Hold not your tongue, O God of my praise; *
for the mouth of the wicked,
the mouth of the deceitful, is opened against me.
They speak to me with a lying tongue; *
they encompass me with hateful words
and fight against me without a cause.
Despite my love, they accuse me; *
but as for me, I pray for them.
They repay evil for good, *
and hatred for my love.
[Set a wicked man against him, *
and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is judged, let him be found guilty, *
and let his appeal be in vain.
Let his days be few, *
and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, *
and his wife become a widow.
Let his children be waifs and beggars; *
let them be driven from the ruins of their homes.
Let the creditor seize everything he has; *
let strangers plunder his gains.
Let there be no one to show him kindness, *
and none to pity his fatherless children.
Let his descendants be destroyed, *
and his name be blotted out in the next generation.
Let the wickedness of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, *
and his mother’s sin not be blotted out;
Let their sin be always before the Lord; *
but let him root out their names from the earth;
Because he did not remember to show mercy, *
but persecuted the poor and needy
and sought to kill the brokenhearted.
He loved cursing,
let it come upon him; *
he took no delight in blessing,
let it depart from him.
He put on cursing like a garment, *
let it soak into his body like water
and into his bones like oil;
Let it be to him like the cloak which he wraps around himself, *
and like the belt that he wears continually.
Let this be the recompense from the Lord to my accusers, *
and to those who speak evil against me.]
But you, O Lord my God,
oh, deal with me according to your Name; *
for your tender mercy’s sake, deliver me.
For I am poor and needy, *
and my heart is wounded within me.
I have faded away like a shadow when it lengthens; *
I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting, *
and my flesh is wasted and gaunt.
I have become a reproach to them; *
they see and shake their heads.
Help me, O Lord my God; *
save me for your mercy’s sake.
Let them know that this is your hand, *
that you, O Lord, have done it.
They may curse, but you will bless; *
let those who rise up against me be put to shame,
and your servant will rejoice.
Let my accusers be clothed with disgrace *
and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.
I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth; *
in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
Because he stands at the right hand of the needy, *
to save his life from those who would condemn him.
Image: Autumn Cactus Flowers