1 Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might. 2 Listen to my prayer, O God. Pay attention to my plea. 3 For strangers are attacking me; violent people are trying to kill me. They care nothing for God. Interlude 4 But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive! 5 May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them. Do as you promised and put an end to them. 6 I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good. 7 For you have rescued me from my troubles and helped me to triumph over my enemies.
1 Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! 2 Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. 3 My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down. 4 My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. 5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. 6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! 7 I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude 8 How quickly I would escape— far from this wild storm of hatred. 9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city. 10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city. 11 Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets. 12 It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. 13 Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. 14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God. 15 Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them. 16 But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me. 17 Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice. 18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. 19 God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them. Interlude For my enemies refuse to change their ways; they do not fear God. 20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. 21 His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers! 22 Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. 23 But you, O God, will send the wicked down to the pit of destruction. Murderers and liars will die young, but I am trusting you to save me.
1 O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. 2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. 3 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? 5 They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me. 6 They come together to spy on me— watching my every step, eager to kill me. 7 Don’t let them get away with their wickedness; in your anger, O God, bring them down. 8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. 9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! 10 I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the LORD for what he has promised. 11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? 12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. 13 For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.
1 Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision? 2 Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God. 3 True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? 4 Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, “You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.” 5 “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.) 6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world? 7 “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?” 8 And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned. 9 Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “They rush to commit murder. 16 Destruction and misery always follow them. 17 They don’t know where to find peace.” 18 “They have no fear of God at all.” 19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. 21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. 27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. 29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.