The psalm's text is a reflection of David speaking to all sinners while addressing himself to Absalom. The message in the psalm is that the victories of sinners are only temporary and meaningless, and that only repentance can bring true happiness. It is a request to God for deliverance from past distresses.
1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord. 6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
- Verse 5 is part of the prayers of the Bedtime Shema.
- Verse 7 is part of the Prayer for Sustenance recited on High Holidays.
- The Artscroll Tehillim page 6
- The Psalms: translated and explained By Joseph Addison Alexander, Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg, page 26
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 295
- The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah page 79