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Psalm 73

Quam bonus Israel!

Truly God is loving unto Israel, even unto such as are of a clean heart. Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone; my treadings had well-nigh slipped. And why? I was grieved at the wicked; I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity. For they are in no peril of death, but are lusty and strong. They come in no misfortune like other folk; neither are they plagued like other men. And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride, and overwhelmed with cruelty. Their eyes swell with fatness, and they do even what they lust. They corrupt others, and speak of wicked blasphemy; their talking is against the Most High. For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven, and their tongue goeth through the world.

Therefore fall the people unto them, and thereout suck they no small advantage. Tush, say they, how should God perceive it? Is there knowledge in the Most High? Lo, these are the ungodly, these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession; and I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. All the day long have I been punished, and chastened every morning. Yea, and I had almost said even as they; but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.

Then thought I to understand this; but it was too hard for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God. Then understood I the end of these men, namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places, and castest them down, and destroyest them. O how suddenly do they consume, perish, and come to a fearful end! Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh, so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city. Thus my heart was grieved, and it went even through my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant, even as it were a beast before thee. Nevertheless, I am always by thee; for thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and after that receive me with glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee. My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish; thou hast destroyed all them that commit fornication against thee. But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God, and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.

The coverdale translation edited by W.S. Peterson and Valerie Macys — used with permission.