Psalm 17

English Standard Version (ESV)

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
    Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
From your presence let my vindication come!
    Let your eyes behold the right!

You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
    you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
    I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
    I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
    my feet have not slipped.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
    O Savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at your right hand.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
    my deadly enemies who surround me.

They close their hearts to pity;
    with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
They have now surrounded our steps;
    they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
He is like a lion eager to tear,
    as a young lion lurking in ambush.

Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
    Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
from men by your hand, O Lord,
    from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
You fill their womb with treasure;
    they are satisfied with children,
    and they leave their abundance to their infants.

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

The Message (MSG)

Listen while I build my case, God,
    the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
Show the world I’m innocent—
    in your heart you know I am.

Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
    surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
    My words don’t run loose.

I’m not trying to get my way
    in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
    your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
    I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
    I’m not giving up.

I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
    So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
    take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
    straight to you.

Keep your eye on me;
    hide me under your cool wing feathers
From the wicked who are out to get me,
    from mortal enemies closing in.

Their hearts are hard as nails,
    their mouths blast hot air.
They are after me, nipping my heels,
    determined to bring me down,
Lions ready to rip me apart,
    young lions poised to pounce.
Up, God: beard them! break them!
    By your sword, free me from their clutches;
Barehanded, God, break these mortals,
    these flat-earth people who can’t think beyond today.

I’d like to see their bellies
    swollen with famine food,
The weeds they’ve sown
    harvested and baked into famine bread,
With second helpings for their children
    and crusts for their babies to chew on.

And me? I plan on looking
    you full in the face. When I get up,
I’ll see your full stature
    and live heaven on earth.