Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer-- it does not rise from deceitful lips.
May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.
Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.
As for the deeds of men-- by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.
My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.
They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance.
They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover.
Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword.
O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children.
And I--in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.
"But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.
Of what use was the strength of their hands to me, since their vigor had gone from them?
Haggard from want and hunger, they roamed the parched land in desolate wastelands at night.
In the brush they gathered salt herbs, and their food was the root of the broom tree.
They were banished from their fellow men, shouted at as if they were thieves.
They were forced to live in the dry stream beds, among the rocks and in holes in the ground.
They brayed among the bushes and huddled in the undergrowth.
A base and nameless brood, they were driven out of the land.
"And now their sons mock me in song; I have become a byword among them.
They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence.
On my right the tribe attacks; they lay snares for my feet, they build their siege ramps against me.
They break up my road; they succeed in destroying me-- without anyone's helping them.
They advance as through a gaping breach; amid the ruins they come rolling in.
Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud.
"And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.
Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest.
In his great power [God] becomes like clothing to me; he binds me like the neck of my garment.
He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
"I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.
You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.
You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm.
I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.
"Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man when he cries for help in his distress.
Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.
The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me.
I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of owls.
My skin grows black and peels; my body burns with fever.
My harp is tuned to mourning, and my flute to the sound of wailing.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--
the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures
regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David,
and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.
And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.
God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you
in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--
that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.
That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.