A Lament concerning an Evil Man who is determined to destroy me (composed sixteen years ago

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Hear my plaintive cry, O Lord, Listen to my righteous plea-for it does not flow out of deceitful lips nor from a lying heart. Vindicate me in the court of your people; clear my name among those with whom I dwell, for evil charges are hurled against me, like stones heaped upon me are the slanderous words of a friend. O God, Examine my heart! Examine me, but you will find no evil scheming; test my thoughts, for they are clean; weigh my words carefully, for they are truthful. But as for the deeds of you, O man-Why do you speak evil of things you do not understand? Why do you slander those whom you envy? Your tongue plots evil; destruction fills your mouth. Like a hidden dagger, like a sharply honed knife your words plunge into the innocent heart. All day long you scheme to work mischief; malicious gossip brews in your heart throughout the night. In the morning you flex your strength as you increase your power by destroying others.

How long, O Lord, will you endure this evil? How long must I struggle to preserve my good name? Reveal your strong arm against him, flex your power and strength, for he could not withstand your finger. Bring him low, O Lord; bring down the man who blasphemes your people. Trap the scheming man in the snare that he has set; judge him with the words with which he condemns. Roll back the clouds that hide your face from me; show the wonder of your enduring love in the midst of my affliction, you who save by the power of your right hand all those who seek refuge in you from their enemies. Keep me safe, O Lord, for you alone are my everlasting fortress, my tower of strength in the day of trouble. Rise up, O Lord, arrest him who does evil, let not the one who plots against me escape. Deliver me from the assassin by your sword of truth. The Lord hears my plaintive cry, he is attentive to my prayer. I find safety in God, my fortress; my tower of strength is the Lord in whom I am sheltered. The man who plots my downfall cannot penetrate the citadel of my God. The city of God cannot be entered by anyone who devises evil. But I am refreshed at the eternal springs in the city of God; I am renewed

by the everlasting kindness of the King. Therefore, my mouth will not be silent; I will speak forth your praises with boldness, with confidence the excellence of your name shall be upon my lips. Rejoicing shall be my daily portion; praise will quench my thirst all day long; worship will quell my anxious heart at night.

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