For the choir director: A psalm of David. 1
Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble.
The LORD protects them
and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
and rescues them from their enemies.
The LORD nurses them when they are sick
and restores them to health.
"O LORD," I prayed, "have mercy on me.
Heal me, for I have sinned against you."
But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.
"How soon will he die and be forgotten?" they ask.
They visit me as if they were my friends,
but all the while they gather gossip,
and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
All who hate me whisper about me,
imagining the worst.
"He has some fatal disease," they say.
"He will never get out of that bed!"
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
LORD, have mercy on me.
Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
I know you are pleased with me,
for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
you have brought me into your presence forever.
Praise the LORD, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen!