Psalm 73

William Helder, 1980 ©

  1. How truly God His goodness shows,
    Bestowing favor on all those
    Who are in Israel pure-hearted
    And have not from His ways departed.
    But as for me, I slipped almost,
    For when I heard the foolish boast
    Of those who pay no heed to Thee,
    I envied their prosperity.
  2. No suff’ring lies in store for them;
    They all are sleek and sound of limb.
    They do not share our pain and anguish;
    No troubles ever make them languish.
    Pride is their necklace, and they dare
    Make violence the robe they wear.
    Their hearts with follies overflow,
    And in their minds illusions grow.
  3. They speak with scorn and haughtiness;
    They scoff, and threaten to oppress.
    Their mouth lays claim to heaven’s regions,
    Their tongue demands the earth’s allegiance.
    So people turn to praise these men
    And they can find no fault in them.
    “God does not see it,” they declare;
    “The Most High does not know or care.”
  4. Such are the wicked: they’re secure;
    Their wealth increases evermore.
    Surely in vain I’ve been purehearted
    And have not from God’s laws departed,
    And I in vain have washed my hands
    In purity and innocence.
    For all day long I suffer here,
    And with new grief each dawn draws near.
  5. If I had spoken this way too,
    How should I then have been untrue
    To all the present generation,
    The children of Thy holy nation.
    I tried to probe the mystery
    But found it was too much for me
    Till, entering God’s holy place,
    I saw the destiny they face.
  6. For surely Thou dost set them all
    On slippery ground to make them fall.
    They headlong to their ruin tumble
    When Thou, O God, dost make them stumble.
    How suddenly destroyed are they,
    By terrors wholly swept away.
    They’re like a dream; when Thou dost rise
    Thou wilt their phantom form despise.
  7. When I was bitter in my heart,
    And when with pangs my soul did smart,
    Then in my folly I ignored Thee;
    I was a brutish beast before Thee.
    Yet I am always, LORD, with Thee;
    By my right hand Thou holdest me.
    Thy counsel guides me all my days,
    And me Thou wilt to glory raise.
  8. Whom do I have in heav’n but Thee?
    Who shall on earth my refuge be?
    Since I have Thee as rock and Savior,
    I seek no further wealth or favor.
    Although my flesh and heart may fail,
    God is my strength, I shall prevail,
    For He, whose steadfast love is sure,
    Will be my portion evermore.
  9. All who from Thee have gone astray
    Shall perish in their evil way.
    Thou wilt destroy those who, false-hearted,
    From Thy commandments have departed.
    But as for me, I will not fear:
    How good it is that God is near.
    Thee have I made my refuge, LORD,
    That all Thy deeds I may record.