Psalm 39  Exspectans exspectavi

Obedience is better than sacrifice

Psalm 39  is mainly a prayer of thanksgiving.  The psalmist expresses his thanks for being privileged to offer God the sacrifice of his will.  According to the Epistle to the Hebrews (10:4) this Psalm is the morning prayer to the life of Jesus Christ.  On Good Friday the Church turns it into his death prayer: in place of sacrificial victims, our Lord offers up himself to the Father for all mankind.  From the crib and from Cross, Christ proclaims that all his life is a constant submission to the Father's will.  The fulfillment of God's will must also be the substance of our life.

Help from God

Exspéctans exspectávi Dóminum, * et inténdit mihi.
2  Et exaudívit preces meas: * et edúxit me de lacu misériæ, et de luto fæcis.
3  Et státuit super petram pedes meos: * et diréxit gressus meos.
4  Et immísit in os meum cánticum novum * carmen Deo nostro.
5  Vidébunt multi, et timébunt: * et sperábunt in Dómino.

With expectation I have waited for the Lord, * and he inclined unto me.
And he heard my prayers : * and he brought me also out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay.
3  And he hath set my feet upon the rock, * and ordered my goings.
And he hath put a new canticle in my mouth, * even a song unto our God.
5  Many shall see it, and fear, * and shall put their trust in the Lord.

God's benefactions

6  Beátus vir, cujus est nomen Dómini spes ejus * et non respéxit in vanitátes et insánias falsas.
7  Multa fecísti tu, Dómine, Deus meus, mirabília tua: * et cogitatiónibus tuis non est qui símilis sit tibi.
8  Annuntiávi et locútus sum: * multiplicáti sunt super númerum.

6  Blessed is the man that hath set his hope in the Name of the Lord, * and who hath not turned unto vanity, and to lying follies.
7
  O Lord my God, great are the wondrous works which thou hast done, * and in thy thoughts there is no one like unto thee.
8  I have declared and I have spoken : * they are multiplied above number.

Thanksgiving through obedience

9  Sacrifícium et oblatiónem noluísti: * aures autem perfecísti mihi.
10  Holocáustum et pro peccáto non postulásti: * tunc dixi: Ecce vénio.
11  In cápite libri scriptum est de me ut fácerem voluntátem tuam: * Deus meus, vólui, et legem tuam in médio cordis mei.

9  Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, * but mine ears hast thou opened.
10  Burnt-offering and sacrifice for sin hast thou not required: * then said I, Lo, I come;
11  In the volume of the book it is written of me, that I should fulfil thy will, * O my God, I am content to do it; yea, thy law is within my heart.

Thanksgiving by proclaiming God's benefactions

12  Annuntiávi justítiam tuam in ecclésia magna, * ecce lábia mea non prohibébo: Dómine, tu scisti.
13  Justítiam tuam non abscóndi in corde meo: * veritátem tuam et salutáre tuum dixi.
14  Non abscóndi misericórdiam tuam et veritátem tuam * a concílio multo.

12  I have declared thy righteousness in the great congregation: * lo, I will not refrain my lips, O Lord, and that thou knowest.
13  I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; * I have declared thy truth and thy salvation.
14  I have not concealed thy loving mercy and truth * from the great congregation.

Lamentation in new crisis

15  Tu autem, Dómine, ne longe fácias miseratiónes tuas a me: * misericórdia tua et véritas tua semper suscepérunt me.
16  Quóniam circumdedérunt me mala, quorum non est númerus: * comprehendérunt me iniquitátes meæ, et non pótui ut vidérem.
17  Multiplicátæ sunt super capíllos cápitis mei: * et cor meum derelíquit me.
18  Compláceat tibi, Dómine, ut éruas me: * Dómine, ad adjuvándum me réspice.

15  Withdraw not thou thy mercy from me, O Lord; * thy loving-kindness and thy truth have ever preserved me.
16  For evils without number are come about me; * my sins have taken such hold upon me, that I am not able to look up.
17  Yea, they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me.
18  O Lord, let it be thy pleasure to deliver me; * make haste, O Lord, to help me.

Prayer for protection and assistance

19  Confundántur et revereántur simul, qui quærunt ánimam meam, * ut áuferant eam.
20  Convertántur retrórsum et revereántur: * qui volunt mihi mala.
21  Ferant conféstim confusiónem suam: * qui dicunt mihi: Euge, euge.
22  Exsúltent et læténtur super te omnes quæréntes te: * et dicant semper: Magnificétur Dóminus : qui díligunt salutáre tuum.
23  Ego autem mendícus sum, et pauper: * Dóminus sollícitus est mei.
24  Adjútor meus et protéctor meus tu es: * Deus meus, ne tardáveris.

19  Let them be ashamed, and confounded together, that seek after my soul * to destroy it.
20  Let them be driven backward, and put to rebuke, * that wish me evil.
21  Let them immediately be rewarded with shame : * that say unto me, Fie upon thee! fie upon thee!
22  Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; * and let such as love thy salvation, say alway, The Lord be magnified.
23  As for me, I am poor and needy; * but the Lord careth for me.
24  Thou art my helper and protector; * make no long tarrying, O my God.