1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me. 2 Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood. 3 See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, LORD. 4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight! 5 You, LORD God Almighty, you who are the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors. 6 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 7 See what they spew from their mouths— the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, “Who can hear us?” 8 But you laugh at them, LORD; you scoff at all those nations. 9 You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, 10 my God on whom I can rely. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. 11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down. 12 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter, 13 consume them in your wrath, consume them till they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. 14 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 15 They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied. 16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. 17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
1 You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us; you have been angry—now restore us! 2 You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking. 3 You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. 4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. 5 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. 6 God has spoken from his sanctuary: “In triumph I will parcel out Shechem and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth. 7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah is my scepter. 8 Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph.” 9 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 10 Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies? 11 Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. 12 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. 4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. 5 For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations. 7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. 8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. 17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” 21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” 23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “ ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” 27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” 30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!