Psalm 35; Psalm 36; Acts 25

1 Oppose my opponents, Lord; fight those who fight me. 2 Take Your shields-large and small- and come to my aid. 3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers, and assure me: "I am your deliverance." 4 Let those who seek to kill me be disgraced and humiliated; let those who plan to harm me be turned back and ashamed. 5 Let them be like husks in the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away. 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 7 They hid their net for me without cause; they dug a pit for me without cause. 8 Let ruin come on him unexpectedly, and let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it-to his ruin. 9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord; I will delight in His deliverance. 10 My very bones will say, "Lord, who is like You, rescuing the poor from one too strong for him, the poor or the needy from one who robs him?" 11 Malicious witnesses come forward; they question me about things I do not know. 12 They repay me evil for good, making me desolate. 13 Yet when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting, and my prayer was genuine. 14 I went about [grieving] as if for my friend or brother; I was bowed down with grief, like one mourning a mother. 15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; they gathered against me. Assailants I did not know tore at me and did not stop. 16 With godless mockery they gnashed their teeth at me. 17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my life from their ravages, my very life from the young lions. 18 I will praise You in the great congregation; I will exalt You among many people. 19 Do not let my deceitful enemies rejoice over me; do not let those who hate me without cause look at me maliciously. 20 For they do not speak in friendly ways, but contrive deceitful schemes against those who live peacefully in the land. 21 They open their mouths wide against me and say, "Aha, aha! We saw it!" 22 You saw it, Lord; do not be silent. Lord, do not be far from me. 23 Wake up and rise to my defense, to my cause, my God and my Lord! 24 Vindicate me, Lord, my God, in keeping with Your righteousness, and do not let them rejoice over me. 25 Do not let them say in their hearts, "Aha! Just what we wanted." Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up!" 26 Let those who rejoice at my misfortune be disgraced and humiliated; let those who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and reproach. 27 Let those who want my vindication shout for joy and be glad; let them continually say, "The Lord be exalted, who wants His servant's well-being." 28 And my tongue will proclaim Your righteousness, Your praise all day long.
1 An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no dread of God before his eyes, 2 for in his own eyes he flatters himself [too much] to discover and hate his sin. 3 The words of his mouth are malicious and deceptive; he has stopped acting wisely and doing good. 4 Even on his bed he makes malicious plans. He sets himself on a path that is not good and does not reject evil. 5 Lord, Your faithful love [reaches] to heaven, Your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountain; Your judgments, like the deepest sea. Lord, You preserve man and beast. 7 God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. 8 They are filled from the abundance of Your house; You let them drink from Your refreshing stream, 9 for with You is life's fountain. In Your light we will see light. 10 Spread Your faithful love over those who know You, and Your righteousness over the upright in heart. 11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant come near me or the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12 There the evildoers fall; they have been thrown down and cannot rise.
1 Three days after Festus arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 Then the chief priests and the leaders of the Jews presented their case against Paul to him; and they appealed, 3 asking him to do them a favor against Paul, that he might summon him to Jerusalem. They were preparing an ambush along the road to kill him. 4 However, Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to go there shortly. 5 "Therefore," he said, "let the men of authority among you go down with me and accuse him, if there is any wrong in this man." 6 When he had spent not more than eight or 10 days among them, he went down to Caesarea. The next day, seated at the judge's bench, he commanded Paul to be brought in. 7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him and brought many serious charges that they were not able to prove, 8 while Paul made the defense that, "Neither against the Jewish law, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I sinned at all." 9 Then Festus, wanting to do a favor for the Jews, replied to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, there to be tried before me on these charges?" 10 But Paul said: "I am standing at Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as even you can see very well. 11 If then I am doing wrong, or have done anything deserving of death, I do not refuse to die, but if there is nothing to what these men accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!" 12 After Festus conferred with his council, he replied, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you will go!" 13 After some days had passed, King Agrippa 52-92. and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid a courtesy call on Festus. 14 Since they stayed there many days, Festus presented Paul's case to the king, saying, "There's a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix. 15 When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews presented their case and asked for a judgment against him. 16 I answered them that it's not the Romans' custom to give any man up before the accused confronts the accusers face to face and has an opportunity to give a defense concerning the charge. 17 Therefore, when they had assembled here, I did not delay. The next day I sat at the judge's bench and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 Concerning him, the accusers stood up and brought no charge of the sort I was expecting. 19 Instead they had some disagreements with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, a dead man whom Paul claimed to be alive. 20 Since I was at a loss in a dispute over such things, I asked him if he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there concerning these matters. 21 But when Paul appealed to be held for trial by the Emperor, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I could send him to Caesar." 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said, "you will hear him." 23 So the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the auditorium with the commanders and prominent men of the city. When Festus gave the command, Paul was brought in. 24 Then Festus said: "King Agrippa and all men present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish community has appealed to me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he should not live any longer. 25 Now I realized that he had not done anything deserving of death, but when he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him. 26 I have nothing definite to write to the Emperor about him. Therefore, I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this examination is over, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not to indicate the charges against him."
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