1 Truly, God is loving to Israel, ♦
to those who are pure in heart.
2 Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone; ♦
my steps had well-nigh slipped.
3 For I was envious of the proud; ♦
I saw the wicked in such prosperity;
4 For they suffer no pains ♦
and their bodies are sleek and sound;
5 They come to no misfortune like other folk; ♦
nor are they plagued as others are;
6 Therefore pride is their necklace ♦
and violence wraps them like a cloak.
7 Their iniquity comes from within; ♦
the conceits of their hearts overflow.
8 They scoff, and speak only of evil; ♦
they talk of oppression from on high.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens, ♦
and their tongue ranges round the earth;
10 And so the people turn to them ♦
and find in them no fault.
11 They say, ‘How should God know? ♦
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’
12 Behold, these are the wicked; ♦
ever at ease, they increase their wealth.
13 Is it in vain that I cleansed my heart ♦
and washed my hands in innocence?
14 All day long have I been stricken ♦
and chastened every morning.
15 If I had said, ‘I will speak as they do,’ ♦
I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 Then thought I to understand this, ♦
but it was too hard for me,
17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God ♦
and understood the end of the wicked:
18 How you set them in slippery places; ♦
you cast them down to destruction.
19 How suddenly do they come to destruction, ♦
perish and come to a fearful end!
20 As with a dream when one awakes, ♦
so, Lord, when you arise you will despise their image.
21 When my heart became embittered ♦
and I was pierced to the quick,
22 I was but foolish and ignorant; ♦
I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23 Yet I am always with you; ♦
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with your counsel ♦
and afterwards receive me with glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? ♦
And there is nothing upon earth that I desire
in comparison with you.
26 Though my flesh and my heart fail me, ♦
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27 Truly, those who forsake you will perish; ♦
you will put to silence the faithless who betray you.
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God; ♦
in the Lord God have I made my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.