Psalm 73

William Helder © 1972, 2006

  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 the arrogant would boast
    Of earthly wealth and luxury,
    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 hearts 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 with 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 pure-hearted
    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,
    I surely would have been untrue
    To all the present generation,
    The children of Your holy nation.
    I tried to probe the mystery
    But found it was too much for me
    Till, ent’ring then God’s holy place,
    I saw the destiny they face.
  6. O Lord, You surely set them all
    On slippery ground to make them fall.
    You cause the arrogant to stumble;
    They headlong to their ruin tumble.
    How suddenly destroyed are they,
    By terrors wholly swept away!
    They’re like a dream that, when You rise,
    You as mere fantasies despise.
  7. When envy caused me great distress
    And filled my heart with bitterness,
    I in my folly would ignore You;
    I was a brutish beast before You.
    In spite of my shortsightedness
    I am your servant none the less.
    I will be with You to the end,
    For You will hold me by my hand.
  8. Your counsel guides me all my days,
    And You will me to glory raise.
    Whom do I have in heaven, O Savior,
    But You whose love endures forever?
    Only Your presence I desire;
    To nothing earthly I aspire.
    Although my flesh and heart may fail,
    God is my strength: He shall prevail.
  9. Those who from You have gone astray
    Shall perish in their evil way.
    You will destroy all who, false-hearted,
    From Your commandments have departed.
    But as for me, in God I trust,
    For with His nearness I am blest.
    My refuge is the LORD alone;
    I will proclaim all He has done.