1 Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD . 2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. 3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. 4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. 5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! 6 Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. 7 As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! 8 I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! 9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. 10 I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 12 I praise you, O LORD ; teach me your decrees. 13 I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. 14 I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. 15 I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. 16 I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. 17 Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. 18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. 19 I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! 20 I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. 21 You rebuke the arrogant; those who wander from your commands are cursed. 22 Don’t let them scorn and insult me, for I have obeyed your laws. 23 Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees. 24 Your laws please me; they give me wise advice. 25 I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. 26 I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. 27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. 28 I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. 29 Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. 30 I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. 31 I cling to your laws. LORD, don’t let me be put to shame! 32 I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. 33 Teach me your decrees, O LORD ; I will keep them to the end. 34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. 35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. 36 Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! 37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. 38 Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. 39 Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. 40 I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. 41 LORD, give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. 42 Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. 43 Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. 44 I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. 45 I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. 46 I will speak to kings about your laws, and I will not be ashamed. 47 How I delight in your commands! How I love them! 48 I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your decrees. 49 Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. 50 Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. 51 The proud hold me in utter contempt, but I do not turn away from your instructions. 52 I meditate on your age-old regulations; O LORD, they comfort me. 53 I become furious with the wicked, because they reject your instructions. 54 Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. 55 I reflect at night on who you are, O LORD ; therefore, I obey your instructions. 56 This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments. 57 LORD, you are mine! I promise to obey your words! 58 With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised. 59 I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. 60 I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands. 61 Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions. 62 I rise at midnight to thank you for your just regulations. 63 I am a friend to anyone who fears you— anyone who obeys your commandments. 64 O LORD, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees. 65 You have done many good things for me, LORD, just as you promised. 66 I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge. 67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. 68 You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. 69 Arrogant people smear me with lies, but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart. 70 Their hearts are dull and stupid, but I delight in your instructions. 71 My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. 72 Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver. 73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. 74 May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word. 75 I know, O LORD, that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. 76 Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. 77 Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight. 78 Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments. 79 Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws. 80 May I be blameless in keeping your decrees; then I will never be ashamed. 81 I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. 82 My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? 83 I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees. 84 How long must I wait? When will you punish those who persecute me? 85 These arrogant people who hate your instructions have dug deep pits to trap me. 86 All your commands are trustworthy. Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause. 87 They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments. 88 In your unfailing love, spare my life; then I can continue to obey your laws.
20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you. 25 Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are. 27 If you have a wife, do not seek to end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married. 28 But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you those problems. 29 But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. 32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. 36 But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. 37 But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. 38 So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better. 39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord. 40 But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.