1 Why are you so far away, O Lord? Why do you hide yourself when we are in trouble? 2 The wicked are proud and persecute the poor; catch them in the traps they have made. 3 The wicked are proud of their evil desires; the greedy curse and reject the Lord. 4 The wicked do not care about the Lord; in their pride they think that God doesn't matter. 5 The wicked succeed in everything. They cannot understand God's judgments; they sneer at their enemies. 6 They say to themselves, "We will never fail; we will never be in trouble." 7 Their speech is filled with curses, lies, and threats; they are quick to speak hateful, evil words. 8 They hide themselves in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people. They spy on their helpless victims; 9 they wait in their hiding place like lions. They lie in wait for the poor; they catch them in their traps and drag them away. 10 The helpless victims lie crushed; brute strength has defeated them. 11 The wicked say to themselves, "God doesn't care! He has closed his eyes and will never see me!" 12 O Lord, punish those wicked people! Remember those who are suffering! 13 How can the wicked despise God and say to themselves, "He will not punish me"? 14 But you do see; you take notice of trouble and suffering and are always ready to help. The helpless commit themselves to you; you have always helped the needy. 15 Break the power of wicked and evil people; punish them for the wrong they have done until they do it no more. 16 The Lord is king forever and ever. Those who worship other gods will vanish from his land. 17 You will listen, O Lord, to the prayers of the lowly; you will give them courage. 18 You will hear the cries of the oppressed and the orphans; you will judge in their favor, so that mortal men may cause terror no more.
1 I trust in the Lord for safety. How foolish of you to say to me, "Fly away like a bird to the mountains, 2 because the wicked have drawn their bows and aimed their arrows to shoot from the shadows at good people. 3 There is nothing a good person can do when everything falls apart." 4 The Lord is in his holy temple; he has his throne in heaven. He watches people everywhere and knows what they are doing. 5 He examines the good and the wicked alike; the lawless he hates with all his heart. 6 He sends down flaming coals and burning sulfur on the wicked; he punishes them with scorching winds. 7 The Lord is righteous and loves good deeds; those who do them will live in his presence.
1 Help us, Lord! There is not a good person left; honest people can no longer be found. 2 All of them lie to one another; they deceive each other with flattery. 3 Silence those flattering tongues, O Lord! Close those boastful mouths that say, 4 "With our words we get what we want. We will say what we wish, and no one can stop us." 5 "But now I will come," says the Lord, "because the needy are oppressed and the persecuted groan in pain. I will give them the security they long for." 6 The promises of the Lord can be trusted; they are as genuine as silver refined seven times in the furnace. 7 The wicked are everywhere, and everyone praises what is evil. Keep us always safe, O Lord, and preserve us from such people.
1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the province and arrived in Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" "We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit," they answered. 3 "Well, then, what kind of baptism did you receive?" Paul asked. "The baptism of John," they answered. 4 Paul said, "The baptism of John was for those who turned from their sins; and he told the people of Israel to believe in the one who was coming after him - that is, in Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them; they spoke in strange tongues and also proclaimed God's message. 7 They were about twelve men in all. 8 Paul went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly with the people, holding discussions with them and trying to convince them about the Kingdom of God. 9 But some of them were stubborn and would not believe, and before the whole group they said evil things about the Way of the Lord. So Paul left them and took the believers with him, and every day he held discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the people who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Gentiles, heard the word of the Lord. 11 God was performing unusual miracles through Paul. 12 Even handkerchiefs and aprons he had used were taken to the sick, and their diseases were driven away, and the evil spirits would go out of them. 13 Some Jews who traveled around and drove out evil spirits also tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to do this. They said to the evil spirits, "I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches." 14 Seven brothers, who were the sons of a Jewish High Priest named Sceva, were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit said to them, "I know Jesus, and I know about Paul; but you - who are you?" 16 The man who had the evil spirit in him attacked them with such violence that he overpowered them all. They ran away from his house, wounded and with their clothes torn off. 17 All the Jews and Gentiles who lived in Ephesus heard about this; they were all filled with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was given greater honor. 18 Many of the believers came, publicly admitting and revealing what they had done. 19 Many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in public. They added up the price of the books, and the total came to fifty thousand silver coins. 20 In this powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing stronger.