Deliverance from the Wicked
1LORD, avenging God,
avenging God, shine forth!a
2Rise up, O judge of the earth;
give the proud what they deserve!b
3How long, LORD, shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked glory?c
4How long will they mouth haughty speeches,
go on boasting, all these evildoers?d
5They crush your people, LORD,
torment your very own.
6They kill the widow and alien;
the orphan they murder.e
7They say, “The LORD does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice.”f
8Understand, you stupid people!
You fools, when will you be wise?g
9Does the one who shaped the ear not hear?
The one who formed the eye not see?h
10Does the one who guides nations not rebuke?
The one who teaches man not have knowledge?
11The LORD knows the plans of man;
they are like a fleeting breath.i
12Blessed the one whom you guide, LORD,j
whom you teach by your instruction,
13To give rest from evil days,
while a pit is being dug for the wicked.
14For the LORD will not forsake his people,
nor abandon his inheritance.k
15Judgment shall again be just,
and all the upright of heart will follow it.
16Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
17If the LORD were not my help,
I would long have been silent in the grave.l
18When I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your mercy, LORD, holds me up.m
19When cares increase within me,
your comfort gives me joy.
20Can unjust judges be your allies,
those who create burdens by decree,
21Those who conspire against the just
and condemn the innocent to death?
22No, the LORD is my secure height,
my God, my rock of refuge,
and destroy them for their wickedness.
Surely the LORD our God will destroy them!
* [Psalm 94] A lament of an individual who is threatened by wicked people. The danger affects the whole community. Calling upon God as judge (Ps 94:1–2), the Psalm complains about oppression of the holy community by people within (Ps 94:3–7). Bold declarations of faith follow: denunciation of evildoers (Ps 94:8–11) and assurance to the just (Ps 94:12–15). The Psalm continues with further lament (Ps 94:16–19) and ends with strong confidence in God’s response (Ps 94:20–23).