Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent – Evening Prayer

Psalm 73

1 Truly, God is good to Israel,*
to those who are pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;*
I had almost tripped and fallen;

3 Because I envied the proud*
and saw the prosperity of the wicked:

4 For they suffer no pain,*
and their bodies are sleek and sound;

5 In the misfortunes of others they have no share;*
they are not afflicted as others are;

6 Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace*
and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.

7 Their iniquity comes from gross minds,*
and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.

8 They scoff and speak maliciously;*
out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.

9 They set their mouths against the heavens,*
and their evil speech runs through the world.

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 So then, these are the wicked;*
always at ease, they increase their wealth.

13 In vain have I kept my heart clean,*
and washed my hands in innocence.

14 I have been afflicted all day long,*
and punished every morning.

15 Had I gone on speaking this way,*
I should have betrayed the generation of your children.

16 When I tried to understand these things,*
it was too hard for me;

17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God*
and discerned the end of the wicked.

18 Surely, you set them in slippery places;*
you cast them down in ruin.

19 Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction,*
come to an end, and perish from terror!

20 Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord,*
when you arise you will make their image vanish.

21 When my mind became embittered,*
I was sorely wounded in my heart.

22 I was stupid and had no understanding;*
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 by your counsel,*
and afterwards receive me with glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?*
and having you I desire nothing upon earth.

26 Though my flesh and my heart should waste away,*
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

27 Truly, those who forsake you will perish;*
you destroy all who are unfaithful.

28 But it is good for me to be near God;*
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.

29 I will speak of all your works*
in the gates of the city of Zion.

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