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LORD, Plead My Case

  1. LORD, plead my case when I am charged
    by foes maliciously,
    and fight for me when they attack
    and vent their spite on me.
    Take up your shield and rise to help!
    And say unto my soul,
    “I am salvation unto you.”
    With spear, restrain my foe.
  2. May those who seek to take my life
    endure disgrace and shame;
    may those who plot my overthrow
    turn back the way they came.
    May they like chaff before the wind
    be ever driven far;
    and let the angel of the LORD
    pursue them in the dark.
  3. Without a cause, to capture me
    they spread and hid their net;
    without a cause, to trap my soul
    they dug a deadly pit.
    Surprise him with destruction, LORD,
    and catch him in his net;
    ensnare him in his hidden trap;
    destroy him in his pit!
  4. My soul will then rejoice in God,
    exulting in his name.
    “O LORD, who is a God like you?”
    my heart and soul exclaim.
    You give the poor deliverance
    from one who is too strong;
    you save the poor and weak from those
    who rob and do them wrong.
  5. Malicious witnesses arise
    and falsely slander me;
    they ask me things I do not know,
    to charge me wickedly.
    They pay back evil for my good
    and leave my soul forlorn;
    yet at their illness I would fast,
    and clad in sackcloth mourn.
  6. I grieved for them as one might mourn
    for mother, brother, friend,
    but when I stumbled, they rejoiced
    and mocked me without end.
    Against me unknown wretches came,
    they mocked maliciously,
    like those who have no fear of God,
    and gnashed their teeth at me.
  7. O Lord, how long will you look on?
    Defend me from their strife;
    from these marauding lions’ teeth
    protect my precious life.
    Then where the great assembly meets
    to you will I give praise;
    among the crowds of worshipers
    thanksgiving I will raise.
  8. Let not my wrongful enemies
    raise o’er me joyful cries;
    nor those who hate me without cause
    with malice wink their eyes.
    In peaceful words they do not speak,
    but cunning schemes they plan,
    accusing those who live at peace
    and quiet in the land.
  9. Triumphantly they shout and say,
    “Aha! Aha! We see!”
    LORD, you have seen; hold not your peace.
    Lord, be not far from me.
    Awake, to my defense arise!
    My God, for me contend.
    With justice judge me, LORD, my God;
    their wicked gloating end.
  10. Within their hearts let them not say,
    “At last! Just what we want!”
    Nor let them say, “We swallowed him”—
    let that not be their taunt.
    May all who gloat at my distress
    know shame and loss of face;
    may those who proudly bring me down
    be covered with disgrace.
  11. May those who long to see me cleared
    with gladness shout and sing:
    “The LORD be praised, who loves to see
    his servant prospering.”
    Your righteousness will I extol;
    my tongue will speak your praise.
    And I will tell your greatness, LORD,
    and praise you all my days.
Stanza Copyright
© 2018 Trinity Psalter Hymnal Joint Venture
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Scripture Reference
Psalm 35, Luke 1:47, John 15:25
Composer Information
Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1893, harm. 1906 )