Psalm 13; Psalm 14; Psalm 15; Acts 19:21-41

1 How much longer will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How much longer will you hide yourself from me? 2 How long must I endure trouble? How long will sorrow fill my heart day and night? How long will my enemies triumph over me? 3 Look at me, O Lord my God, and answer me. Restore my strength; don't let me die. 4 Don't let my enemies say, "We have defeated him." Don't let them gloat over my downfall. 5 I rely on your constant love; I will be glad, because you will rescue me. 6 I will sing to you, O Lord, because you have been good to me.
1 Fools say to themselves, "There is no God!" They are all corrupt, and they have done terrible things; there is no one who does what is right. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven at us humans to see if there are any who are wise, any who worship him. 3 But they have all gone wrong; they are all equally bad. Not one of them does what is right, not a single one. 4 "Don't they know?" asks the Lord. "Are all these evildoers ignorant? They live by robbing my people, and they never pray to me." 5 But then they will be terrified, for God is with those who obey him. 6 Evildoers frustrate the plans of the humble, but the Lord is their protection. 7 How I pray that victory will come to Israel from Zion. How happy the people of Israel will be when the Lord makes them prosperous again!
1 Lord, who may enter your Temple? Who may worship on Zion, your sacred hill? 2 Those who obey God in everything and always do what is right, whose words are true and sincere, 3 and who do not slander others. They do no wrong to their friends nor spread rumors about their neighbors. 4 They despise those whom God rejects, but honor those who obey the Lord. They always do what they promise, no matter how much it may cost. 5 They make loans without charging interest and cannot be bribed to testify against the innocent. Whoever does these things will always be secure.
21 After these things had happened, Paul made up his mind to travel through Macedonia and Achaia and go on to Jerusalem. "After I go there," he said, "I must also see Rome." 22 So he sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his helpers, to Macedonia, while he spent more time in the province of Asia. 23 It was at this time that there was serious trouble in Ephesus because of the Way of the Lord. 24 A certain silversmith named Demetrius made silver models of the temple of the goddess Artemis, and his business brought a great deal of profit to the workers. 25 So he called them all together with others whose work was like theirs and said to them, "Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this work. 26 Now, you can see and hear for yourselves what this fellow Paul is doing. He says that hand-made gods are not gods at all, and he has succeeded in convincing many people, both here in Ephesus and in nearly the whole province of Asia. 27 There is the danger, then, that this business of ours will get a bad name. Not only that, but there is also the danger that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will come to mean nothing and that her greatness will be destroyed - the goddess worshiped by everyone in Asia and in all the world!" 28 As the crowd heard these words, they became furious and started shouting, "Great is Artemis of Ephesus!" 29 The uproar spread throughout the whole city. The mob grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, two Macedonians who were traveling with Paul, and rushed with them to the theater. 30 Paul himself wanted to go before the crowd, but the believers would not let him. 31 Some of the provincial authorities, who were his friends, also sent him a message begging him not to show himself in the theater. 32 Meanwhile the whole meeting was in an uproar: some people were shouting one thing, others were shouting something else, because most of them did not even know why they had come together. 33 Some of the people concluded that Alexander was responsible, since the Jews made him go up to the front. Then Alexander motioned with his hand for the people to be silent, and he tried to make a speech of defense. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted together the same thing for two hours: "Great is Artemis of Ephesus!" 35 At last the city clerk was able to calm the crowd. "Fellow Ephesians!" he said. "Everyone knows that the city of Ephesus is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of the sacred stone that fell down from heaven. 36 Nobody can deny these things. So then, you must calm down and not do anything reckless. 37 You have brought these men here even though they have not robbed temples or said evil things about our goddess. 38 If Demetrius and his workers have an accusation against anyone, we have the authorities and the regular days for court; charges can be made there. 39 But if there is something more that you want, it will have to be settled in a legal meeting of citizens. 40 For after what has happened today, there is the danger that we will be accused of a riot. There is no excuse for all this uproar, and we would not be able to give a good reason for it." 41 After saying this, he dismissed the meeting.
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