1: Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2: But as for me, my feet were almost gone. My steps had nearly slipped. 3: For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4: For there are no struggles in their death, but their strength is firm. 5: They are free from burdens of men, neither are they plagued like other men. 6: Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck. Violence covers them like a garment. 7: Their eyes bulge with fat. Their minds pass the limits of conceit. 8: They scoff and speak with malice. In arrogance, they threaten oppression. 9: They have set their mouth in the heavens. Their tongue walks through the earth. 10: Therefore their people return to them, and they drink up waters of abundance. 11: They say, "How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" 12: Behold, these are the wicked. Being always at ease, they increase in riches. 13: Surely in vain I have cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocence, 14: For all day long have I been plagued, and punished every morning. 15: If I had said, "I will speak thus"; behold, I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16: When I tried to understand this, it was too painful for me; 17: Until I entered God's sanctuary, and considered their latter end. 18: Surely you set them in slippery places. You throw them down to destruction. 19: How they are suddenly destroyed! They are completely swept away with terrors. 20: As a dream when one wakes up, so, Lord, when you awake, you will despise their fantasies. 21: For my soul was grieved. I was embittered in my heart. 22: I was so senseless and ignorant. I was a brute beast before you. 23: Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You have held my right hand. 24: You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 25: Whom do I have in heaven? There is no one on earth whom I desire besides you. 26: My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27: For, behold, those who are far from you shall perish. You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you. 28: But it is good for me to come close to God. I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 74 A contemplation by Asaph.