Psalm 119

William Helder © 1972, 2005

  1. How blessèd are those upright in their way,
    Who keep the LORD’S decrees with dedication
    And in their walk of life His law obey.
    How blest are those who with determination,
    Wholeheartedly, seek Him by night and day
    And look to Him for guidance and salvation.
  2. How blest are they who shun iniquities,
    Your holy law with diligence observing.
    You have laid down Your statutes and decrees,
    To be obeyed in faithfulness unswerving.
    O may I but submit myself to these
    And so go forth, a steady course preserving.
  3. I know that I shall not be put to shame
    If only with attention undivided
    I heed Your laws and fix my gaze on them.
    I truly thank You for the grace provided
    When I am taught the judgments You proclaim.
    Do not forsake me, leaving me unguided.
  4. How can a youth preserve his way, O LORD,
    And keep it free of evil and transgression?
    By living in accordance with Your word.
    O let my heart be wholly Your possession.
    Help me against all sin to be on guard
    Let me not stray, denying my confession.
  5. Your words have I laid up within my heart;
    I keep Your faithful promise as my treasure,
    Lest I should ever from Your ways depart.
    O LORD, how blest You are beyond all measure.
    Your statutes and decrees to me impart,
    For in Your law I find my greatest pleasure.
  6. In Your commandments I take great delight;
    I turn to them in thoughtful meditation.
    The path marked by Your law I keep in sight
    To guard myself against all deviation.
    Your statutes I will not neglect or slight;
    Your word I praise with joy and exultation.
  7. Do good to me so that my life may be
    Devoted to Your words in all their splendor.
    Open my eyes that I may clearly see
    Your perfect law and gaze upon its wonders.
    Do not, O LORD, hide Your commands from me
    Who here on earth but as a pilgrim wander.
  8. By night and day for Your decrees I long;
    My aching heart consumes itself with yearning.
    The haughty You rebuke for all their wrongs-
    Those cursèd ones: Your laws they keep on spurning.
    LORD, set me free from their insulting tongues,
    For I have kept Your law, Your will discerning.
  9. Though princes may together scheme and plot,
    Against me their conspiracies devising,
    I contemplate the precepts You have taught;
    I study them, Your testimonies prizing.
    In Your instruction my delight I’ve sought,
    And in the counsel from Your law arising.
  10. See how my soul is cleaving to the dust:
    Renew my life and grant me restoration.
    I told You of my ways, for You I trust;
    You in Your mercy heard my supplication.
    Teach me Your statutes, excellent and just;
    Then shall Your wonders be my meditation.
  11. My weary soul in sorrow pines away;
    True to Your promise, comfort and restore me.
    LORD, let me not in ways of falsehood stray
    But through Your precepts of Your love assure me.
    Your statutes I have chosen to obey;
    Your righteous judgments I have set before me.
  12. In Your decrees I place my steadfast hope;
    I cling to them, on Your great love depending.
    LORD, put me not to shame but lift me up,
    To me in grief Your gracious hand extending.
    Along the path of truth I run and leap,
    For Your commands enlarge my understanding.
  13. Teach me Your statutes, LORD, and to the end
    I will obey them in complete submission.
    Grant insight, that with all my heart and mind
    I may observe Your laws without transgression.
    Direct me in the path of Your commands,
    For I delight in them as my possession.
  14. To Your decrees and statutes turn my heart,
    That all Your words of wisdom I may ponder.
    O LORD, let me not from Your laws depart,
    Nor to the love of selfish gain surrender.
    Restrain me lest I wistful glances dart
    At vanities and yearn for earthly splendor.
  15. LORD, keep Your word! Come to Your servant’s aid.
    Then all will stand in fear and awe before You.
    Avert from me the taunting that I dread.
    Good are Your laws, acclaimed by all who fear You.
    I long for them. Your justice makes me glad;
    Through it revive me, LORD, for I revere You.
  16. May Your unfailing mercy come to me;
    As You have promised, show me Your salvation.
    All those who taunt me with their mockery
    I then will answer without hesitation.
    LORD, I have put my trust in Your decrees,
    For You have sworn to grant me liberation.
  17. LORD, do not rob me of Your truthful word;
    Let nothing me from Your commandments sever.
    Your ordinances hope to me afford;
    I vow to keep them always and forever.
    Then shall I walk in liberty, O LORD:
    Your laws I’ve sought, and they shall fail me never.
  18. Undaunted I will kings and princes face
    To speak of Your decrees, Your revelation,
    And not be put to shame or fear disgrace:
    Your laws I love and hold in veneration.
    I reach out for Your statutes and rejoice
    As I reflect on them in meditation.
  19. Remember in Your steadfast faithfulness
    Your word of hope, once to Your servant spoken.
    O LORD, in my affliction and distress
    You comfort me with promises unbroken.
    Through them have I gained life and happiness,
    For of Your love they are a precious token.
  20. Although the proud may scorn me utterly,
    No path of evil have I ever taken.
    When I recall Your laws, they comfort me,
    For they from days of old have stood unshaken.
    Hot indignation grips me when I see
    How wicked men your precepts have forsaken.
  21. Your statutes are the theme of all my songs
    Wherever here on earth I make my dwelling.
    Your name, LORD, I remember all night long;
    Your precepts I obey, my vow fulfilling.
    I’ve kept Your laws, resisting sin and wrong;
    This proved to be a blessing all-excelling.
  22. You are my portion, LORD whom I adore;
    I have resolved to let Your words direct me.
    With all my heart Your favor I implore;
    O LORD, show mercy and do not reject me.
    I’ve thought about my ways, and all the more
    I turn to You to let Your laws instruct me.
  23. I will make haste in doing what is right,
    By Your commandments guided and instructed.
    Though with their ropes the wicked bind me tight,
    Your statutes I will never leave neglected.
    I praise You in the middle of the night
    For all the righteous laws You have enacted.
  24. With all who fear You I keep company,
    To those who heed Your laws my friendship showing.
    Your mercy is poured forth abundantly,
    And with Your love the earth is overflowing.
    O LORD, reveal Your statutes all to me
    And so unfold the knowledge most worth knowing.
  25. To me, Your servant, You have kindness shown,
    Your mercy with Your promise underpinning.
    Instruct me, LORD, for it is You alone
    Who are of all true knowledge the beginning.
    I went astray, but as I wandered on,
    You humbled me, and now I keep from sinning.
  26. LORD, You are good, and what You do is good.
    Teach me, and by Your truth let me be guided.
    My name is smeared by false men, proud and rude,
    Yet wholly with Your precepts I have sided.
    They in their godless hearts are dull and crude,
    But in Your law I am with joy provided.
  27. How good it was for me to suffer pain
    So that in all Your statutes You might school me.
    The perfect law that You, O LORD, ordain
    Exceeds all earthly riches. Let it rule me!
    Your ordinances are my greatest gain,
    For gold and silver can no longer fool me.
  28. LORD, You have fashioned me with Your own hands;
    By You was I once molded and created.
    Give me then insight into Your commands,
    That to Your law I may be dedicated.
    All those who fear You shall applaud my stand;
    Since in Your word I trust, they are elated.
  29. I know, O LORD, Your judgments all are just;
    In faithfulness You brought me tribulation.
    As You have promised-and Your word I trust-
    Now let your mercy be my consolation.
    In Your compassion grant me life and rest:
    Your law is my delight and exultation.
  30. Let proud and godless men be put to shame,
    For me they have with crafty guile subverted;
    But Your decrees I’ll ponder and proclaim.
    May by my words the faithful be supported.
    May I obey Your statutes without blame,
    That far from me all shame may be averted.
  31. With longing I Your saving power invoke;
    Your word gives hope that nothing can extinguish.
    With failing eyes I for Your promise look:
    When will You comfort me and heal my anguish?
    Though I’m a wineskin shriveled in the smoke,
    I’ll not forget Your laws as here I languish.
  32. LORD, how long does Your servant have to wait?
    When will I see Your punishment inflicted
    On those who persecute me in their hate,
    Whose wickedness seems to go undetected?
    See how the proud for me their snares have set.
    They flout Your law; Your word they have rejected.
  33. All Your commandments shall securely stand;
    LORD, help me, for by liars I am hounded.
    Though they have almost swept me from the land,
    I’ve kept Your law, in which my hope is founded.
    In Your unfailing love my life defend,
    That I may heed what You, LORD, have expounded.
  34. Fixed in the heav’ns is Your eternal word;
    Firm is Your promise through the generations.
    The earth, by You established, has endured;
    You are the faithful God of my salvation.
    By Your appointment all stands firm, O LORD,
    For You are served by all of Your creation.
  35. If Your commands had not been my delight,
    I would have perished here in my affliction.
    Your precepts I will not forget or slight:
    You have renewed my life by their direction.
    LORD, I am Yours. Come, save me by Your might.
    Your laws have I sought out for my instruction.
  36. Though wicked men in ambush lie concealed
    And are intent on plotting my destruction,
    I will reflect on what You have revealed.
    I see a limit set to all perfection;
    But Your commands, which ever have prevailed,
    Are boundless-without end, without restriction.
  37. Oh, how I love the teachings of Your law!
    I ponder them, all day in study spending.
    Your precepts make me wiser than my foe,
    For the support they give is never-ending.
    Through them, I far more than my teachers know:
    I have surpassed them all in understanding.
  38. I have more insight than the old and gray,
    All owing to the laws I am observing.
    I keep my feet from every evil way
    To honor Your commandments without swerving.
    LORD, You Yourself have taught me not to stray;
    So I walk on, a steady course preserving.
  39. O LORD, how pleasing is Your steadfast word.
    Sweet are Your promises of grace and favor;
    Yes, nothing greater sweetness can afford-
    Not even honey, sweet though be its savor.
    Your statutes grant me wisdom as reward;
    I therefore hate false ways and shun them ever.
  40. Your word is as a lamp unto my feet,
    A lantern shining on the path before me.
    I’ve sworn an oath and never will forget
    Your righteous laws that of Your love assure me.
    I am by grief and misery beset;
    True to Your promise, comfort and restore me.
  41. Accept, O LORD, my offerings of praise.
    And let me by Your statutes be instructed.
    Though I have been in danger countless days,
    Your laws I’ve not forgotten or rejected.
    My foe for me his snares and pitfalls lays,
    But Your commandments I have not neglected.
  42. Your testimonies are forever mine-
    My heritage and permanent possession,
    The joy that I shall in my heart enshrine-
    And to their praise I ever give expression.
    My heart to Your commandments I incline,
    Right to the end upholding my confession.
  43. I hate the fickle and divided heart;
    I love Your law and praise it with elation.
    You are my shield, my refuge, my support;
    Your word shall be my hope and expectation.
    You evildoers, all from me depart,
    That I may serve the God of my salvation.
  44. Uphold me, LORD, and so my life sustain;
    True to Your promise, grant me preservation.
    Let me not hope and trust in You in vain,
    For I rely on You for liberation.
    Your statutes I will evermore maintain;
    I turn to them in reverent meditation.
  45. All those who from Your statutes go astray
    You will reject. In vain do they dissemble.
    Like worthless dross You cast them all away;
    The wicked You will put to shame and humble.
    I fear the righteous judgments You display;
    The dread of You, LORD, makes my body tremble.
  46. See how what I have done is just and right;
    O LORD, to my oppressors do not leave me.
    Ensure Your servant’s welfare, God of might;
    Let not the arrogant oppress and grieve me.
    My eyes grow dim with watching day and night
    For You to keep Your promise and relieve me.
  47. Treat me according to Your love and grace
    And guide me to the truth for which I’m yearning.
    Help me gain insight into Your decrees
    And teach Your servant what is most worth learning.
    To let me grasp the justice of Your ways,
    Open my eyes and make me more discerning.
  48. It’s time for You to act, LORD, and be bold;
    Your holy law is being violated.
    I prize it more than all the finest gold;
    My love for Your commands is unabated.
    In all my ways Your precepts I uphold;
    The paths of falsehood I have ever hated.
  49. How wonderful are Your decrees, O LORD;
    I gladly keep them, for they are astounding.
    As You unfold and open up Your word,
    It shines Your light into my dark surroundings;
    It even to the simple will award
    Gifts of discernment and of understanding.
  50. With open mouth I pant for Your commands
    And to my deepest longing give expression.
    To those who love Your name You grace extend;
    Turn, then, to me as well in Your compassion.
    Direct my footsteps. Help me to withstand
    The power of sin and keep me from transgression.
  51. Free me from man’s iniquitous designs,
    That I may serve You, by Your laws directed.
    LORD, make Your face upon Your servant shine,
    And by Your statutes let me be instructed.
    While shedding streams of tears, I grieve and pine,
    For Your commands are utterly neglected.
  52. LORD, You are upright and Your laws are just;
    Your judgments You on righteousness have founded.
    In Your decrees have I placed all my trust,
    For they in faithfulness are firmly grounded.
    My zeal consumes me, and I am distressed
    When foes ignore the truth You have expounded.
  53. Your promise is well tested and secure;
    I cherish it as token of Your favor.
    Though I’m of no account, despised and poor,
    I love Your precepts and forget them never.
    Your justice will eternally endure;
    Your law is true and shall abide forever.
  54. Though I encounter anguish and distress,
    Your laws are my delight and consolation.
    Ever enduring is Your righteousness,
    And everlasting is Your revelation.
    Your servant, LORD, with understanding bless,
    That I may live, rejoicing in salvation.
  55. To You, O LORD, I cry with all my heart;
    Be merciful and hear my supplication.
    From Your commandments I will not depart.
    I call on You and plead for preservation.
    Save me, O LORD, and come to my support,
    That I may keep Your laws with dedication.
  56. Before the break of day I cry to You;
    Your word I trust, for You are my defender.
    I even lie awake the whole night through,
    That I Your steadfast promises may ponder.
    LORD, in Your righteousness my life renew;
    Hear me and show Your love and mercy tender.
  57. My foes draw near and malice they intend;
    Far from Your laws are those by whom I’m hounded.
    But You are near, and I on You depend,
    For true are all the words You have commanded.
    Long have I known that they are without end:
    All Your decrees You have forever founded.
  58. See my affliction, LORD, and set me free,
    For Your commandments I obey and cherish.
    Defend my cause and win release for me.
    As You have sworn, allow my life to flourish.
    But far removed shall all salvation be
    From those who spurn Your statutes: they shall perish.
  59. Great is, O LORD, the mercy You have shown;
    Grant me the life by Your decree awarded.
    Though countless foes may seek to hunt me down,
    Your laws I’ve not forgotten or discarded.
    I loathe the faithless for the wrong they’ve done;
    Your word have they defied and disregarded.
  60. See how I love and cherish Your commands;
    I follow them in all that I endeavor.
    Preserve my life by Your almighty hand;
    O LORD, be mindful of Your love and favor.
    In all Your words I see Your truth maintained;
    Each one of Your decrees endures forever.
  61. Though kings and princes hound me without cause,
    I stand in awe before Your revelation.
    LORD, I rejoice at all Your promises;
    They like great spoil rouse me to jubilation.
    All falsehood and deception l despise;
    Your laws I love and hold in veneration.
  62. O LORD, I praise You seven times a day,
    For righteous are the laws You have provided.
    Great peace is theirs who cherish and obey
    All Your commands and by Your word are guided.
    No stumbling-block or snare besets the way
    Of those who in Your justice have confided.
  63. For Your salvation, LORD, I hope and pray,
    And Your commandments I fulfil sincerely.
    I follow Your decrees and will not stray,
    For all Your testimonies I love dearly.
    Your precepts and Your statutes I obey,
    For You know all my ways and see them clearly.
  64. May all my pleading reach Your holy throne;
    Remember me in pity and compassion.
    Bless me with insight, for I am Your own.
    Draw near, O LORD, and answer my petition.
    According to the mercy You have shown,
    Deliver me from evil and oppression.
  65. Now let my lips run over with Your praise,
    For Your decrees You have in me implanted.
    My tongue shall sing, a joyful anthem raise,
    For in Your statutes justice is presented.
    Let Your hand help me when Your servant strays;
    I’ve chosen, LORD, the precepts You have granted.
  66. I long for Your salvation night and day,
    And Your commandments my delight awaken.
    O let me live, that I may praise Your ways;
    Let Your decrees lend me support unshaken.
    I wander like a sheep that’s gone astray:
    Come, seek me, LORD! Your laws I’ve not forsaken.