16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.17For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.20For 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 people are without excuse.21For 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.22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.29They 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,30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.32Although 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.
1There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin.2Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.3Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.”4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.5When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”7Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”8The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.”9(Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)10“Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was.11As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”12“He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice at the high place.13As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”14They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.15Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel:16“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”18Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”19“I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart.20As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”21Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”22Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number.23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”24So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’ ” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.25After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house.26They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together.27As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”
1Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?2When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?” ’3“Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine.4They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.5“After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying.6The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.7Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.8“Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”
9As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.10When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.11When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”12A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”13After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.14Now Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?” “Looking for the donkeys,” he said. “But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”15Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.”16Saul replied, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.
1Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea;2hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught3because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.4My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.5Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.6I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.7I would flee far away and stay in the desert;8I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”9Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city.10Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.11Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.12If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.13But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,14with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.15Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them.16As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me.17Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.18He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.19God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.20My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant.21His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.22Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.23But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you.