1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. 2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. 5 Commit everything you do to the LORD . Trust him, and he will help you. 6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. 7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. 8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. 9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land. 10 Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. 11 The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity. 12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. 13 But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. 14 The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. 15 But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. 16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. 17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly. 18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. 19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. 20 But the wicked will die. The LORD ’s enemies are like flowers in a field— they will disappear like smoke. 21 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. 22 Those the LORD blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die. 23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. 24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand. 25 Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. 26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. 27 Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. 28 For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. 29 The godly will possess the land and will live there forever. 30 The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. 31 They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. 32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. 33 But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial. 34 Put your hope in the LORD . Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. 35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. 36 But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them! 37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. 38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. 39 The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. 40 The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.
1 O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage! 2 Your arrows have struck deep, and your blows are crushing me. 3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins. 4 My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear. 5 My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins. 6 I am bent over and racked with pain. All day long I walk around filled with grief. 7 A raging fever burns within me, and my health is broken. 8 I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart. 9 You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. 10 My heart beats wildly, my strength fails, and I am going blind. 11 My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance. 12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery. 13 But I am deaf to all their threats. I am silent before them as one who cannot speak. 14 I choose to hear nothing, and I make no reply. 15 For I am waiting for you, O LORD . You must answer for me, O Lord my God. 16 I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me or rejoice at my downfall.” 17 I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. 18 But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. 19 I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason. 20 They repay me evil for good and oppose me for pursuing good. 21 Do not abandon me, O LORD . Do not stand at a distance, my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior.
1 I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” 2 But as I stood there in silence— not even speaking of good things— the turmoil within me grew worse. 3 The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: 4 “ LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude 6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. 7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. 8 Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me. 9 I am silent before you; I won’t say a word, for my punishment is from you. 10 But please stop striking me! I am exhausted by the blows from your hand. 11 When you discipline us for our sins, you consume like a moth what is precious to us. Each of us is but a breath. Interlude 12 Hear my prayer, O LORD ! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest— a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. 13 Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.
1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak in your defense.” So Paul, gesturing with his hand, started his defense: 2 “I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense today against all these accusations made by the Jewish leaders, 3 for I know you are an expert on all Jewish customs and controversies. Now please listen to me patiently! 4 “As the Jewish leaders are well aware, I was given a thorough Jewish training from my earliest childhood among my own people and in Jerusalem. 5 If they would admit it, they know that I have been a member of the Pharisees, the strictest sect of our religion. 6 Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors. 7 In fact, that is why the twelve tribes of Israel zealously worship God night and day, and they share the same hope I have. Yet, Your Majesty, they accuse me for having this hope! 8 Why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead? 9 “I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene. 10 Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus. I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities. 12 “One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests. 13 About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will. ’ 15 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. 17 And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’ 19 “And so, King Agrippa, I obeyed that vision from heaven. 20 I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. 21 Some Jews arrested me in the Temple for preaching this, and they tried to kill me. 22 But God has protected me right up to this present time so I can testify to everyone, from the least to the greatest. I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and Gentiles alike.” 24 Suddenly, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!” 25 But Paul replied, “I am not insane, Most Excellent Festus. What I am saying is the sober truth. 26 And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner! 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do—” 28 Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?” 29 Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.” 30 Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left. 31 As they went out, they talked it over and agreed, “This man hasn’t done anything to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “He could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.”