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.
When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel.
The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.
But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.
They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have."
But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD.
And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.
As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.
Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."
Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.
He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.
Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.
He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.
Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.
He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.
When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us.
Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."
When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD.
The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king." Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, "Everyone go back to his town."
Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.
Strangers are attacking me; ruthless men seek my life-- men without regard for God. "Selah"
Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.